Swope Park Rangers Head Coach Paulo Nagamura
Thoughts on the match:
"I think overall it was an okay game. We talked about the long ball and the direct ball. We talked before the game about their dangerous players that we can’t give time and space on the ball especially around our box. The first goal was a long ball behind our right back. Kharlton Belmar got in behind and played a cross to Lebo Moloto. The second one Lebo had a ball and split our defenders and Rios had a good finish. Overall, I think we did ok with the game plan. We tried to minimize their strengths. Offensively, I think we are not sharp and not dangerous enough around the box. We got ourselves into good positions and we got ourselves where we can be more dangerous, and we didn’t take advantage. We’re playing Nashville who’s a very talented team very well coached team. When you have those few mistakes or few turnovers, they will punish you. We played against a really good team today and credit to them they found a way to score two and did a good job defensively to deny us."
On playing against former players:
"When they’re here we always treat them well. We always treat them the way you’re supposed to in the best possible way. I have a ton of respect for those guys. It didn’t work out here but they’re doing well with Nashville and we hope nothing but the best for them. They’re a very talented team and we are a young group. I don’t think the guys should be ashamed of their performance today and I think it was an okay performance. We’ve just got to learn that when you play against those good teams when they get one chance, they will punish you. That’s what happened."
On the first team players giving the Rangers good minutes:
"It’s a privilege to have Roger (Espinoza) on our team. He spoke with me and Peter (Vermes) and said that he wanted to get a game and get his fitness back. It’s not every game that you have a former Premier League Player, FA Cup winner, 200-plus games with Sporting and his national team. He was a huge boost for us and for our squad and he led us today on the field. He was a great leader, working as always in the midfield. It was great to help him to get back to his fitness and where he wants to be to help the first team. Jaylin Lindsey got his first minutes back after coming back from a big injury. That was a positive. We have to keep building his fitness back up so he can be an effective part of the first team. Gedion Zelalem and Adrian Zendejas as well getting their minutes. It’s always positive when we get minutes for those guys and they get out of the game injury free. That’s the biggest objective for those guys. They’re huge boosts on the field and great, quality players. It’s what Swope is, we always talk about that. It’s going to happen throughout the year and is very positive.
On Espinoza's intensity rubbing off on the other players:
"I think it’s contagious and it’s good for our young players to watch and see that. It’s not by mistake or by accident that Roger has had the career that he has. Those young players need to see it and kind of take that as a lesson. You can have all the talent you want, but if you don’t have the intensity, that desire to win, that desire to win every single play in the game it will be hard for you to make it to the next level. It was lucky for us to have Roger with us here for today and hopefully those young guys can take that intensity and that attitude onto the field going forward."
Swope Park Rangers Defender Kaveh Rad
Thoughts on the match:
"I thought we moved the ball well throughout the whole entire game, but we just fell asleep two times and they punished us for it. Overall, I thought we did really good."
On getting minutes with the Swope Park Rangers:
"I’m grateful for the opportunity and I’m just trying to make the most out of it."
On playing with the experienced players like Roger Espinoza:
"It’s really good for me because that’s the most experienced player I’ve ever played with. I just see the way he does stuff and I try to mimic that in my game. His composure on the ball and how he reads the game. It’s just good to play with more experienced players and he helps you as a youngster."
On Espinoza’s intensity being contagious:
"It definitely is. Today we fought a lot harder than we do sometimes in other games. That probably comes from Roger being there."
On the Academy Products playing with the first team:
"It definitely gives us a path and shows us that it is possible. In the Academy you just have to keep on grinding until you get to their stage because that’s our end goal."
Swope Park Rangers Defender Jaylin Lindsey
On getting back on the field:
"It was great to get back on the field with my teammates. I felt good out there and had no issues, so all is good."
On finding out he was going to get playing time tonight:
"I knew a couple of days ago. Coaching staff talked to me saying 'we want you to get some minutes with the Rangers.' I got to today and was preparing all day for this moment and I got in and felt better than ever."
On the recent look of the team:
"We’re a possession-based team and with this organization, this club we’re a possession based team. We’ve done really well with possession with the Rangers. We need to be better going forward in the attack. Today we had zero shots on target and that’s something we need to be working on in training each and every day to try and increase that and try and improve that. Once we get that down I think we’ll be a team fighting for the playoffs."
On playing against old teammates:
"It was pretty fun, especially in my first game back. Playing with guys like Kharlton Belmar and Lebo Moloto when they were here, I was pretty close with them. It was good to play with them especially being on the same side as Belmar. We were kind of talking crap to each other the entire time. Belmar is a good guy; he had a good game today and so it was fun playing against them. It’s hard to not be winning games like this but we just need to get our heads right going into the next one and focus on winning the next game."