Tyler Blackwood - Swope Park Rangers vs. San Antonio FC - September 19, 2018
Nick Smith

#SPRvSA Quotes: "Tonight was a huge performance by the guys on both sides of the ball"

Swope Park Rangers head coach Paulo Nagamura

On the team’s mentality…

We knew that this was going to be a final just because of where we were in the standings and where they were. We knew that we needed to come out strong right off the bat and have a good game. I think they responded really well. They came out ready to play. They were very solid in the back. Offensively, we were just not sharp enough in the first half. But we got that sorted in the second half and fortunately we scored two good goals. 

On preparing for Saturday...

First, we have to be focused because of the short turnaround. We have three days until we play the next game. It’s going to be all about recovery and showing video. It’s another important game. It’s a game that we need to go there and try to get some points, as well, because the standings are really tight right now. It’s going to be another difficult one. Tulsa is a tough place to play but we’re looking forward now to going there after getting these three points tonight.

On the play of Hadji Barry…

He is doing really well lately. Not many guys know, but he was sick in the last couple of days. He was struggling. He’s a brave kid. It’s not about luck that he’s doing well. I’m very happy that he has achieved something like that in his career, but I always like to praise the team. If Tyler doesn’t play him a good ball, he doesn’t score. I’m happy for Hadji and I’m happy for his record. But most importantly tonight was a huge performance by the guys on both sides of the ball and getting the three points.

Swope Park Rangers forward Tyler Blackwood

On his performance…

It’s good. It’s always good when you’re playing up top to provide something like a goal and an assist. I was happy with the assist but I’m excited I could get a goal. 

On bouncing back from the loss on Saturday…

It was a quick turnaround obviously from Saturday. We’ve obviously played San Antonio before. We did well away. We watched tape on that and took what we did well and what we didn’t do so well and used it. That worked again.

On carrying momentum to Tulsa…

A million percent. It’s always a weird one when you’re playing against a team that doesn’t look like they’re going to make the playoffs. You don’t really know what to expect and especially away. Like (Paulo Nagamura) has been saying, every game right now is like a final. I think we’re three for four since he’s been saying that so we’ve won three finals. We don’t like losing that one so we’ll try to get another championship on Saturday. 

Swope Park Rangers forward Hadji Barry

On the victory…

Relief, especially after going into halftime 0-0. We know we were in the game. We just had to stay patient. In the first half, we had a couple of chances we could have put away. Belmar had a nice shot and the keeper made a save. We went into halftime and the coach told us just to keep playing the way we were playing and stay patient and the goal will come. We finally got that breakthrough right in the beginning of the first half and that put us back to our gameplan.

On setting the USL record for goals in seven straight games…

What record? Everybody has been talking about it. I’m glad I got over that. I’m happy. It’s all thanks to my teammates, the staff, my coaches, everybody involved. They push me everyday in training to come out here and perform the way I’ve been doing lately, scoring for my team. Most importantly, like I always say, is to get the three points. That was good. 

On his recent illness…

I don’t want that to be an excuse. Everybody is kind of feeling whatever is going around. I know my team needed me. It’s all mental. I’m sick, whatever. I wanted to come out here and give my team everything. I gave whatever I could give and then the coaching staff appreciate that. I’m lucky I got the goal. It was very good. 

San Antonio FC head coach Darren Powell

Thoughts on the game…

Obviously, we’re a bit disappointed by the result of the game. It was a fairly even game. It was always going to be a case of the first goal is so valuable. Obviously, Swope got that first goal. We were a little bit disappointed in our locker in how that was conceded. And then we have to try and get one back and we open ourselves up a little bit more than we would do normally. That led to their second goal as opposed to our equalizer. Now we have such a short turnaround. All eyes are onto Saturday. We have a significant game.

On improvements for Saturday…

There are many aspects we need to improve upon. The most important thing we need to focus on now is regrouping and pulling together over the next couple of days to be ready for Saturday night and to be fresh on Saturday evening.

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