Lebo Moloto - Swope Park Rangers vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 - May 5, 2017

Postgame Quotes: Swope Park Rangers 3-1 Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2

Swope Park Rangers head coach Nikola Popovic

Thoughts on his team’s performance…

There is an idea. There is an identity. There is a model which we have to respect. And it’s not about winning at all costs. It’s winning according to why I am here. Tonight was very good. It was according to the model that we want to play and that we want to implement in this club. Of course, changing a model is going to take time. This is very, very demanding.

On the movement of players in the lineup…

We are exposing them to different situations, to see how they react and to see if they are capable.

On the progress of the club…

You want to win. But the difference here is it’s not at all costs. It’s not putting everybody back and trying to go and counter attack. No, it’s according to an idea. So we are going to fight and try to do that during the season.

Swope Park Rangers forward Nansel Selbol

On his goal…

I started moving because I knew Kevin was going to play it because he was facing me. When I got the ball, the goalkeeper was out and actually, I wanted to chip the ball. But I was like, ‘No, I’m not going to take that risk.’ So I took him to the side and played the ball in the net.

On the team’s form…

Right now, the standard of the team is really, really high because everyone is working because we have so many players. We are really, really working hard. As a team, we try to keep the ball to make the other team run and we counter attack every chance we get.

On making the most of an opportunity…

We have a lot of good players. When you get the opportunity to play, you have to give it all that you have. Everyone is working. Once you come in, (Nikola Popovic) knows you’re going to help the team. He knows what you can do. So he believes in everyone.

Swope Park Rangers forward Lebo Moloto

On his goal…

Credit must go to Colton Storm because it was a good ball. It’s a good feeling to get my first goal and my first assist. I’m glad to help the team get three points.

On the team’s chemistry…

We’re lucky enough to have coaches that put everyone on the same page. When someone comes in, it’s easy for them to adapt. I think credit must go to the coaches for always making sure that we’re on the same page. Everybody knows what’s expected of them individually and as the team as a whole.

On the build-ups that led to goals…

We are a possession type of team. We try to keep the ball. All the goals that we score are good goals. They’re goals that we create. Pass and move, keep the ball on the ground. It’s a good win especially after the tough losses away so it’s good to get back on track.

On playing as a false 9…

The coaches talked to me at the beginning of the week and said, ‘Hey, I think we’re going to put you as a false 9.’ I said, ‘Yeah, I’ll do it.’ If everybody on the team is on the same page, it makes things easy. Like tonight, everybody was on the same page. It helped me to adapt. If we’re not on the same page, then it makes it difficult. I know that I’m not a typical No. 9. On the assist that I got, I tried to check in for the ball as a No. 10. I got turned and made a pass. Belmar was smart enough to see the space and got behind them. 

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 head coach Rich Fagan

Thoughts on the match…

I thought we had a sluggish start to the game. It took us a little while to find our feet and that allowed them momentum. From there, we became a little bit desperate in the first half. At halftime, although I was disappointed, I focused on the things that I thought we needed to do to be better. I would say in the second half they were much better.

On his adjustments in the second half…

We weren’t good enough in our press in the first half. When Gloire (Amanda) came on, we were a little bit more consistent and a little bit more aggressive. Our shape behind Gloire was a little bit better which allowed us to press higher up the park. That was really the biggest reason we didn’t give away as many opportunities in the second half.

On the youthfulness of his squad…

There were as many as six players who were with the U-18’s last year, which is great. We want to do that as a club. We want to promote young players. To be honest, I thought they were good. I was pleased enough with their performance. They’re growing and they’re learning.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2 captain Sem de Wit

Thoughts on the match…

First half, I think we threw it away with three easy goals we gave them. Second half, we did our jobs better. They didn’t score, we got one. I think we deserved some more goals. At the end of the first half, we had a couple good chances. How you start is everything. Three goals down against a good team is hard to come back. You see that we couldn’t come back. You have to go in the locker room and just look at yourself in the mirror and see where it all started and where it could have gone better. That’s what we should do now.

On the second half performance…

We kept the ball better in the second half. You saw how easy we gave it away in the first half, we couldn’t even connect one or two passes. Against a good team, that’s going to be very hard to play against them.

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