Paulo Nagamura stepped straight from playing for Sporting Kansas City into coaching with the second team. First as an assistant with the Swope Park Rangers as the team was called then and then quickly up to being the head coach the following season.
Nagamura’s Sporting KC II is the link between Sporting KC’s Academy and the first team and with their being 11 homegrown players that came through the Academy, that link has shown to be a crucial step for many players.
The juggling act is never easy for the second team. The first team might loan players down with the expectation they play. The club may want young players on Academy contracts to play so they can see how the kids are developing.
The goal for the second team is to develop players for the first team, instill a winning mentality and provide the pathway. Whether it is players that are still in the Academy or free agents from around the world that have potential, it is all about development....
And winning of course. No or coach doesn’t want to win. While the priority is development, Nagamura does have his eye on the playoffs for his young team. After a pandemic shortened season that saw most of their games played on the road, SKC II will have home games and a better chance at post season.
Listen to Nagamura discuss the team. He will rarely discuss individual players with any degree of detail or specificity but will always talk about the team and their goals.
One early quote from the chat that stood out from Nagamura, “We are getting younger and younger and younger, and this is a great sign from a club perspective.”