SPRvMEM Quotes: "I am very pleased with how the young guys performed tonight"

Swope Park Rangers head coach Paulo Nagamura

On the overall performance of the team…

It’s frustrating because the guys played well. They moved the ball around well and balanced their defense. They possessed with purpose, went forward and created chances. They were good, man, and I was pleased with the way they played. To concede two goals from set pieces is frustrating. Overall it was a positive performance from the guys. We had a very young group, and people don’t realize how young we are. We have a 17-year-old in the midfield, an 18-year-old in defense and Sean Karani, who had his first professional start on the wing and did really well, is 18. I see a lot of positives—a lot more positives than negatives coming out of this game.

On the Rangers’ progression…

I see a lot of improvement and I am very pleased with how the young guys performed tonight. When you play against a team of 27, 28 or 30-year-olds on the other side, you have to handle yourself well. We were aggressive and tough to play against. We were smart on the ball, and I see a lot of progress with a lot of the guys. At the end of the day we all play to win, and getting a tie in that game, we felt that we definitely could have had three points—and I think we did enough to do that. But I would rather focus on the positives than focus on the result.

On the performance of Camden Riley…

He has been progressing well. We see him as a holding midfielder, but we believe he can also play as a center back. He’s doing well and learning the position and evolving there. He had a PK today that he scored. With a young group like this, sometimes you have to be patient and take a beating here and there along the way. But that’s for the best in the future.

Sean had a very good game. He was lively, he was taking guys on, he was aggressive going to goal and he had no fear. That’s what we need from guys up top. He was crucial in both of our goals, and that’s what we’re looking for from our young guys. We want them to shine, and today was a positive for Sean, for sure.

Swope Park Rangers defender Camden Riley

On his goal…

In training we practice penalties and I told Alexsander, the guy who wanted to take it, if I’m confident in the game I’m going to take it and he let me take it. I was happy to go up there and put it in my spot.

On playing multiple positions…

I’m playing a bunch of different positions, and I’m just happy to help the team continue to move forward. We’ve had some injuries and some new guys coming in, and I’m just happy to help the team.

On the team’s development…

We’ve taken strides forward as the years progressed. Obviously, as you can see in our play, it’s become a lot smoother and more together as a team. With a lot of moving parts, some academy guys coming in, some guys coming down, I think we’ve really improved as a team.

Thoughts on tonight’s game…

I thought overall, we played really well. I think we just need to continue to work on set pieces, keep being strong in that area. Other than that, I think our play was really good on the ball. I’m happy with how the guys played and we just move forward from here.

On being captain of tonight’s game…

Just excited to help lead the team. It’s another role that I hope to find myself in again and just continue to move forward as a team.

Swope Park Rangers defender Mark Segbers

On his goal…

It was a little good stretch of possession, I got to get forward in the attack, and I got the green light to hit that back post. I knew once Alexsander got into a dangerous position he always puts a good ball in, and I just tried to make sure nothing got past that back post. Luckily I was able to tap it in.

On playing alongside Alexsander…

We always joke around in practice and we’ve always had a good connection so I knew when he got into a dangerous position, I knew I should get myself into a dangerous position as well.

Thoughts on the match…

I think we showed a lot of good sides. I think one thing we obviously have to keep working on the set pieces. That’s kind of been our Achilles heel so far. We showed a lot of quality in our possession and showed that we can score goals. I think it’s definitely a step in the right direction.

On the Rangers’ overall progress…

It shows in practice every day. People are coming, they’re working their butts off, and trying to get better. We know we have things to fix and we try to do it all throughout the week so when we show up on gameday we’re able to put a good performance out there and get a good result. I think we’re definitely taking steps in the right direction and trying to get some wins in our column. 

Topics: