On the field, there is no mistaking Claude Dielna. Both vocal and powerful, the French-born defender has a way of making his presence known in every training, whether it's through a robust challenge or the sound of his voice when calling for the ball. Though he's largely played a reserve role since arriving this winter from the New England Revolution, the 31-year-old has still had an impact on his new squad.
Amid the 2019 season's summer congestion, Dielna has found his name on the teamsheet more, having started three of the team's last four Major League Soccer games while appearing in four of the last five. Residing out of the spotlight for much this season, Dielna took some time after Tuesday's training to catch up with the local media, allowing us to hit him with our new Quick 3 about his life in his new home:
Timbers.com: Your life off the field. How are you enjoying your time in Portland, so far?
Dielna: Now, I’m more comfortable, even if I was already (comfortable) when I came. But we have a good team, good guys. So, I’m very happy to be here.
My life is simple. (Laughs.) I go the gym. I go to my house. I’ve been in the city, a little bit, but me, I’m someone who likes staying at home most of the time.
But I love it. You have so many restaurants. But when you have as many games as we’ve had, the most important thing is to recover and stay focused on the game, because that’s why I’m here. I’m here to play football.
Q: You’ve been getting more starts, lately. How do you feel about your performances?
CD: When (the team) gets a couple of (good) performances on the road, it makes everything easier.
I’m a competitor. Like I said before, I came here to play, to have the chance to play and help my team. That’s what I try to do every minute I have on the field.
Q: Has it been helpful knowing you’re going to be getting playing time during this congested schedule?
CD: You know that you have a lot of games, so you know the team is going to need everyone. So, this is a good thing, having that chance to play. I’ll give my best in training to be ready to start on gameday.
After (training), (the coaches) have to make choices, sometimes. You need to respect that choice and be ready when they’re going to need you. And that’s what I’m doing.