New York City FC midfielder Kwame Awuah (14) passes the ball in front of New England Revolution midfielder Laglais Kouassi last year. (Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports)
SEATTLE — Kwame Awuah admitted he had mixed emotions after getting his first Major League Soccer start Sunday.
Naturally, the midfielder was happy had was on the field for the start of New York City’s match against Seattle Sounders FC, but he wasn’t in the same mood after the team suffered a 3-1 loss at CenturyLink Field.
“I just wanted to say thank you, obviously to the coach for trusting me to play this game,” Awuah said. “It was a tough game. We flew from Orlando on Friday.
“Seattle is a good team, and they were a good opponent. I just did what I was supposed to do, followed the instructions. Unfortunate not to get the result. It was mixed emotions. I am still happy that I was able to get my first start. I just gotta keep pushing from here, and just keep learning every practice, and working hard every training session and hopefully seeing where it will go.”
During his two-year tenure with the club, the 22-year-old Awuah made eight appearances off the bench totalling 144 minutes before head coach Domenec Torrent decided to give him an opportunity to start a match.
The 5-7, 150-ob. Awuah realized his first start was just a start in his attempt to making for a regular spot in the Starting XI. The former University of Connecticut must continue to work hard at training.
“I think that is the most important part,” he said. “Just making sure I am doing what I have to do in training. And then whatever the gaffer tells me to do on the field just follow it to the T, and I think that is the most important thing. Don’t stay in my element and play the way I know how to play and just continue from there, try to gain confidence and keep pushing, keep working hard.”
With NYCFC trailing 2-1 at the time, Awuah was replaced by Costa Rican international Rodney Wallace in the 81st minute.
He will return to New York to start preparing for Sunday’s home game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Yankee Stadium as he hopes to make it two starts in a row.
“I just focus on myself,” he said. “That is how I have been since Patrick [Vieira, former head coach] was here, since I first came to NYCFC. I just focus on what I have to do as an individual and hopefully the opportunity comes, just be able to be prepared for opportunity, just be prepared as much as possible. Whatever decision the coach makes, he makes, and just move on from it and just keep working hard in training.”