Adam Waterson is yet another example of talented Australians on the international sports scene. The one-time Western Sydney Wanderers strength and conditioning coach moved stateside to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s MLS outfit LA Galaxy.
What's been your perception of the MLS versus the A-League?
MLS is a very good standard league. It’s about 10 years older than the A-League and is improving every year. The MLS currently has 24 teams and this is growing.
A lot of the "marquee" players that are joining teams in MLS now are world-class players in their prime.
In saying this I really do believe that the top three or four teams in the A-League could compete well in the MLS. The A-League is a strong league, I just hope it continues to grow with more teams and the salary cap continues to increase to allow even more quality to come in.
The work ethic of the Australian players I’ve been involved with was always first class.
Both the MLS and A-League have a lot of travel, with MLS games across the east coast and west coast. Time zone changes are also apparent in both leagues when on the road, so I do believe there is a lot of similarities.
The facilities here in LA are excellent, players are looked after very well. Each team in the MLS is allowed seven to eight foreign players, and this also improves the standard of the league.
At LA Galaxy, we are extremely well resourced. We have a strong medical and performance team. We have access to some fantastic technology and all of this helps us in various ways in looking after our athletes and improving their physical performance as best possible.
This is where the A-League needs to improve.
Australia is a world leader in medical, sports science and strength and conditioning but during my time in the A-League, the fitness coach was forced to wear many hats. It’s not uncommon for the S&C coach to also act as the sports scientist, nutritionist, psychologist, which over time is not sustainable.
I know that some clubs have recently invested into their backroom staff a lot more recently and I am sure that this will continue to improve as new clubs enter the league in Australia.
Obvious question: Zlatan, how would you describe working with the big man?
Zlatan demands a lot from players in training. He has played at many of the world’s biggest and best clubs so he expects a certain level of quality from those around him. He certainly helps raise the intensity in training.
Some of the things he does on the pitch and in the gym leave you in awe.
He is a very witty man, I enjoy the banter he brings to the group. I have quite a good working relationship with him, I just wish he would wear his GPS (haha).
One word to describe living in LA?
I love all sports so being able to on any night of the week attend or watch either an NBA, MLB, NHL, NFL or College game is quality!
You don’t get that back in Oz.