In June, Atlanta United announced the signing of Mexican International goalkeeper Raúl Gudiño. The Guadalajara, Mexico native started his career in the Chivas Guadalajara academy in 2006 and rose through the youth ranks before making the move to Portuguese Primeira Liga side FC Porto on loan in 2014. He joined on a permanent transfer in 2015 and made 65 appearances for Porto B. Gudiño also spent time with União Madeira, APOEL FC and returned to Chivas in 2018. He recorded 85 appearances and kept 21 clean sheets across Liga MX and Copa MX play.
On Sept. 4, Gudiño made his debut in the Atlanta United starting lineup in a 2-1 road loss to the Portland Timbers. Prior to this, we sat down with the Mexican goalkeeper to get to know him a little bit more.
How do you like the city of Atlanta, how are you feeling?
Good, I think mainly I’m very happy to be part of the club. The players and the staff have treated me very well. I feel like I’m home though in a different country but really, I’m very happy.
I know you have a passion for cars, what’s your favorite one?
The mustang is my favorite. I have three mustangs in Mexico, classics and one newer model. I have a 65, 66 and an Eleanor 67. Since I was little my dad instilled in my brother and I that love for cars. My brother also has cars, and my dad has trucks so we’re really passionate about classic cars.
Is there a piece of advice that someone has given you that has helped you in life?
Yes, to live life to the fullest and value the things we have because life goes by fast, and we sometimes don’t value the positive things happening but only on the bad things and the things we don’t have. Sometimes, we even have too much so it’s important to value the things we have and how hard we’ve worked to earn them. It’s important to help people, whether it’s a little or a lot, as long as it’s with a good heart.
If you could play against any player past or present who would it be?
I’ve played against Cristiano Ronaldo but not Messi, so I’d like that.
What other sports do you watch besides soccer? Have you gone to a Braves game?
Baseball. I don’t have a team, but I enjoy watching the games. A few years ago, my dad was the one who introduced me to baseball and now I am passionate about it. I like it a lot. I saw them play against the Dodgers. It’s a game I won’t forget. My first game in Atlanta and [Julio] Urías was the pitcher, so it was a great day.
Do you have a pregame ritual?
Yes, I like to talk with my family, my wife, my daughter and my parents. I try to get myself in the right place mentally and watch a lot of videos of other goalkeepers and of myself doing saves. Then, I listen to music to get myself relaxed and ready for the match.
What type of music do you listen to?
I like Mexican regional band music. Though others wouldn’t believe it, that music relaxes me.
What’s your favorite TV show?
I don’t watch television a lot, but I enjoy watching shows, series and movies on Netflix and Amazon Prime. I also enjoy watching documentaries on the Discovery Channel and car restoration programs.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?
I give thanks to God for waking up, for having good health, a job, a good life and because my family members are doing well.
Do you have a nickname people call you?
They call me “Gudi” due to my name but also due to the sheriff in Toy Story “Woody” because some say we look alike.
What’s your favorite habit and your least favorite?
My favorite habit is that I like to keep improving and making myself better. My worst is that when things aren’t going my way quickly, I get upset. I don’t think that’s good, so I have to work on that.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have two French bulldogs named “Bacon” and “Bonny.”
If you weren’t a soccer player, what would you be?
I like medicine, so I would’ve been a doctor. I would’ve liked to have been a reconstructive surgeon, but I ended up going in a different direction.
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
The beach. I love the beach and prefer it over the woods and mountains.
What was your favorite television show as a child?
I liked Dragon Ball Z a lot and superheroes like Spiderman, Superman and Batman. Mostly, Superman and Batman.
What are three words that describe you?
Seriousness. Happiness. Leadership.
What do you want the 17 to know about you?
First of all, before being a good goalkeeper, I'm a good person, that's the main thing, leaving an example, a mark in that way and knowing that I’m here to defend this jersey to the death as well. Know that every game, every training session I am giving it my all and I am very happy to be here, to be able to be a part of this great club and to always have the 17s support.