CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, June 8, 2009
American striker Matthew Luzunaris has completed his six-month loan at Brazilian club Botafogo and is en route back to newly-promoted Austrian club SC Magna Wiener Neustadt.
"I am no longer with Botafogo, and will be returning to Vienna," Luzunaris told YA following a short layover in his native Florida.
The Schultz Academy and University of Central Florida product has been with the Lower Austrian club for a year and saw two brief appearances in the first half of the most recent season, before being sent on loan to Botafogo.
Although collecting no first team appearances in Brazil due to visa restrictions, the striker trained with the first side and benefited from his time there.
"It was a very interesting experience for me as a player and an everyday person," the 20-year old explained. "The training was more technical than what we see at the higher stages of international soccer."
The 6' 1'' forward found the Brazilian style of play challenging but also suitable for a player of his stature.
"They are not tough when it comes to one on one situations. I am big, have a lot of speed, and I'm very good with my head when it comes to finishing a ball."
Returning from Brazil, Luzunaris is emphatic about his chances at Wiener Neustadt and in the Bundesliga season.
"I feel I have a lot to offer to my club," the Floridian claims. "I just need to ease my way in, stay consistent on a daily basis, and stay fit."
Wiener Neustadt join Austria's top-flight league for the first time in its brief history after finishing at the top of this season's Erste Liga table with 69 points. SCR Altach will take their spot in the second league after their sluggish third season in the Bundesliga.
Based 60 kilometers south of the Austrian capital, the Blue and Whites of Wiener Neustadt were known as SC Schwanenstadt from the club's founding in 1946 until 2008, when Magna International owner Frank Stronach took over the club after losing its license, before renaming and relocating it.