6/26/2012 - SKC vs. Toronto FC Quotes

 

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Opening comments…

I actually thought that we started off the game really well. We pressed them and didn’t give them much time on the ball. We had great field position most of the time. We won the ball and created a lot of chances in the first half. We scored two very good goals. They obviously threw everything forward and threw everything back. There were all kinds of different formations out there, but at the end I thought the guys did enough to hold them off. Other than the chance that was given up to (Danny) Koevermans, (Jimmy) Nielsen made a world class save there. For him to come up with that big save that was tremendous. It kept us in the game and you hope that your keeper can do that for you over the course of multiple games and he did. Credit to the guys, great job, excellent effort tonight.

On Julio Cesar…

When Cesar was on and he’s connected in our pressing game he can be very effective. He actually had two chances prior to the one he scored. Those were very easy chances but sometimes they don’t go in but the other one he scored was world class. His position today and his commitment was very good and again that helps us because they win the ball. I preach about that all the time and it was really good.

On Lawrence Olum…

He was really good, he was good in the air, he was tough, strong and he had good distribution. I thought him and (Aurélien) Collin were a good team with the fact that they were tough and they were both very hard. It was difficult for those guys to play against them. I thought they established their dominance pretty early and that continued throughout the game, good partnership right there.”

On replacing other regular starters…

We have to have guys that can come in, same thing with (Jacob) Peterson. I thought he had a great performance and I know that there’s a difference when you play a reserve game and an MLS game with the pace and the tempo, and for him giving us 70 minutes like he did was tremendous. He was busy, he was active and he put a lot of pressure on those guys. Him and (Chanec) Myers had some good combinations on the outside. We were terrorizing them very early in the game which puts them on their heels and they can’t get out. The different guys that participated today had a great performance and that’s why we achieved three points.

On Kei Kamara returning…

Well we will see, because he is probably coming off a 48-hour plane trip. It’s good that he will be back but at the same time, he is going to come back from a long trip so we will continue with the way we are going. We have four games in the next two-week period. We have to recover and get ready, and then we will assess how everyone is doing on Wednesday. 

On starting the upcoming road trip with a home game…

We got our points here. I think that Seattle is our last West Coast team. We’ve had some good results against west coast teams in the past, especially on the road. We are going to try to go there and get the result we want. We are going to take each game as it comes because we still have some guys that are banged up and injured. We are just going to take it from there, but all of the bodies have to be ready to go over the course of the next two weeks.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jacob Peterson

Opening comments…

It’s a good victory. It’s what we wanted. With the coaching change we knew they would come out with some energy. First half we did pretty well, second half they pushed at the end there but at the end of the day it’s about getting the three points and that’s what we did.

On playing his former club…

I think anytime you play your former club people want to be politically correct and say the right things but there’s no doubt I didn’t particularly enjoy my time up there. I think with the new coach they got it right. I think Paul Mariner is a good guy, a good coach and I hope that he can right that ship. They have a lot of things going for them. I think we play them a couple more times, I’m sure their motivation will be there those times as well.

On his position on the field…

I was still playing up there high and I might have dropped back a little bit to get the ball a little bit more, but (Chance) Myers does a great job at committing the defenders. The goal is a great example where he drove at the defender for a 2 v 1 and that’s how we can have success on the wing. I try to stay high, I might have dropped off a bit but really the same position.

On starting in an MLS match for the first time in a while…

It’s a big difference from a reserve match to a MLS game. They’re close, but maybe not quite as quick and high tempo. I’ve played a lot of games in my career. I’m not really a young rookie anymore. I’m used to these sorts of games. It’s definitely a jump up but I have a great team around me that is easy to gel with. They’re great players.

On the West Coast swing and the upcoming long road trip…

Those aren’t easy. The league changed it up a little bit so that we do not have very many West Coast swings this year. It’s tough. We can’t fool ourselves. We have to take care of our bodies and really rest when we can. It’s a tough stretch. But starting it off by playing at home makes it a little easier. The fans get behind you and everyone was great tonight. We still have two big games on the road and we need to get points from them.

Sporting Kansas City defender Lawrence Olum

On filling in for the injured Matt Besler in central defense…

The guys around me made it really easy to adjust. Once I had a rhythm going, I felt pretty good. I have been ready to play in the first team, and I am happy to help the team tonight. It is good to keep a clean sheet and stay near the top of the league.

On Julio Cesar’s goal in the 35th minute…

It was a fantastic strike. We won’t forget that one. Cesar has a good shot. Zusi gave him a good ball, and he showed what he could do.

On Sporting KC’s 2-0 win over Toronto FC…

We played well, but you can always get better as a unit. We are happy just to get the three points. It wasn’t easy for us. All the Toronto players wanted to impress their new coach. They tried to give us problems but we defended well and our attack was very good.

On playing at Seattle this Wednesday and at Philadelphia next Saturday…

It’s a very difficult challenge for us. Seattle is great. They have a great stadium and it is hard to play there. Philadelphia is also hard because they are trying to get themselves going so we are expecting two tough matches next week.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi

On Julio Cesar’s goal in the 35th minute…

What a finish that was. That’s one of the goals of the season, for sure—just a perfect volley. It’s a great moment for him. I can’t take credit for any of that one.

On being tied for most assists in MLS…

It’s more just a testament to my teammates, my passing plays less than half the part. A lot of guys on this team are a force to be reckoned with in the air. Teal (Bunbury), C.J. (Sapong), Aurelien (Collin) and Julio (Cesar) have really done their part. Over the past two years now, we have become really dangerous on set pieces. I take the free kicks quite a bit, but these guys have done great to finish them off.

On playing at Seattle this Wednesday and at Philadelphia next Saturday…

It’s two games in four days, and that in itself is something we’re used to. The long travel could make it a little tougher. We just have to concentrate on taking care of our bodies the right way. So I don’t think it’ll be too big of an issue. The cross-country trip isn’t easy, but I think we’re up for it.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Julio Cesar

On his impressive volley goal in the 35th minute…

Zusi gave me a good pass from the corner kick. I just wanted to strike it on target, and I put it into the net. I am comfortable shooting, but at my position it is not my job. Tonight I felt I could attack more, and I am very happy to score. 

On his involvement in the Sporting KC attack…

My focus is more defensive. That is the position I usually play. But when the other team does not pressure me, I am more comfortable and I can attack. They didn’t press me, so I felt comfortable to attack.

On missing two chances before his goal…

I had two chances before my goal that I missed, but the opportunity comes when you try to find it. Finally, I finished the third time. I (hope) it is the goal of the week.

Toronto FC Manager Paul Mariner

Opening Comments…

We’ve worked on a lot of stuff this week. When you consider what the confidence of the team was when we started a few days ago, I would say that tonight was an improved performance.

On the confidence of your team with so many missed chances…

The team showed tremendous strength and character. I thought that the second half performance was excellent. It was a game of two very different halves. We really took it to them. Obviously, we were a bit stretched because we were pushing to get two goals back, so we were a little vulnerable on the break.

On how the team adjusted to the two-goal deficit…

We went one goal down, and then two goals down. A lot of teams in that situation would put their heads down and give up, but they didn’t. They rolled their sleeves up and I thought we did very well. I am very proud of the players.  They were fantastic. 

On the first half performance, having a new coach and a new formation...

Kansas City came out of the blocks really well. We tried to weather the storm, but they were coming out in waves. We changed it slightly for the first 15 (minutes) of the second half and went a little bit higher with the guys out wide. After 60 minutes, we completely changed the system. It just wasn’t meant to be tonight.

Toronto FC midfielder Eric Avila

On his shot off the posts…

I've had one post, but never two. Torsten (Frings) played me a great ball, I brought it down, saw a gap and put it in there. Seeing it hit the first post, I thought it was in. It was just one of those heart-breaking things. If it goes in, it's 1-1 and who knows what happens.

Comments on the second half…

They're (Sporting Kansas City) a great team. In the second half, we had our opportunities. It's just the little things. We've only had a week to work with Paul (Mariner). He's been in this League. He knows what he’s doing. It's just tidying up the small things.

On the team's attitude moving forward...

I think we have great guys here. We just need to put pieces of the puzzle together.

Toronto FC defender Jeremy Hall

On playing for new head coach Paul Mariner…

Obviously, it is going to take time to adjust to playing for a new coach and in a new formation, but everyone has a good mentality. It will take some time, but we are excited for the challenge.

On the three-week break…

(It was) good and bad. The break came at a bad time in a sense since we were coming off two wins in a row. We lost a little bit of momentum, but it is always a good thing to give our bodies time to rest and recover.

On playing in this atmosphere…

LIVESTRONG Sporting Park is one of the best stadiums in the League. The fans and atmosphere are first-class. It is a beautiful stadium.