Felipe Hernandez vs. San Antonio FC - September 17, 2017
Nick Smith

Postgame quotes: Swope Park Rangers 5-2 San Antonio FC

Swope Park Rangers head coach Nikola Popovic

Thoughts on his team's performance this season...

If you look at what was done last year, everybody was speaking about Swope Park and the players of Swope Park. We still have five games ahead of us, but we have already made the same number of points as last year and we have already put four players in the first team. I think it's not bad.

Thoughts on the game...

I think the game was enjoyable for everybody who came here to Swope Park to watch a good match between two very good teams, perhaps the best who play football in the USL. Of course, the Monarchs and Reno in our conference are also very good, but it was it was an enjoyable game to watch.

On his team's style of play...

Yes, we want to play in a beautiful way. For us, it's not only trying to score goals in the games, but also to try to play a beautiful game for the people in the stands. I think today that was the case. We lost a little bit of our concentration in the first five minutes of the first half. But in the second half the players were fantastic. I'm very proud of them.

On scoring five goals...

You have understand that this team of San Antonio is a team who is very difficult to play against because in a split second they can counter you and this is how they play. So you have to be very accurate, not risking a lot of passes. In the second half, I think the way we judged our passes were much more accurate, much more intelligent. That's why we ended up winning by this big margin.

On having two more players sign with Sporting KC...

This is our title. Whenever a Swope Park player signs with the first team of Sporting Kansas City, for us it's a title. For us, we're very proud of them. It's very enjoyable to be a part of this team, who are producing great football and great players for the first team.

Swope Park Rangers midfielder Felipe Hernandez

On his goal off a free kick...

The goalie was in the middle. He gave me a lot of space. So I saw the far post was wide open, so I buried it there. Luckily he cheated one way and the far post was wide open.

On his first professional season...

I'm trying to get the most out of the playing time. If it's five minutes, 10 minutes or 90 minutes, I just want to make the most of it.

Swope Park Rangers forward Max Rugova

On his first pro goal...

I just saw the ball coming down the line, just like in practice. I was following in behind to be there and to hit it into the net.

On his performance...

I've been playing better and better throughout the season. I'm getting my opportunities now. I'm just trying to make the most of them.

On his next step with SPR...

Just getting more time, hopefully. Get more playing time and hopefully score some more goals to help the team.

Swope Park Rangers forward Nansel Selbol

Thoughts on the game...

For me, it was fun. It was fun because we played the way we should play and we got good results.

On his second goal of the game...

Normally in practice, our coach says if somebody's at the first post then we should try to be at the PK spot and the far post. When (Tyler Pasher) took the ball, at first I was at the first post and then when I saw him touch the ball inside so I knew I had to leave that spot. So I ran back to the PK spot and the ball came right there.

On the first half of play...

We were playing good when we scored the PK. And then we switched off for five minutes and they got a goal back. But right before the first half, when we got the goal, everything changed because we played different.

On the team's final stretch of games...

Hopefully we'll get better and better. Especially in the playoffs, hopefully we make it to the finals this year again.

On beating San Antonio for the first time this year...

We knew they were going to come here and play hard. So we have to come play hard too, because of the spot we're in now. We don't want to go down. We just want to go up. So we came out hard too.

Swope Park Rangers forward Kharlton Belmar

On his goal...

It was another one of those training ground goals. Something Nikola has really been trying to engrave in our heads is making those runs off the ball. Kevin got the ball facing forward, I made a good run and the ball squeezed through.

On his 11 goals this season...

I think that's a testament to what we’re doing at the club in general. The system that we're working with and the plays that we’re trying to incorporate into our game are coming off and they're really hard to defend.

On beating San Antonio...

This was a massive game. The scoreline was probably bigger than what we were going for, but it was a crucial three points and we knew we had to come out here on top of our game to get it. San Antonio is one of the best teams in the league, if not the best right now judging on their form. We knew this was a big one and we needed it. We came out and got the job done.

On signing with Sporting KC...

It's just one of those things where you have a good season and they reward you for it. The work just begins again. I've got to keep my head down, keep grinding, and keep working to hopefully get another opportunity here soon.

On the coaching staff's expectations for him...
I've gotten feedback from all the staff in general and  they want me to keep working hard, scoring goals, and working on my positioning. That's top to bottom every day in Swope training, for first team or not. That's something that everybody's harping on me. I'm just trying to soak in what I can, take notes from whomever I can, continue to learn and continue to grow.
 
On the player pipeline from Academy to SPR to SKC...

It's awesome to see the Academy kids coming in and training with Swope. And then SPR guys getting to train with the first team. Everybody's on the same page. That fluidity is hard to come by in this country right now. That's a testament to what this club is doing. They're on top of it.

San Antonio FC Head Coach Darren Powell

On the result...
First and foremost, Swope played very well today. Our guys will look at the tape from today and learn from that experience and prepare ourselves for next weekend. It's been a few games on the road now so it will be exciting to get back to our home field.

On returning to Toyota Field after the recent road trip...
We have been away from Toyota Field for a while, so it will be good to get our players back in their own beds and back in their routines so we can get ready to deliver a good performance on Saturday night.

San Antonio FC midfielder Michael Reed

On the takeaways from today's match...
Attention to detail is something we need to prioritize. Obviously, we are in the playoffs, but we still have a lot of work to do. Hats off to Swope for punishing us when they had the chances, and it goes on us to put more attention to detail and preventing those goals and mistakes.

On the difficulties of playing on the road...
It's always hard on the road because of the other team's fans and the environment that you're not comfortable with or used to, so being at home guys can rest in their own beds and not have to worry about all the travel.

On the results from the recent road trip...
We won, we tied, we lost. There have been by far worse results, but road games are hard and are hard for a reason. So, to get the results we did is a victory for us and because of the results on the road we put ourselves in a better position going forward.

San Antonio FC midfielder Omar Gordon

On scoring his first goal for the club...

It's a great feeling. Even though we lost, it's always a good feeling to get a goal especially my first for the club. I'm confident to score more now that I have this feeling of scoring a goal.

On returning home after the road trip...

We have to go back to the drawing board. It's one game at a time. You're going to have good games, you're going to have bad games. Today was our bad game. We have to put it past us and go focus on the game that we have at home.

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