Felipe Hernandez vs. Atlanta United 2 - May 19, 2019
Nick Smith

SPRvATL Quotes: "I think it was a step in the right direction"

Swope Park Rangers Head Coach Paulo Nagamura

Thoughts on the game:
“It was an open game, I would say it was an even game – a game that could go either way. We could steal the three points, they could’ve had the three points as well so I think it was an even game where you cannot say ‘this team outplayed the other’. Open game, we had our chances to finish, we didn’t take it, they had their chances, they didn’t take it. At the end of the day I think it was a very even game and I was happy with the defensive performance, especially the way that we played against Nashville last week, I think it was a step in the right direction. The guys were much tougher to play against, more competitive and on that aspect I think it was a step in the right direction.”

On dealing with injuries and national call-ups across the club:
“It’s a snowball effect, that’s good because we’re very connected to the first team and it’s bad when injuries come and that affects all of us. It’s part of our jobs and I don’t think this is any excuse, that’s something that we have to deal with and I’d say that the guys who were stepping in today did a decent job. I was very pleased with Kaveh (Rad) playing as a centerback, to be in his first professional soccer game I think he did very well, he handled himself really well. Definitely there’s a lot of positives from this game going forward.”

On having the opportunity to see the younger players step up:
“You’ve seen it enough, the Academy players will have opportunities, they will have chances, they will have opportunities to shine if I can say that. Like I said before, with the connection with the first team and with the Academy being so close right now, that allows those players to have an opportunity and I think Kaveh (Rad) today did really well and really took his opportunity the best way he could. He had a solid game in the back, I think he made great decisions on the ball, I was really pleased with his performance today. It’s about that and guys, at the end of the day, the Academy guys, that’s what they want. You have to have opportunities to show yourself and see if you can play at the next level.”

Swope Park Rangers Goalkeeper John Pulskamp

On being new to the team:
“Second performance with the guys, just happy to get another full 90, get another start. I’ve been meshing well with the guys. It’s been really good integrating with the group. I’m happy to have gotten points in the two starts I’ve had this far. Just going to carry this on for the rest of the week. We’ve got a busy week. It’s good to get a point.”

Thoughts on the match:
“I thought this was definitely a performance that, maybe not deserved, but definitely could have gotten three points. It was there. There were moments where it could have gone either way, but I think we definitely had a good performance and we should be happy about it.”

On knowing his defenders:
“In training you kind of get to know everybody and get to know everybody’s tendencies. No matter who’s in front of you, for the most part, it’s pretty much the same game. A couple of guys have a few different things about them that you pick up and adjust accordingly. But, for the most part it doesn’t really matter who’s in front for me.”

Swope Park Rangers Midfielder Felipe Hernandez

On his current goalscoring streak:
“It feels good. Obviously last year I had a few but it feels good to be on track this year.”

On the team finding its form:
“It’s a young team. We have a lot to work from. We just have to keep working, get results, and it will all come.”

On taking on leadership roles:
“I have to take that leadership spot, but there’s a lot of young academy guys, so yeah, I have to take on that leadership spot.”