POSTGAME REACTION: Hassan Ndam | 6/6/18

New York Red Bulls defender Hassan Ndam

On his debut in tonight’s game…

“I found out the game before in New England, but the staff wasn’t sure because there was a quick turnaround. When they told me yesterday that I was going to start a game today against New York City especially the derby, I was very excited, but a little bit nervous. The first start and especially in the derby, so I was a little bit nervous, but after I was fine.”

On how he tried to calm his nerves…

“I played with Aaron, he talked to me. Everybody talked to me especially Aaron. He tried to make sure that I was on top of everything and not trying to let Villa get the ball so easily. My first thought is trying to play simple and then I was in the game and then I had some bad moments, but at the end of the day I tried to make everything right and I had a clean sheet tonight. I’m very happy today.”

On facing players like David Villa…

“I play a lot of USL like you said and when I play against David Villa, somebody like I saw on TV playing like World Cup and then I was like okay I want to play like. And then Jesse always says to me ‘you have to have a lot of courage and mentality and step on the field and just don’t care about who is on the field just do your job and do your team right and everything will come perfectly.’ That’s what I did tonight and then I have the help of my teammates and all of us did a good job and we had a win tonight. We didn’t care about who was on the field.”

On the being at the goal line clearance…

“David Villa getting the ball then he passed to Jonathan Lewis and Lewis made some trick move and shoot it. And David Villa get the ball, and I mean David Villa is a little selfish, he should pass to McNamara, but he tried to cheapen Ryan Meara, so I saw it and then my long legs helped me a little bit and I cleared the ball in the line and there wasn’t a goal, I was very happy and especially in that moment it was 1-0 and if they score it’s 1-1, so I was very happy I cleared the ball and they didn’t score. It gave us a little bit of power to move forward to score the other three goals.”

On having a 90-minute debut…

“I’m not going to lie, I was impatient last year and at the beginning of the season. I was impatient, I just wanted to play. I thought my talent was there and Jesse told me to just be patient and everything will come and your time will come and then so crazy he gave me this big game. Especially in US Open Cup that I was like they showed me they really value the US Open Cup and gave me that US Open Cup, especially the derby against David Villa and they didn’t score. What can I ask for? Just keep working hard and move forward and wait for another opportunity.”

On what he is doing with his jersey…

“I will give it to my mom. And then move forward and try to make more big games. This is just the beginning of a long journey.”