Atlanta United 2 announced in March the signing of Fuad “Ade” Adeniyi to an MLS NEXT Pro contract for the 2023 season. He has since started the last three matches for the 5-Stripes.
The defender joined the team after playing last season with South Georgia Tormenta FC in USL League One, where he tallied 19 appearances during the club’s 2022 title run. Adeniyi spent the first of his collegiate years with the University of Mobile (NAIA) before transferring to UC Santa Barbara. He also trained with the U-20 Nigerian national team.
Following his first month with Atlanta, we sat down with the London, England native and asked him 17 questions to get to know him a little more.
Before we get into the questions, how do you pronounce your name?
So, my name is Fuad Adeniyi (foo-ODD a-day-nee-yee), but most people just call me ‘Ade’ (A-day).
Why did you choose to come to Atlanta United?
It’s probably one of the best clubs in America, and I want to play with the best club in America.
What stands out to you about Atlanta United compared to other clubs you’ve played for?
I’d say the winning mentality that the coaches are trying to implement in us. Just winning and whatever it takes to win really.
Where is home to you?
My parents are originally from Nigeria, but I was born and raised in England. I came over here for school when I was 18. I used to go back to Nigeria every Christmas.
What was it like representing the Nigerian national team?
It was different, but it was very, very cool. I’ve never been in that type of environment before, just the whole country rooting for you. It was pretty much amazing. It was probably one of the best times I’d say in my football career.
What got you into playing soccer?
When I went to go watch Chelsea play, specifically just seeing the stadium, seeing how everyone treated them. Everything made me love soccer from the first time I really laid eyes on it. I can’t remember when I didn’t play soccer.
What is the best type of music to listen to before a game?
I’d say Afrobeats or house music.
Who is your favorite soccer player and why?
Santi Cazorla. He’s a bit older, but he’s got great left and right feet. The way he plays the game looks so easy. Even though he used to play for the team I hate, I still think he’s an amazing player. He really makes me want to be a center mid, but I know I’m not.
How would you describe your playing style?
As I’m getting older now, I’m starting to use my brain. It’s not all about how big you are or how fast you are. I would say it’s being aggressive, being able to win the ball. As long as we don’t concede any goals, I’m happy with that.
Do you play or like any other sports besides soccer?
Tennis. I’d kill anyone at tennis.
What is your favorite movie?
It depends what type of mood I’m in. If it’s right before a game, I’d probably watch a bit of Green Street just to get me going. If I’m at home, I’d say The Blind Side. I like sports movies, so that’s a great one.
What is your favorite snack?
Twix, but it has to be frozen. A frozen Twix, I could eat that at like three o’clock in the morning.
What inspires you to train hard every day?
Just knowing that you can be replaced like that, in the blink of an eye. The story I’ve had to go through to get to where I’m at right now, every day just means a lot to me. I don’t know where I’m going to be next year. I don’t know where I’m going to be tomorrow. I’m just very grateful to be here.
If you weren’t a soccer player, what would you be?
I love money, so I would have to be doing something that makes a lot of money. I would probably be a trader.
How would you describe yourself in three words?
Funny… did I already say funny? Bubbly and calm. You have to get to know me before you can get that bubbly side of me, but if I just met you for the first time, I would say I’m calm.
What goals do you have for yourself outside of soccer?
First of all, just trying to be a better person every day. Just being able to put myself in a situation where I can take care of my family. If I can take care of my family and be happy, that’s pretty much it.
What is the biggest misconception people have about England?
We don’t all talk like the Queen. I’ve heard that a couple of times.
What do you want the 17s to know about you?
That I’m funny.