When Utica City FC traded team MVP Slavisa Ubiparipovic to the San Diego Sockers during the summer, many fans were left confused, upset, and shocked. Then they met Christhian Segura and all of those feelings sort of went away.

Segura, who came the other way in the deal, has become a household name in Utica and is one of the league’s most electrifying midfielders. With his shoot-first-ask-questions-later approach, he has generated a team-high 22 goals and 31 points on the season so far, and each one has felt more exciting and skillful than the last.

Nicknamed The Magician, Segura has shown plenty of his tricks this season for the home crowd in Utica. But as Utica City embarks on a two-game trip to take on Soles de Sonora this weekend, Segura will pull a few more tricks from his sleeve for his favorite audience. And, no, one of them is not to saw his assistant in half.

When Segura leads the team into his hometown of Sonora on Saturday and Sunday, he’ll be playing in front of dozens of family and friends who will be out in droves to support Utica City’s most exciting player. Segura also spent two seasons from 2016-18 with Soles de Sonora, earning 37 goals in his career with the Suns.

“It’s always a great emotion to go back home to play in front of my family and the team I played for three years,” he said.

When he packs for the trip, his baggage might be oversized and a little more expensive than the rest of the team, as the 28 year old purchased nearly 40 team shirts to take down for those who will be in attendance to support UCFC. It might even sound and feel like a home game for the club. And if it feels like a home game, then fans can expect the best out of Segura, who, like many on the team, is fueled by the passionate supporters who back the club in Utica. 

“The fans are amazing here,” Segura said with a smile. “I don’t think there’s anywhere else in the league that has the support we do. It’s very good to play here. They are wonderful supporters and they are my family now and it helps me.”

Leaving a winter storm watch and heading to Sonora will allow Segura to return to the familiar feeling of mid-80’s weather and sunshine. He has spent his whole career in warm climates with many Spanish speakers and has been happy that the frigid Central New York winter and adjustments to his new team hasn’t affected his game at all.

“I thought the cold would affect me differently,” he said through his translator, Sebastian. “But we’re definitely warming up. The biggest difference is the Spanish. I’ve had a lot of help translating with Moises (Gonzalez), Sebastian, and Ricardo (Diegues).”

With two big games at stake this weekend, it’s obvious that Segura will be one of the players to watch in his homecoming. And while the emotions will be extremely high playing in front of his family, friends, and against his former team, he understands his job is a simple one.

“I have to defend the Utica shield.”