Nashville SC forward Dominique Badji met with the media this afternoon after Nashville SC training. Read his full comments here.
Do you take comments that Nashville SC has no scoring to be a personal challenge?
“Not necessarily. I don’t really take it personally. Obviously as an attacking player, I have a job to play: create goals, score goals. It’s not anything personal, I’ve had it my whole career, and as an attacking player, honestly you should have that drive every time you’re out on the field. Hey, you’ve gotta get the job done or the next person will, so that’s all the motivation there is.”
Comfortable being back up top?
“Yeah, very comfortable up top. That’s the position that I’ve played and had the most success in my career. Of course I can play out on the wing, too, but I feel like I’m most productive when I’m up top.”
What do you remember from your first MLS game?
“Against Philly with Colorado. It was cold out in Philly, I’m pretty sure. I remember very physical: a very physical game, very fast game. They always tell you, coming from college to the pros, the game definitely speeds up. You saw it a little bit in preseason, but in an MLS game, it’s a whole other gear, it’s crazy. A couple years in, it kind of slows down for you.”
Is this first game for Nashville a similar type of start-from-scratch feeling?
“It’s definitely going to be fast, a fast-paced game. I think a lot of that is going to be related to us just being anxious. It’s been a long preseason, and getting out there is going to be nice. I think people are just going to have a lot of energy going for it. Once it’s settled down, it’s going to be just like any other MLS game.”
Have you given any advice to guys who are new to MLS?
“I tell them all, ‘hey it’s physical.’ MLS is not the prettiest of leagues to watch all the time: defenders and players like to get stuck in for sure, so you’re going to get hit. Once you can overcome that, and adjust your game a little bit, it’s going to be whatever you bring to the table.”
How are the connections building with the players around you?
“The connections are good. It’s been tough, I’ve played different positions, so you’re kind of working with different players. But up top, working with the attacking players has been nice. We’ve had a couple games where we’ve combined really well. We’re starting to know each other’s movements and habits. It takes a little bit of time, but we’re definitely making progress.”
What are realistic expectations for this team? “Cup or bust?”
“That’s a tough one, but why not? Why can’t we win? I think there’s a stigma around the league where new teams aren’t really projected to do well. That’s fine, because nobody really knows what you’re bringing to the table, but I think we’ve got a little chip where, ‘Why not win games? Why not cause upsets? Why not get as far as we can?’ We’re definitely not here to just be bottom of the pile. We want to be up there.”
Have you watched Atlanta United’s Concacaf Champions League games?
“Yeah, I watched the second one. That’s Atlanta last year: they’re dangerous attacking. But hey, that leaves them vulnerable on the back.”