“It was hectic,” he said in an interview on Friday, “and it’s still hectic in some ways.”
Arriola’s whirlwind fulfilled a long-standing wish to play abroad. He came to Swansea City on a short term loan from DC United, which was facilitated by the teams of joint investors.
“Although I would have felt good in my career without ever playing in Europe, it’s nice to be here to get notoriety and play games,” said Arriola. “And the way the team is running is very valuable to me, regardless of what the future holds.”
“I’m by no means happy to be here. I want to play, ”he said. “I want to help the team get promoted. I want to play a part in it. It’s about where and when and how and what I do with the possibilities. “
Arriola, 26, finds herself in a unique situation for football. Loans often include an option for the receiving club to buy the player’s contract when the temporary gig ends. The player understands that quality performance can result in a lasting move.
However, this was not part of this loan. Rather, it was done to add depth to Swansea City all along the route and to provide a competitive environment for Arriola during the MLS off-season and preseason. United will open training camp on March 8th and April 17th.
Arriola is expected to return to Washington in May. The exact date depends on Swansea City’s possible playoff schedule after the league finals on May 8th. If the swans are promoted and the technical staff sees a long-term future with them, a permanent transfer could occur.
Given Arriola’s supporting role, this seems doubtful at the moment.
“It’s definitely a challenging time because you’re in a different place that you know isn’t forever,” he said. “You have to dive in and believe and focus on what you can control.”
In Swansea City’s system, Arriola’s best position is right-back. However, Connor Roberts, a Welsh international, has it banned.
Despite the lack of minutes, Arriola said he benefited from the experience starting with the FA Cup encounter against Manchester City, the runaway Premier League leaders and the UEFA Champions League contender.
“At the beginning of the game and at the end of the game,” he said, “the boys said,” It doesn’t get much more difficult anywhere in the world. “
The large number of games on a schedule changed by the pandemic left little time to get into a training rhythm. Manager Steve Cooper told Arriola to be patient and ready.
Arriola calls England’s secondary circuit, which also includes clubs from Wales, “an intense league, very aggressive, very physical. It feels like it goes 100 mph at times. You have some really good, high profile teams that want to play and then you have some teams that are rather old fashioned and very straight forward. “
“When he landed, he just sat there,” said Arriola. “Then the boys on the bench said, ‘Oh, that’s not good. ‘I said, “Please don’t let it be his knee.” It gets scary to think about your situation. You can’t help but think, “What if it were me again?” ”
The injury ended the possibility of permanent move that summer, an option that was included in Morris’ loan agreement.
Arriola and Morris were neighbors and lived in adjoining waterfront homes. Arriola’s girlfriend Akela Banuelos arrived about 10 days ago and is being quarantined. Aside from food tours, he was unable to tour the city or get any sense of the public’s excitement about the promotion.
Before leaving for Wales, Arriola said he had spoken several times with Hernán Losada, United’s new manager. When they understood that they will likely work together in May, they discussed tactics and football philosophy.
“It’s a strange situation,” said Arriola. “You’re on loan, but with no option to buy you’re still technically a DC United player, right? How do you do both without leaning too far in one direction or too far in the other? “