Early in his Real Salt Lake career, Diego Luna knew he was missing something in his life, so he got a second job.

Luna talks about his unique experience in the first episode of Season 2 of “Breakaway” on Apple TV’s MLS Season Pass.

In the episode, which was released June 13, Luna shared his experience with therapy and explained why he chose to work at a coffee shop despite being a professional soccer player.

“When I moved to Utah, I came here, and I was kind of a loner. I didn’t really like to hang out with people, was very to myself,” he said. “A month in of being here and training and you know, not really having much to do, being on my own, I thought about what’s needed in my life to become more of an all-around person. And I think my social skills were lacking.”

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Why Diego Luna got a job at a coffee shop

Luna said most people would likely think going out and going to parties would help him with his social skills, but “that just wasn’t my thing,” he said. For him, the next best thing was a job.

“I went through the whole double interview. I put my resume in, resume with ‘professional soccer player,’” he said. “They hired me. It was a super fun experience to work on my social skills and to keep conversations going, to meet new people and kind of see what a cup of coffee in the midday does for someone.”

During the episode, Luna and the film crew went through the drive-thru of a local Dutch Bros. There, he admitted that starting conversations was the hardest part for him, and he pointed out how the employees that were taking his order were successfully doing that.

“Getting that job at the coffee shop to help me outside of soccer, right, to help me speak with people and be more vocal and be more active in conversations with people, I think has definitely helped build my confidence outside of soccer,” he said. “But it also leads to on the field. You’re not shy. You’re not afraid of anything. So, to be able to play like yourself and be yourself is something I think is very important, and being confident with it, I think is one of the most important things to be successful in this career.”

Luna said he isn’t going to be the captain of a team or a vocal team leader, but he has learned to contribute to the locker room in other ways, like going out of his way “to say a little joke to someone just to ease the pressure when everyone’s so tense.”

What Diego Luna said about mental health

In his “Breakaway” episode, Luna also opened up about his mental health. He started seeing a therapist and has already seen the benefits from that on the pitch, he said.

“The Monday before I scored my first goal against Chicago, I started with a therapist,” he said. “I don’t think it’s a coincidence that my first week of having it, after my first session with my therapist, that I score my first goal.”

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The benefits have continued for Luna. After two assists in Wednesday’s victory, Luna became the youngest player in Real Salt Lake history with 20 career goal contributions, the team shared on X Thursday.

As part of his therapy, Luna keeps a notebook of “everything we’ve been working on” with his therapist. He has notes on positive affirmations he can say to himself and breathing exercises and power poses he can try.

“I think from there it’s just been good, like I’ve felt better. I’ve been able to just be myself, enjoy the game more. I think that notebook is going to continue to help me,” he said.

He also shared some of his affirmations, including the following:

  • “I am successful.”
  • “I am talented.”
  • “I have what it takes to create the life I want.”
  • “I’m healthy and strong.”
  • “Everything always works out for the best.”
  • “I’m healing all areas of my life.”
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