There’s no question Romario Williams is dedicated to the Five Stripes; his hard work in training and his commitment on the field is evidence of that. But Charleston does have a special place in his heart.
“This place brings back a lot of memories,” he says with a smile. “This was my home for the past two years of my career, and I definitely had good times here. I shared a lot of good moments and created memories with wonderful people at the Battery organization. It will also be a building block in my career and I’ll never forget it because they gave me an opportunity.”
That love isn’t just a one-way street; you could hear it in the Charleston crowd when he came onto the field against Minnesota United Wednesday night. After all, Williams was named to the USL Team of the Year just last year thanks to many impressive performances on this field. But now with Tata Martino hinting at squad rotation on Saturday, he could line up for the opposite side at kickoff.
“I’ve played against them a few times before I got here but now, having played here for two years, playing against them will be a little different. A couple of their guys have been throwing a few jabs here and there already but it’s fun. I know how to approach a game and hopefully I can come out on the winning end.”
But Williams isn’t playing in the lower division with Charleston any longer. Now looking ahead to the MLS season, he’s trying to absorb as much as he can from Tata Martino and the rest of his team.
“It’s the attention to details. At this level, you can’t mess up an assignment, or a half-second first touch can make the difference between getting a shot off or not. The attention to detail goes a long way and makes a difference in a game. You don’t really realize it until you’re in the moment, but it’s definitely been one of the biggest learning points of this preseason for me.”
With the hard work put in on the training ground, Williams is ready to put what he’s learned to use in a match environment.
“Just go in there with the right mindset, everything that I’ve learned and developed in my game in the time we’ve been here in the preseason, then just make the most and enjoy. As players you want to enjoy each and every opportunity that you get. This is why you play the game. Just want to go out there, make the most of my opportunity, get a goal if I can, and put in a good shift, work hard for my teammates and hopefully we can come out victorious.”
Williams has his priorities in order: put in a strong performance, impress his manager and come out on the winning side. And if a goal comes, and maybe some bragging rights against some old friends along with it, all the better.
“They’re excited, I’m excited, I’m looking forward to the battle and hopefully I can get a goal or two against them. Then we can share some laughs after.”
After Saturday’s match against the Charleston Battery, the team will go on the road to face the Houston Dynamo in the first match of the 2018 MLS regular season. They’ll then return to Atlanta for their home debut at Mercedes-Benz Stadium against D.C. United on March 11th. Tickets to that match are still available, make sure you’ve secured yours here.