It wasn’t only in Seattle , Tacoma and Portland that interested fans tuned into the NASL Cup Final between Tampa Bay Rowdies and Minnesota.
Attention in Cascadia may have been focused on the fortunes of Raphael Cox, Keith Savage and Daniel Scott. In Salt Lake City, it was Scott’s former room mate Kwame Watson-Siriboe, who metaphorically redonned the Rowdies’ white, green and gold to watch the internet feed from Florida.
Like always seems to happen in the Sunshine State, the count went into extra time but eventually for Tampa Bay’s players, past and present, the result went their way.
Back in MLS, RSL centre half Jamison Olave was not match fit so Watson-Siriboe was called upon and played an excellent 90 minutes against Seattle Sounders, the club where Daniel Scott’s brother plies his trade.
Watson-Siriboe talked to Prost Amerika debut reporter Anthony Fizer about maintaining readiness for action when you hover outside the top pecking order but more on the influence of two of American soccer’s top young coaches, Ricky Hill and Jason Kreis on the mental side of being a professional footballer.
Prost Amerika: How do sides avoid stalemates when they meet for the fourth and fifth time in a season?
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: Just like anything in football, sometimes you have to go for the win so sometimes you might make some changes in formation where you make it more offensively than you do defensively.
It happens all over the world where you have some teams such as Man U, Arsenal that are in must win games so sometimes they are able to tweak the formation or bring on some players that are very exciting of the bench in order to give them that goal.
Prost Amerika: So, since you aren’t always starting, how do you stay fresh when you may not know if Olave is going to be hurt or if you are going 45 min or 90 min; how do you stay ready?
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: I think it is obviously a mental thing coaching staff and all the players here have every day we prepare to play, it is something that the coaches do.
Coach Kreis has created a great atmosphere here where you are not afraid to make mistakes and you know that hey, you are going to get your opportunity and you are always ready. And you should enjoy it, you shouldn’t be scared or fearful of the opportunity that you are going to get because you work hard every day in order to get that opportunity to play.
Prost Amerika: So the lack of fear of making mistakes makes this easier?
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: We have fun while we are playing here, so that when I do get the opportunity to play .. You know I have Kyle in front of us, our captain, Nick Rimando who’s been a top tier keeper in the world for a while and they always help me out. Also you have Nat Borchers that play right next to me that help to give me the confidence and keep me fearlessness to keep going.
Prost Amerika: How did you feel about your former club Tampa Bay Rowdies winning the NASL National title?
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: Oh I was happy because when I went down there, actually coach Ricky Hill just took over so I was kind of down on myself not really enjoying football . He helped me to get my mind right again and help me enjoy football and do what I like to do. I was happy for them.
Prost Amerika: What are the biggest differences you have seen between being in NASL and MLS?
Kwame Watson-Siriboe: Up here is both based on winning but down there it is very direct,. Up in MLS, you have a lot of technical players as well, whereas down in the NASL you might have a lot more people that are athletic, older, they really just want to try to get stuck in instead of actually trying to play the beautiful game of football.
So I think it is a little bit more physical down there and the football might not be as good but you know Tampa played amazingly this year and I watched them in the games and Coach Ricky has them playing beautiful football down there so hopefully he can win NASL championships for years to come.
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