Earlier this season, FC Dallas loaned out Josh Lambo to the USSF D2 Tampa Bay Rowdies. Lambo, the eighth overall pick in the 2008 MLS SuperDraft, had found his playing time dwindle to almost nothing when FCD added veteran ‘keeper Kevin Hartman late in preseason.
So far with the Rowdies, he has made just two starts in league action but also has played in a pair of matches in the 2010 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, including one match in Dallas. Lambo will remain on loan until the D2 season concludes later this year, giving him an invaluable chance to gain much-needed experience.
MLSsoccer.com: How has your experience with the Rowdies been so far?
Lambo: The experience here has obviously been different for me. I’ve never gone on loan before. Playing in MLS the last two years and then going to Division Two this year, it’s been a really good experience for me as far as playing with a different team, a different style of play, different goalkeeping and coaching styles. It’s been kind of cool coming back down to Tampa just because I lived in Bradenton for two and a half years with Residency. Some of my old friends I know, I’ve been hanging out with them. I’m not the biggest fan of the weather in Tampa, but there are definitely worse places to go.
MLSsoccer.com: Did you think you would play more in Tampa than you have?
Lambo: So far I’ve played in two Open Cup games and in two regular season games, which is more in three months than I’ve had in two years with Dallas. It’s not as much as I hoped for, but it’s a long season and there are still plenty of games to be played.
MLSsoccer.com: What was it like to come back with a different team and play in Dallas like you guys did in June for that Open Cup match?
Lambo: It was good. It was cool—I got to catch up with some friends before and after the game. I actually played Dallas Cup on those fields, so I was familiar with where they were. It was kind of a home crowd for me personally.
MLSsoccer.com: Which of your FCD teammates do you stay in closest contact with?
Lambo: I talk with Kyle Davies a lot either online or via text message. I’ll talk with Anthony Wallace. I’ve exchanged text messages with Jeff Cunningham a few times. Nothing against anyone else, but I’m terrible about keeping up with people. Most of it is with Kyle asking how the team is doing and things like that.
MLSsoccer.com: How much interaction have you had with the coaching staff?
Lambo: I’ve been keeping in touch with Drew Keeshan, our goalkeeping coach. He’s actually come and watched me play twice. He watched me in that Dallas game and drove down to Austin when I played them down there. We’ve exchanged text messages. He asks me how I’m doing and if there is anything he can help me out with. It’s good to know they haven’t completely forgotten about me.
MLSsoccer.com: And have you been keeping up with how the team is doing?
Lambo: Yeah, I have an account so I can watch the MLS package online. Every chance I get to watch the games, I do—and if I can’t watch the games, then I’ll definitely watch the highlights.
MLSsoccer.com: What is the biggest difference you’ve noticed between the USSF D2 and MLS?
Lambo: I guess the biggest difference for me personally would be the goalkeeping coach. Drew Keeshan, he does his homework and he studies the game really well. Nothing against our goalkeeping coach here, but it’s just very different. It’s a very old-school style of training, which works for some people. That’s probably been the biggest difference here.
MLSsoccer.com: How do you think this experience will benefit you the most when you do head back to Frisco?
Lambo: I think the experience [will be benefit me]. Even though I’m not getting as many games, I’m still consistently the backup, so I’m playing a lot during the week in training. I’m constantly getting in small-sided games and when we do play 11-v-11 scrimmages. I’m getting games there. With this team, it’s a very young team. It calls for me to be more of a leader on the field as far as communication. It’s causing me to step up quite a bit, and when I get back to Dallas, I think I’m going to have a new confidence with those guys and have more confidence in my ability. I’m not going to allow them to see me as just a 19-year-old, but just as a goalkeeper.
WATCH: Second 2 None: Josh Lambo