Locking Up The Left Wing
If you’re an attacking player on the left side of the pitch, chances are your match against RGVFC will not be an enjoyable one. That’s because Kai Greene is the right back for the Toros and he is one of the elite defenders in the USL.
One of the USL’s Top Five Defenders To Watch, Greene is back for his third season in South Texas. In 2016, he split time on the back line. Last year, he started 24 matches and finished second in the USL in tackles won. While he isn’t afraid to get physical, Greene’s biggest advantages are his speed and remarkable leaping ability. “I feel like I have more bite than these other defenders. Athletically, I feel I can hang with any attacker that comes my way, in the air or on the ground. I feel I can shutdown anyone to be honest,” states Greene.
Despite being a top player, Greene’s not satisfied. When asked what he;s working on most in 2018, he answers, “I want to improve more on the attacking side of the ball. I feel like I’ve been getting at that over the years, just needs a little more fine tuning than I’ll be at a much higher level than now.”
The attacking side of soccer isn’t an unfamiliar area to him. Before playing fullback for RGVFC, Kai actually played in the midfield for Seton Hall University. He’s reunited this season with his college head coach, first year Toros’ manager Gerson Echeverry. Greene says, “It’s good playing for Gerson again. Obviously, he knows me as a player and my capabilities, so it helps me grow as a player more. We also just naturally have a good understanding of one another.”
While he is working on his attacking play, it’s the defensive end where Greene dominates. “I live for shutting players down. I love looking at wingers and forwards that are in top form and then matching up against them when it’s time,”he explains. “Corner kicks, I want to mark them. (If it’s in the game plan) 1v1’s, I want them frustrated and smothered like never before. I get the same joy out of locking an attacker up for a game as a forward scoring a goal. It fuels me.”
He played well in the Toros’ opener, winning seven duels and three battles in the air against Saint Louis FC. As the season rolls on, you can expect to see countless Western Conference wingers rattled and frustrated against RGVFC. They can thank Kai Greene.