Interview: Adrien Hunou (Angers SCO) talks about his experience in MLS (Minnesota) for Eurosport


Adrien Hunou, you arrived in Angers this summer from Minnesota (MLS). How did your integration go?

Adrian Hunou : « Perfectly, it’s working very well. The team has changed a lot so inevitably, there are automatisms to find. But we have done a good preparation. The sequence of matches allows us to move forward. I am very happy with to be here, to find France and Ligue 1. In Angers, there is a good group which lives very well, so that helps.

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In the summer of 2019, Angers was interested in your profile but you ultimately stayed in Rennes. Why did you finally join the SCO three years later?

ah : « I simply didn’t really have any hits. I was in Rennes and there was no question of me leaving. We hear a lot of things during the transfer window and there it was completely false. »

What are your personal goals for this new season?

ah : « I hope to chain the matches and make my contribution to the building of the SCO. But above all, the idea is to have fun on the field. »

On a human level, this experience forged me

Has your one-year experience in the United States (2021-2022) made you a different player from the one who played in Rennes?

ah : « Obviously this experience made me grow. On a human level, it also forged me. Sportingly, I discovered a more physical championship there. I return to an age (28 years old) where I feel ready to find this Ligue 1 that I know very well. »

When you left in April 2021, was your plan to try the adventure for a year or over several seasons?

ah : « The idea was to sign up for the long term. When you sign for three years, it’s to mark the club in quotation marks and achieve its objectives. After that it happened like that. Football is made of opportunities , whether it was when I left for the United States or when I had the opportunity to return to France in Angers. »

You left at 26 in MLS. Were you afraid of being a little forgotten in a less publicized championship?

ah : « Not at all, even if I knew that it was a less watched championship, wrongly. My choice was above all sporting and human. I am very happy with it, I do not regret this departure at all. During my last season in Rennes (2020-21), I played a little less. I had the feeling of having experienced a bit of everything: the Champions League, the Europa League and the victory in the Coupe de France, which was long awaited by the fans and the club. For me, it was the right moment to leave because I still had this label of « club-trained player » and I wanted to get away from it. That’s when I I had this opportunity in MLS, which was difficult to refuse. I had discussed it a lot with Romain Alessandrini (note: ex-LA Galaxy player) and this challenge tempted me. I knew that it was a championship which was developing very, very well and it will be even more the case in the coming seasons. »

Adrien Hunou during the match between Minnesota and Los Angeles FC in October 2021.

Credit: Getty Images

What were your first impressions upon arriving in Minnesota?

ah : « Very good. The Americans are very open and very meticulous too. It’s another approach. I find that it’s a little less tactical than in France, but it’s much more in energy and physical There are also plenty of technically fine South American players. »

In everyday life, the change must also have been impressive…

ah « The American quality of life is great, and I liked the mentality of the people there. It was the American dream, the excess. I also had the chance to attend other sporting events. With my teammates, we also had « Graduation parties », it was really the American side that we see in the films. And it’s true that it was great. »

What great players have you met on American lawns?

ah : « I met quite a few, especially Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) or Chicharito (Javier Hernandez, Los Angeles Galaxy). It was interesting to confront them or players who are not necessarily known in France In Minnesota for example, the Argentinian Emanuel Reynoso was very good, not to mention the French players present in this championship.

With the 2026 World Cup, the Americans want to have a good showcase

In the life of a professional footballer, is it the same requirement as in Ligue 1?

ah : « Ah yes completely. The clubs, the infrastructure, the enthusiasm or the stadiums, it’s incredible, you have to experience it to realize it. There is everything to succeed in MLS. »

How do Americans experience MLS?

ah : « Often the stadiums are full and the atmosphere is different depending on where you are going to play. In California, there is a very Mexican side in quotes, while in Dallas you could see a lot of supporters with hats. In Minnesota, after the victories, to commune with the supporters, we sang “Wonderwall (note: from Oasis). The atmosphere in MLS has nothing to envy to what I had known before in Ligue 1. There is everything to feel good there. »

Do you think the United States will be able to get closer to the best countries in the world in the future?

ah : « We will see, only the future will tell us. In any case, there is everything there to progress and work on. American clubs are recruiting younger and younger players. Previously, we were more on profiles in end of career. It shows that MLS wants to take a step forward. We feel that American football, the NBA, baseball and hockey remain the flagship sports, but with the 2026 World Cup, they want to have a good showcase.

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