Sacramento Republic FC Head Coach and Technical Director Paul Buckle sat down to answer fan questions on Thursday in a reddit AMA (ask me anything).
From strategy to his favorite team growing up, read on to see some of his answers from the Q&A session.
northern_bacon: How do you and the coaching staff motivate the players who may not always see the starting 11 (or even the 18) to raise their level and compete for those matchday spots? Are there specific goals set for each of the players to help them get on the matchday rosters?
That's one of the most difficult parts of the job, especially when we don't have a reserve league. Each player wants to play and we don't have a place for them all to get minutes. We keep the players finely tuned on the playing field with training. We also have a small squad and there were only two players left behind this weekend. I treat all the players the same and that served us really well last season. We work with them all tirelessly. It's so early in the season that everyone knows they will get their chance. I don't think we've got a player that has not been in the 18 at this point, aside from Carlos who is injured.
on0se: Thanks for your time! Assuming Republic becomes an MLS team, who would be your first picks for DP (Designated Player) spots?
Cristiano Ronaldo would be a great grab.
royalt213: Who was your favorite team growing up? Do you have any aspirations of returning to England at some point and managing in the Premier League? Lastly, what manager has had the biggest influence on your managerial style?
Arsenal was my favorite team growing up. As a 9-year old my dad took me to the FA cup final when they beat Man U.
I have no plans to return to England, but in football you can never rule anything out.
It would be unfair to just name one manager, but early on as my career as a player I played under three top leaders in Steve Perryman, Phil Holder and Colin Lee at Brentford FC.
Midtownsrfc: Hey coach, could you explain how you approach the team after a tough loss or losing streak during practice? Also do you speak right after the game to the team or do you wait until the next practice?
When we lost the first game this season, I chose to congratulate the team because we had been on such a great run from July 2016 and thought that was the right thing to do. After Swope [Park Rangers match], I wasn't happy because I didn't think the performance was where it needed to be so I chose to tell the players how I felt. After the third one, it was where we made individual errors and I never criticize players for individual errors because I know they'll be working hard in practice the next day and I was proven right with the result in Vancouver. I speak after the game and at practice.
EECavazos: Are there any other player signings on the horizon or possible in the new future?
It is a real possibility. Without an affiliation this season we lost a resource. Graham and I have spoken and we will look at the squad after a certain number of games and will have discussions on if we need to add to our roster.
Maaronweber: What are your tactical plans for dealing with another long goal drought, especially given the fact that Republic puts in at least twice as many crosses as most USL teams yet does not convert them at a higher rate than league average?
First of all, it is too early for us to look at a league average. There is a very similar pattern emerging for us to last season. We are in a game where everything is under a microscope and that is okay. I trust our players and I am confident that we can get it right again. I think this shows that we have work to do and we will continue to work to get better. We need to continue to get good balls into the area and work to get on the end of them.