Charleston Battery striker Aidan Apodaca answered our questions this week. 2022 is his first season with the Black and Yellow after time with the Bethlehem Steel, Reno 1968, El Paso Locomotive and Orange County SC, the latter of which he won the USL Championship title with in 2021. Read on for his answers…
BYP: How are you adapting to life in the east?
AA: It’s been really great! A lot different from southern California, but the weather is great, the scenery is beautiful. I look out while I’m going over the bridge every day, or almost every day, and think that I don’t really want to leave. Getting used to the humidity has been tough. And the mosquitoes!
BYP: Building on that, you were a part of the team that won the league last year… Things have been tough for everyone so far this year. Has it been tough to focus on what you need to do to help the team improve or is that a driving force for you personally?
AA: I don’t think it really has an effect on focus. You know, this is our job, to come in and stay prepared and stay engaged. I think it really pushes us on, because I think a lot of the guys in the locker room all feel like we’re a good team, so really pushing on and taking [each game] one by one is really what we’ve been doing.
BYP: You’ve gotten minutes both as a starter and off the bench so far. Obviously you want to be starting games but what do you think you bring to the game as a sub?
AA: Throughout my career, I’ve always done a bit of both. So I have experience coming in off the bench and starting games. So I know coming in off the bench, sometimes the situation is a little more dire, so you try to do what you can to make an impact really fast, so you don’t get that time to find yourself in the game and you try to come in and make an impact.
BYP: Do you prefer playing off someone as you have in this system or leading the line? Does it take a little bit of weight off your shoulders as part of a pair?
Honestly, I don’t mind either. Whatever the team asks for. I have experience doing both, but for our system I enjoy working with two or three up top and kind of working off of them.
BYP: How have you settled into the team? Have you bonded with any of the lads in particular? One of our previous interviews said you like to fish, is Charleston a good spot for that?
AA: All of them. I think we’ve got a really great group of guys in the locker room, and there’s not really any huge personalities where people are abrasive. I think we all mesh together really well and you know… The faces always change but it’s always the same with this group and that’s always huge in a locker room.
So what’s it like reuniting with your best friend AJ (Paterson)?
AA: It’s really great. We’re locker mates now, so it’s always funny joking around before or after practice with AJ.
Where did you guys play together?
AA: Bethlehem Steel, [we were] roommates.
I haven’t been able to fish yet, I don’t have the stuff for saltwater , most of my stuff in California was freshwater… I keep telling the guys I want to go, but I haven’t yet. I’ve been mostly playing Golf.
So who’s the best golfer on the team?
Hmmmm…. (Laughs) I would probably say me!
A lot of people have said that. Did you play growing up?
No, honestly, I’ve only been playing for about two years, I’ve just been playing a lot!
So is it something you do in the offseason, or something you did in College?
Yeah, in the offseason. That’s when I really get the golf in, but everywhere you go you find teammates that golf, so it’s pretty cool.
We’d like to thank Aidan for his time. The Battery next face San Antonio FC away from home on July 2nd at 9PM. You can stream the game on ESPN+.
TOP IMAGE: AIDAN APODACA CHESTS A BALL DOWN AGAINST INDY XI. ROSS ALMERS PHOTOGRAPHY PHOTO