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©2018-2020 Speedway Soccer. All rights reserved.

Press Conference | Nashville SC 3 - 2 Tormenta FC 2 [Open Cup]

Below is audio and a transcript of Nashville SC's media availability following #NSHvTMR.

GARY SMITH (Head Coach)


Opening Statement: “Always pleased to advance in the [U.S. Open] Cup. It’s completely different to league play. You’ve got to get yourself in the winning column and you advance. I thought the application was terrific, attitude from the outset was spot-on, and in these games that are always difficult against a young and fearless side that have come here and given everything they’ve got and have nothing to lose, I thought our guys maybe just missed out on extending the lead at good times. The only disappointment for me will be a bit of a freak goal in the first one and then conceding from the set piece. Other than that, there were some really good performances. Delighted to get guys like Ropapa close to 90 minutes. All in all, just delighted to be in the hat for the next round.”


On the tense moments of Tormenta 2 pressure at the end: “We had numerous opportunities and moments to really put ourselves in an unassailable position. There was some very good play, some good creativity, some great possession on a really excellent and fast surface. I actually thought it was a really exciting game. They look a wonderful team, I’ve got to say. For an amateur group, they have performed at a magnificent level tonight, bearing in mind we’ve got what constitutes most of a first team group out there. All of those guys have seen the field in league play. So, it was a very tough task. However, I still felt that we played extremely well and we should never have been in a position where we were on the edge of our seat at the end there. But that’s what the Cup is about. You’re going to see teams go out tonight to amateur groups, and you see it all around the world. I’ve seen it many times in England in the FA Cup where lower-league teams beat the bigger fish not because they’re necessarily more talented, but they’ve got bigger hearts on the day and their attitude has dragged them through. Maybe the talented players don’t quite get themselves up for the game, and tonight our players have gotten themselves up for the game.”


On balancing being happy with winning and wanting to finish more chances: “We can always be disappointed. We’ve scored three goals tonight, and there were certainly other opportunities to extend that. I’m pleased Cameron [Lancaster] scored, Ropapa [Mensah] got himself another goal, a terrific start, Alan [Winn] scored again, that’s back-to-back games. So I couldn’t wish for any more from our attacking players to keep them in a nice, confident mood. Great to see Derrick [Jones] out there. I felt him and Bolu [Akinyode] were wonderful in the midfield. All in all, there was a real good attitude and feel about our group, and you’ve got to give credit to them. They stayed in the game, they made the most of the moments that they had, and they’ve made it a real test and a challenge. It was a little bit nervy at the end, but otherwise the Cup competitions would just be straightforward, wouldn’t they? If we all knew that we were going to win five or six-nil, nobody would turn up. That’s why everyone loves the Cup and loves a scenario where you win and you’re in, you lose and you’re out.”


On playing new signing Derrick Jones for 74 minutes in this match: “I wanted him out on the field as quickly as possible. I think it’s good for him to see his new pals, I think it’s good for the team to see him out there and working. As you can see, he’s a big talent. It’s going to take him a little bit of time to settle into the group, but there’s no overlooking what he’s capable of. His athleticism, his ability on the ball, he’s not only a fabulous addition this year, but as I’ve said, he’s going to be a real future star I feel. I genuinely believe he’s been a great capture for us.”


On both teams playing through balls forward: “I can’t speak for them, but I felt that we had plenty of athleticism, plenty of pace and energy up top, and that’s not easy to deal with. From our part, there were one or two occasions where we may have dealt with it slightly better, but I thought we dealt with most things pretty admirably in open play. Again, they threw a hell of a lot at it, and never gave up either. Maybe the goals you can normally suspect you score that second and it gives you a little bit of a lift and mentally you feel like ‘will it be our night?’ We’ve got to throw everything at it, otherwise we’re going home. I’m delighted. It’s been a good evening, it’s been an exciting evening. They've come and played out of their skin and been fantastic on the night, and I felt we attacked it in the right fashion and gotten the result we needed.”


On evaluating Derrick Jones’ performance in his first match: “I think from what I’ve seen of Derrick, we’ve really just touched the sides with him tonight. He looked to me, whilst his attitude was terrific and he applied himself well, there’s no doubt that as he settles into the group, he understands and appreciates the players around him and what we’re trying to achieve a little bit more, and of course you’ve got to remember he’s never been away from Philadelphia. He’s come through that group from a young player, been a Homegrown and an MLS player there, this is a new challenge for him. He’s got to settle into a new city, he’s trying to relocate, it may have been maybe a step too far for him tonight, but he’s a young man. They want to play, and it’s the best way for him to express himself. I think tonight’s performance was really just the beginning of what you’re going to see from Derrick and I’m sure there’s plenty more to come. Once he feels good about himself, I’m sure we’ll see much more expression in his game.”


On what he can take from the win into Saturday’s match against Charlotte: “I can take a win, and that’s two on a bounce. I think, and I’ve seen it before, teams take the Cup lightly. Not necessarily this one, but I’ve seen it in England, teams do not put their strongest teams out and end up being beaten. It affects the players a little bit mentally. We’re on a little bit of a run, it’s always nice to win games. Honestly, I don’t care what games they are, as long as we’re winning them, and you move forward. It gives us confidence, it gives the players more belief. That’s eight goals in two games against varying levels of opponent, but I’ve got to say on the night, was the game any less competitive tonight than Saturday? So there you go, two very good games and we scored eight goals. That’s a pleasing aspect, so we take that forward. We’ve got a lot of players that have got many minutes under their belt tonight that haven’t necessarily been starting regularly. Another excellent performance from Alan [Winn], Cameron [Lancaster] gets his first 90 [minutes], which is wonderful and scores again, so that’s great. We’ve already spoken about Derrick [Jones], Ramone [Howell] gets on the field and looked very lively, looked very bright for the 10 or 12 minutes that he was on, and it’s never easy coming into game at that point. At 3-2, you make a mistake and everyone is staring at you. He even gets a chance to kill the game off, so lots and lots of positives. We look forward to watching the game tomorrow night between Charleston and Greenville, and we get the winners of those at home. We’ll be back here, we look forward to coming back here, they've really looked after us, the field was magnificent, an absolute carpet.”

DERRICK JONES (Midfielder)


On finding out he was playing shortly after arriving in Nashville: “When I showed up to training, Gary told me I would be playing. I was happy to be going again. I get to start everything over again and start fresh.”


On only having one training session under his belt and starting: “Soccer is soccer but I have to get adjusted to it but I will do whatever it takes to help the team.”


On what he needs to do feel more comfortable with the new team: “Yeah, I just need to know the players more and how they play. I need to talk to the coaches more about it and just keep going.”


On kicking off some rust and playing 74 minutes: “I’m definitely a little tired. I haven’t played much in a while, but I want to keep going.”


On his nerves and his anxiety to get back playing: “I was a bit anxious to get on the field. I haven’t played in a little while so I couldn’t wait to get out there.”


On playing with Bolu Akinyode in the midfield: “I played with him back with Bethlehem Steel, so I know how he plays. That helped me a lot and he also helped me out too.”


On what he takes from tonight as he goes forward into the season: “We are going to build on this and keep going. It doesn’t matter what team we play; we play our game and push hard all the time. I am just going to keep working on my game and getting fit as we have a lot of games to play.”


On when he found out he was moving from Philadelphia Union to Nashville SC: “I was happy because I want to play more, and this is where I can start and play more and hopefully move that into MLS next year.”

ALAN WINN (Forward)


On finding form after back to back games with goals: “I feel like I scored two goals in two games, that’s it. I just have to wait for the next game and hopefully I can score again. My job is to score and to give assists, so my form is to do that every game.”


On scoring a goal and getting the win and how that feels: “In a sense, it’s a goal completed. Every step of Open Cup play is challenging. So it’s just a goal completed and now the next goal is to win the next game and after that it’s just to go as far as possible and hopefully win it all. Those are the goals.”


On his thoughts on Derrick Jones’ debut performance: “He played very well. He is a very smart player and he works off people with the ball and he knows what he is doing. He is experienced and he is what, 22 years old? He is a bit younger than me, but he is very smart on the ball and it is really fun to play with him.”


On playing with Cameron Lancaster up top: “It’s fun and very enjoyable. It’s obviously unfortunate when he is injured but when he comes on the field, its automatic. He knows what he is doing, and he knows exactly what to do with the ball and even off the ball too. For me to provide balls to him, like tonight where I could have given him three goals, I have to make sure not to slip up. When you talk about form, I should have had 2 to 3 or 4 to 5 assists tonight as he was in the corner every time.”


On having the chemistry on the final passes with the forwards: “I definitely don’t want to peak right now, right? I don’t really want that top chemistry right now as I still want those little nicks and bruises because I still think we have an opportunity to be at the pinnacle of what it’s all about. It’s getting there and that’s all I can say right now.”