17-year-old Chicago goalkeeper Gabriel Slonina sets high goals

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While 2021 has been a tough season for Chicago Fire FC, the team has a young star ready to influence the club in the future.

Gabriel Slonina, the 17-year-old, became the youngest goalkeeper to ever start an MLS game on August 4 against the NYCFC at Soldier Field in Chicago. Slonina has four shutouts in just 10 starts this season.

The teenager from Addisson, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago, has quickly picked up his hometown club.

His ultimate goal: to become the best on the planet.

“I strive to be the best goalkeeper in the world,” Slonina told ESPN’s Futbol Americas.

“So I think I’ll just keep putting that work down and make sure I take the right steps in that direction every day.”

Although Slonina has been a great revelation for Fire, the team has still struggled hard this season. The Fire is clearly out of the Eastern Conference play-offs after reaching only 12th place with 34 points.

The Fire has not qualified for the playoffs since 2017, but Slonina is convinced that the club after a disappointing 2021 can speed up the ship for next season.

“Of course it was a difficult season and individually it is good what I have done and the achievements I have made, but it is clear that you want the team to perform first and foremost. It’s all about the team and making sure we can improve and get better next season. “

Slonina aims to become the best goalkeeper in the world, but right now he is still founded in the present and represents his hometown club in MLS.

The son of Polish immigrants, Slonina has represented the United States in youth competitions and is not focused on a potential European move or which national team he would represent.

Currently, the teenager is focused on making himself the best player he can be and preparing for the present.

– I have always believed in myself from the beginning. It was good that the time came now and I use it to my advantage and get all the opportunities I can and get the most out of it. I always prepared for this moment and gave my all every day in training, in everyday life outside of training, and made sure I did the right things. ”

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