San Jose- The acquisition of Albanian midfielder Jahmir Hyka earlier this month fitted all of general manager Jesse Fioranelli’s prerequisites: experienced at the club level, under 30 years of age, and internationally capped. But, most importantly, Hyka displayed the passion to defend the badge.
“First I want to help San Jose, that is why I am here,” said Hyka.
After much anticipated talk of the “Albanian Messi’s” debut, he was able to take the pitch at Avaya this past Saturday. He managed to score in the 4-1 rout against Quakes former USL affiliates Sacramento Republic. Hyka was all smiles on the pitch. That same smile that appeared during his introductory press conference prior to the game.
“It had been like a long time now that I wanted to come here,” said Hyka. “I said also to Jesse (Fioranelli) that was one of my dreams, to play one time in the MLS.”
Another Quakes recent signing, Florian Jungwirth, expressed identical desires to come and contribute to MLS months prior. Creating a similar individual mental pattern in San Jose’s offseason transfers.
The 28-year-old Albanian is not the only player to make the move from Swiss club FC Luzern to the MLS this offseason, as Jerome Thiesson recently signed with debuting league side Minnesota United.
“We talked before like two-three months together in the team,” Hyka said. “We were talking our goal was to play one day in MLS, so I was the first one here and now I am happy that he (Thiesson) is also here, I am excited to play against him.”
The Albanian midfielder is yet to play against an MLS side, but he expressed on how he sees himself fitting to American soccer based on the 60 minutes of playing time he played this past week.
“I think for me it is good, because I think I will have a lot of space in these games and I can maybe use my kind of play to help the team,” he added.
Hyka came on a subsitutue during the halftime break for Shea Salinas, and quickly made an impact: playing on the left side of the midfield. Hyka, can be a possible starter as a left-midfielder come March 4th for the season opener against Montreal, but he expressed his ability to mesh in many places of the field.
“For me it is no problem, I can play midfield; I can play behind the striker,” said Hyka. “For me it is no problem where the coach will want me to play.”