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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

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 ›