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Q&A with Portland's Lamar Batista

Portland's Lamar Batista warms up before Saturday's match against Energy FC at Taft Stadium. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

Portland's Lamar Batista warms up before Saturday's match against Energy FC at Taft Stadium. [Photo by Bryan Terry, The Oklahoman]

Lamar Batista, 20, is a former Heritage Hall standout who is in his second season as a professional with Portland Timbers FC 2.

He answered some questions from The Oklahoman before Saturday night's match with Energy FC.

Q: This is the second time you have returned to Oklahoma City to face Energy FC since turning pro. Does it feel differently coming back this time?

A: Yeah, a little bit. Last year I was a little nervous, but this year it's just another game.

Q: What did you learn the most in your first professional season?

A: I learned it's a cutthroat business. It's not college soccer. It's not high school soccer. It's a business. This was my first year in finding out what happens in the offseason when you don't perform well. You don't play you get cut, and that's it.

Q: Was that a big shock to you?

A: Yeah, that was a big shock. Players that were decent, if they didn't produce like they were supposed to, then they got released. It was a big eye-opener for me.

Q: Did it change your attitude about the sport?

A: Oh yeah, for sure, just to take it more seriously and not only to be a pro for four hours of the day when I am training or at a game but on and off the field. It's a full-time job. You got to take care of your body and do the right thing at all times.

Q: Did you have to learn to discipline yourself more?

A: At the pro level you are treated like a grown man and you make your own decisions on and off the field and there are consequences for them.

Q: What are your professional goals? Where do you want to be in five or 10 years?

A: Hopefully overseas somewhere playing. Not too picky on where it is. Maybe in Germany. Maybe somewhere in England or Spain. Five years from now I will be 25 and hopefully I am in with a national team at some point. It's always been a goal of mine.

Q: You lived in Oklahoma City so you are familiar with the Oklahoma weather. Does it surprise you that you are playing soccer in April but it feels more like winter?

A: I knew something crazy was going to happen.

Q: Did any of the Portland players ask you about the unusual weather in Oklahoma?

A: Yeah. All of them.

ED GODFREY, STAFF WRITER

Ed Godfrey

Ed Godfrey was born in Muskogee and raised in Stigler. He has worked at The Oklahoman for 25 years. During that time, he has worked a myriad of beats for The Oklahoman including both the federal and county courthouse in Oklahoma City for more... Read more ›

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