Paulo Nagamura vs. Louisville City FC - July 2, 2021

Sporting Kansas City II head coach Paulo Nagamura

Thoughts on the game...
I think in the first half, despite giving up a soft goal, we talked about how we wanted to play from the back at the start of this game and it's disappointing to concede a goal like that out of our giveaway. But the guys fought back and got one with Rojay (Smith) right after and for the most part I think in the first half we were good. We were defensively solid, didn't let Louisville create anything and I was pleased with the way that we defended in the first half. We played against a very good team, a team that is going to be fighting at the end of the year for sure to play in the playoffs and be a top team in the USL so to have a half like that and then to come back not able to sustain that consistency for 90 minutes was disappointing. Of course we knew that they were going to push harder, they're going to send guys forward, we needed to step up our game defensively and we didn't do that. Overall I think the first half was positive, disappointing with the score but like I said, we played against a very good team and we knew it was going to be a difficult game.

On the team's never-say-die attitude having staged multiple late fightback attempts this season...
I think the guys have been good in being resilient and not giving back and not put their head down whatever the score is. We've shown that a couple of games this year and again, we came back against a good team, we tied the game, we put ourselves in a good position to fight for points in the game and some let-offs, some plays that we don't defend or we don't do what we're supposed to do and we get punished. It's been kind of the story of these first 13 games of the year. We have some very good defensive moments but we are a team right now that today, against a good team, those teams will punish you. But I take a lot of positives from this game and we move on.

On playing a mostly complete game but suffer a short spell where the team concedes multiple goals...
I think especially the defending part in the first half, that's definitely a positive from the game. I think we struggled a little bit to build out of the back, out decision-making wasn't the right ones in the first half. We tried to address that, we come back in the second half and we have a little bit more of the ball, especially at the beginning we have a chance to go at the defense when the game was still 1-1 and we didn't take advantage of that. It has to be a 90-minute performance against teams like this, it has to be a 90-minute performance to get points and we'll learn, we'll assess the team again, we'll watch it back, we'll correct the mistakes and we'll keep looking forward and try to improve every time we step on the field.

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