SPRvTBR Quotes: "We were not sharp with the ball"

Swope Park Rangers Head Coach Paulo Nagamura

On his overall thoughts of the match…

We were not good with the ball offensively, but credit to Tampa. They’re an experienced, solid group of players that came here and pressed, and we struggled with that. We were not sharp with the ball, and there were maybe a couple of mistakes that led to the goals we gave away. At the end of the day, we were not sharp enough and didn’t have enough control of the game.

On the keys to improving…

We’ve got to go back to training, assess what we did wrong over the next few days and try to correct those mistakes. Again, it’s about us and what we’re doing with the ball. If we don’t come ready to play sharp and play the way we want to play, we’re going to struggle. From the beginning, we were never very confident and we weren’t winning balls. That causes a lot of problems when you play against a quality team like Tampa. It’s a disappointing result but we’ll bounce back.

On defender Kaveh Rad’s exit early in the second half…

He was just feeling dizzy. I don’t think it’s anything serious—just related to the hot weather. Hopefully it’s nothing too bad.

On Jake Davis entering as a center back in place of Rad…

We don’t have too many options as a team at center back, and Jake has played there in the Sporting KC Academy with the U-17 and U-19s. He was the best fit at the time, and besides one giveaway I think he did well. It was great to see that he could perform at that position as well.

Swope Park Rangers forward Ethan Vanacore-Decker

On his overall thoughts of the match…

It was obviously a tough game with it being very hot out there. Tampa is the best team in the league, so it’s tough to deal with that as it is. We probably had a few self-inflicted wounds, but we could have come back in the second half. I had a chance to score at one point, then they came down and scored at the other end. They’re a good team, so that’s the way it is.

On his goal in the second half…

Thankfully the penalty bounced straight back to me. It wasn’t my best penalty—I tried to go down the middle and went to the left a little bit. It hit the goalkeeper’s stomach I think, so I had to put the second one away.

On scoring for the second time in as many games…

I’m feeling more fit and I’m starting to feel more like myself, like I was a couple of years ago. I hope this continues so that I can help the team and keep improving.

On the improved form of the team…

Everyone is playing well and training well. We had the ball for a lot of the game today, which is always a good thing, but they had a couple of chances and they scored. It’s just the way the game goes sometimes.

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