Loan watch special - Grant relishing Chicago chance
24 June 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
On-loan midfielder Grant Ward has targeted more goals after opening his account for Chicago Fire.
The versatile 19-year-old is currently enjoying a productive spell with the MLS giants and notched his first senior strike in their 2-1 US Open Cup win against Pittsburgh Riverhounds last week.
That match, played at Fire’s Toyota Park home in Bridgeview, Illinois, marked the youngster’s fourth consecutive start after making his debut off the bench in last month’s domestic trip to Columbus Crew.
And he says his recent run in the side – coupled with that goal against Pittsburgh – has left him keen to further his development on the other side of the Atlantic.
“I’m really enjoying it here,” said Grant, whose spell with Fire was recently extended until December 31.
“I went on as a sub against Columbus Crew for my debut and it was a great experience, but I’d probably say my favourite moment so far was last week in the US Open Cup because of the goal I scored.
“I had been looking forward to playing because I was out with a foot injury for a while, so to get the chance to play in the different stadiums in front of all the fans in the top league in America is a great opportunity for me. Hopefully I can push on and get some more goals now.”
Grant’s first start came in a 1-1 draw with LA Galaxy on June 1, with ex-Spur Robbie Keane among the players lining up against him.
And while the midfielder, who made eight appearances for our Development Squad in 2013-14, hasn’t been surprised by the high standards in the MLS, he admitted he’s been taken aback by the amount of travelling in the league.
“It was a good experience to play against players like Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane when we played Galaxy,” he said.
“We do spend a lot of time travelling around, though. I didn’t know this to begin with, but we travel to all the away games on flights. There are no games that are close enough that you can take a bus or a coach so that means you spend a lot of time travelling by plane.”
With another US Open Cup tie against Crew on the way on Wednesday night before the club’s MLS campaign resumes against Toronto FC next week, Grant says he’s relishing his time at Toyota Park and is ready to work hard for the team wherever deployed by Head Coach Frank Yallop.
“I’ve been playing on the right wing but the coach doesn’t mind me coming inside,” he added. “I can play in midfield as well and sometimes I’ll tuck in so the full-back has space around the outside.
“We try and keep the ball on the floor and it’s like the Tottenham style in the way we try and play.
“Being here is an achievement for me early in my career and now I’ll try and push on. I was very happy to get my first goal last week. It gets you up and running and hopefully I can get a few more now.”
We will travel to play Chicago Fire on July 26 as part of our summer tour of the USA and Canada. See our dedicated Tour section for more information.