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MNUFC2 Head Coach Cameron Knowles

On the emotions after an 0-2 start…

“Well obviously you’re never going to be happy [with that start], but we talked about this game, coming out and being more aggressive and starting on the front foot and being more difficult to break down and put them under pressure. We didn’t do that, not until the second half and by then we were already chasing it. I think the difference between the two halves, we were a much better team. We conceded the second goal and that’s always going to make it tough.”

On the conditions…

“It was challenging for sure, but that’s the same for both teams. You look at it, playing in this stadium on an afternoon like this is a great day to play. The guys should be up for it.”

On balancing player development and winning games…

“It’s trying to provide a foundation where there’s an opportunity for younger players to come up, an opportunity for player who aren’t seeing regular minutes with the First Team to come and get time with the team. Within that we should have a squad that is strong enough to compete and win games. I think we have seen that for moments in games, against North Texas SC and against SKC II for 15 minutes or 20 minutes. We need to put that together for 90 minutes so we can win a game, but I don’t think those two are mutually exclusive.”

On any standout players…

“It’s so hard to single out players. I think the response from the group in the second half was much better. To be able to be on the front foot and force mistakes from the opposition was much better collectively.”

On Fred Emmings' game…

“This is where he needs learning opportunities. He needs to learn in games. He hasn’t played a lot of games over the years he is a talented young goalkeeper and he needs time and reps. He needs to put in situations where he has to make decisions and then we can reflect on those throughout the week and continue to grow. These games are so valuable for all our young players.”

On Devin Padelford’s development…

“It’s similar to Fred [Emmings], these guys need games and feedback. We will sit down with them throughout the week and talk about what went well and what didn’t and how they can solve some of the problems on the field. They have come through and been good at the academy level and now they have to get up to speed at this level so they can then push on to the next level. It’s our job to keep them moving forward.”

On tactical adjustments in-game…

“There has got to be some similarities with our proximity to each other in training and with the shared space between the teams and a lot of back and forth between the First Team and Second Team in training there is going to be some continuity with that stuff and we should see some of that on the field. There is also going to be different players we have on the field that aren’t on the First Team so there is going to be minor differences within that, but we have to have a structure that makes sense so that a player like Devin [Padelford] who is being evaluated to see if he can do that job with the First Team and that it’s not a completely different task for them.”

On having players and staff from the First Team out to watch…

“I think it’s great. To have guys come out and see their teammates and guys within the club see them play is great and its important. You have the full First Team staff, you have a lot of people from the front office, that’s what makes a club, that’s why we have a second team to connect the Academy. For everyone to come out and be a part of it and take ownership of its success.”

MNUFC2 Defender Devin Padelford

On the nerves playing the first game at Allianz Field…

“A little bit [of nerves] a couple of my family members came out to see me play. It was more excitement than nerves and obviously you get a little feeling in your stomach, but I was just super excited to play here finally.”

On what it’s like playing against players that are older…

“I’ve been doing it for a few months now since I was with the First Team in preseason, but it’s a little different, they might be a bit more aggressive or strong, but at the end of the day its pretty normal at this point.”

On if it is hard to speak up as a younger player…

“No, not really, we all get along great and know our place.”

On how you use these games for your development…

“Yeah, in [this game] in the first it was not as good as it could have been and in the second half we reflected on what went wrong and we came out and we were a lot better. Personally, it’s just come out and do what the coaches want you to do, and do it at a high level and if you are doing that you will consistently keep getting better.”

On what the coaches are telling you to do…

“It’s not necessarily what you do with the ball at your feet, but it’s are you willing to do the dirty work, being able to run for 90 minutes. And if I can do that; good things happen when you are running all over the place. As long as I am giving my max effort it is only going to make me better.”

On how frustrating it is to play in the snow…

“[laughs] It was actually surprising! I thought it was going to rain and then I saw the flakes. It was actually fun. Kind of like when you are a little kid playing in the back yard. It was a little chilly, definitely not the best, but I’m used to it.”

On having the First Team players and coaches support you at the game…

“It’s awesome, having them come here and support us. Dayne [St. Clair] was just in the locker room giving us pointers. It’s great to know they are here supporting us. And the coaches being here, it’s another opportunity to prove to them to try and get First Team minutes.”

On having your family at the game…

“It was super awesome. Kind of surreal to see them in the stands enjoying it. It was super fun.”