Who are you and what is soccer background?
My name is Rudy Lumanza, I’m 20 years old and played for KFCO Beerschot Wilrijk before I joined Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC in 2016.
What motives did you have when you joined the 2016 tryout in the Herstaco Stadium in Roosendaal?
I wanted to impress the scouts, play good and show people who I am. To be honest, I didn’t really expect that I would get chosen to play in America. It’s all about impressing the scouts. Also, it was a really nice stadium to play in, beautiful and big. An honour to play there! It felt like being in a dream and imagining the stadium was full, gave me a good feeling.
What were your thoughts when you got a contract offer from Cincinnati Dutch Lions FC?
I was shocked…it was an offer that I had to take. I was really happy, it felt like somebody really believes in me.
How would you rank the level of the PDL league you played in?
It’s not the same as in Europe where players are technically and tactically good. In the US, it’s a lot more about winning mentality. The players are stronger, faster and don’t get tired (condition wise).
Did this opportunity get you closer to your goal of becoming a professional football player?
Yes definitely! Now I got a big chance to become a professional. During the PDL season I made connections with some professional teams who are interested in signing me.
What were your best soccer related moments from your time at the Dutch Lions?
I had a lot of beautiful and nice moments. When we played against KW (champions last season) for instance, we accomplished to draw and I scored a goal, while they are supposed to be the best PDL team in America. That day I developed my winner mentality, we didn’t give up, and at the end they respected us.
When we played in Toronto, the amazing stadium and complex made me realize I could become a professional, which was an amazing feeling.
What will you take with you from this experience?
A lot! First of all, coming here made me a man. I left everything behind me, which was definitely worth it. I changed my way of thinking, in a positive way. I made some good friends, which I will never forget and keep in my life. It felt like home!
How was living in the US?
Crazy (laughs)! I lived in a really nice and big house. The people I lived with made this experience even better. Also, you could reach downtown, supermarket, gym and training field very easily. I would definitely like to live over here and become a pro. Living here is so different to living in Europe. People here a nice, polite and social.
What do you think about the Dutch Lions in general?
I will never forget about the Dutch Lions. I am a Lion now! If I become a professional it will be because of the Dutch Lions. Especially because of Mike Mossel (CEO) who believes in me and my coach Terry, one of the best coaches I had in my life. Overall, everybody at the club takes care of you and help you with any issues.
Do you have any recommendations for the players who want to use the Dutch Lions Gateway to become a professional soccer player?
Do it, take this chance and don’t be scarred! That’s everything I can actually say. Make sure you are ready when you go, and take it serious. This might change your life! It can make you a professional, and is also a great experience. The Dutch Lions take care of you and treat you like a King.