Nagamura on the way back
CARSON, Calif. (Tuesday, April 5, 2011) - He might not be ready for this weekend’s match, but midfielder Paulo Nagamura is getting close to making his season debut for the Red-and-White. The 28-year-old Brazilian resumed full training this week, after being sidelined more than a month with a preseason calf strain.
“I’m feeling much better,” said Nagamura. “Not 100% yet, but very close to being back on the field. This past week I felt a lot of improvement. There’s no more pain, so hopefully I’ll be back sooner than we think.”
Nagamura has been a key player and leader for the Goats during the last four years, so sitting on the sidelines hasn’t been easy. He knows he needs to take it slow to avoid a setback, but he’s eager to get back and help his team.
“It’s always tough to be just watching and you can’t help the team on the field,” said Nagamura. “I think we saw a lot of positives in these last two games against Portland and Toronto. I think the team is starting to develop an identity, and hopefully we build from last weekend’s result and try to get our first win on Saturday.”
Although Nagamura wasn’t in Toronto over the weekend, he still heard the comments made by former Chivas USA player Alan Gordon.
In an interview after the 1-1 draw, Gordon said the game was one Toronto should have won, “especially against a team like Chivas, that’ll probably be somewhere around the bottom of the West”.
When asked about Gordon’s dig at his former teammates, Nagamura sighed.
“To be honest, I was really disappointed because he was a guy who spent the whole preseason with us,” he said. “Just a few weeks ago he was part of our team; he was one of us. So to hear from his mouth, him saying that we’re going to finish in the bottom of the West, that’s very disappointing.”
He stressed he didn’t want to make a big deal over the comments, but Gordon’s words clearly affected Nagamura. He wasn’t happy. And the Red-and-White will be looking to use those comments for motivation.
“We’re not trying to show him [that we’ll be a good team],” said Nagamura. “But we want to show ourselves that we’re going to be much better than that, much better than [Gordon predicted].”