CHICAGO – Nuno Santos didn’t have the debut he most likely envisioned for himself against FC Cincinnati a couple of weeks ago. However, he made the most his second-ever appearance for the club by scoring the equalizer and his first goal for the club just 6 minutes after stepping on the pitch, ironically the same number that he wears on his jersey.
“I saw that Kahlina did the long pass to McKinze and we all know that McKinze pretty quick, so the defenders took a little time to get down the pitch, but I knew McKinze was going to get that ball in the area. So, I believed in him and I went for the ball, first getting in front of the defender and then I scored, it was a good goal.”
The Portuguese shared what interim head coach Christian Lattanzio said to him as he was about step on the pitch when the team was down 1 – 2.
“The message was clear. Play attacking midfielder, to believe, to come to connect the game. We were lacking on that part of the game, and I think I did pretty well.”
As to what made all the difference in being able to overcome a two-goal deficit, Santos said it was the teamwide belief in themselves and in the coach's gameplan that pushed them until the very end.
“I think we are improving as a team. We could see the last games that we did that we have been growing game after game. We kept believing in ourselves during the game, I think we were down in the results but we still kept believing and we went out there a fought for the results until the last whistle. We believed in the plan of the coach, who likes to play as well, and in the end it gave us the result and the win.”
This is the first time in his career that Santos is playing outside of his native country of Portugal and so it’s taken some time for him to adapt to all facets of life abroad as a professional soccer player.
“I think day after day I’m getting more inside of the ideas of the Club and of the coach. It’s my first time abroad, outside of Portugal and I’m improving day after day. I know the coach and all the staff trusts me so I have to train day after day and then more time in the games will come. I think I’m doing pretty good getting inside the group and the ideas of the coach.”
GOAL! Nuno Santos First Goal for CLTFC | Charlotte FC at Chicago Fire