Quotes: Sporting Kansas City reacts to disappointing defeat

"We have a lot to be proud of," says Vermes

Davy Arnaud vs Houston Dynamo

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Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the Houston Dynamo…
They’re a solid team. They should be praised for coming in and beating us at home.

On Sporting Kansas City’s season…
We’ve come a long way. There’s no doubt about it. Losing never sits well but we gained a lot of experience and it will pay dividends as we move forward.

On the atmosphere…
I think it can be called one of the greatest nights in franchise history. We’ve come a long way in every facet of the game. Great organizations and ownership group, incredible fans, fantastic stadium… we have a lot to be proud of. We did a great job.

Thoughts on the match…
Very disappointed in the result especially for the organization and the fans. What a great turn out tonight. We did everything to get ourselves in this position but maybe just a little bit too young still with the group that we have.  But I think all in all a great season to be proud of for the guys to come as far as they have. There is no doubt the experiences that we’ve gained this year will be beneficial in years to come.

On how optimistic he is for the future…
There are a lot of guys that have matured and have had great seasons. As I have said, we have not only found good solid nucleus of players here but also we have created a bit of a culture here with Sporting and the turn out tonight was absolutely incredible.

We have grown a lot as a team and I am sure that there are some bigger and better days for this group of guys because they are a solid group and can definitely play the game.

On the performance of the Houston Dynamo…
My hat goes off to Houston. Dominic [Kinnear] is a good friend of mine, he is a very good coach. Their team got hot toward the end of the season here and they continue to be that. They are going to be a hard team to reckon with. They are very solid right now defensively. They are good on set pieces as you saw tonight and I wish them all the best in the final.

On the flow of the match…
I think in the first half we got too much into this run-and-gun game. We wanted to play a little bit more disciplined in our game and recognize the moments when we could go and counter and recognize the moments when we needed to build the game up a little bit and keep possession. I thought we were just too direct in the first half. To start the second half, I thought actually we did a good job.

On the injury to Brad Davis…
Brad’s a great player. There is no doubt he would have probably added something else to the game, but at this stage everybody has a pretty deep team. You know what the rules and responsibilities of not only your players are but what your team is so I think for them it was just bringing on another guy and readjusting them. Hopefully he gets better for the final.

On trying to break down the Dynamo…
I think they packed numbers in the box. That’s really what they did. They rarely left themselves exposed for the counter. They never really got too stretched out and I think if we had been a little more discipline in our play to allow them to come we would have had more space to play in behind them.

On using Omar Bravo as a substitute…
Every guy wants to play. We have different choices for why we put guys in. You know Omar at the end of the day, he is a competitor like any other player. Guys always tell you they’re 100 percent, but when you can’t play the last two games in a short spell its not the easiest of decisions to throw a guy on and your not sure how, he’s going to go. So, could I have? Sure. But I think in the end the guys that were out there did a good job. Today Houston was a better team.

On where they fell short tonight…
I think the tempo of the game, keeping the tempo of the game. I think we got stretched out a little bit in the first half. By stretched out, what I mean is that every time we got the ball we were going straight at them and there wasn’t much combination play to get there. We were just going, going, going. You have to have a rhythm to that. I thought we got caught up because of the fans, the stadium, at home, all of that. The second half, we got better but once they scored then the game really changed.

On what comes next as Sporting Kansas City look toward the offseason…
We have a lot of work to do in the off-season. It starts right away. We have the expansion draft. We have a few contracts here and there, we got new players to add, maybe some players to go. Its all those decisions to make that you have to make at the end of the year.

On the impact of the fans and LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…
It is evident when you are out there and the place is full, record attendance, standing room only. The place is absolutely made with excitement and passion. It is a tremendous feeling not only as a player but for anyone in this organization. When I am out there, I get goose bumps. I would love it if I was still able to put on a jersey and get on the field. I think you could run for 90 minutes and not get tired based on the energy that’s in the stadium. There is no doubt that this stadium and the fans have been the 12th man this year. They have been huge for us and they helped us through some hard times and we have shown a lot of times some very entertaining soccer here. And I think we will continue to do that based on the energy that is in this stadium.

On the most disappointing part of the loss…
When you set yourself as well as we did. It wasn’t easy beating Colorado, that’s for sure and then having home field advantage and not being able to do this at our park. That is disappointing not being able to take advantage of it.  Sports franchises always have opportunities to learn lessons from things that they do and this team has done that all season long and has really gotten better from it and I think that you’ll see us moving forward in a positive way next year.

Sporting Kansas City Defender Davy Arnaud

On the Houston Dynamo…
They’re a good team. They’ve won championships. It’s unfortunate because it was a great night. The fans were amazing. We had a great opportunity here at home. That’s the game though. We’re not going to hang our heads. They’re on a good run here. Since they lost here in September, they haven’t lost a game. You have to give it to them. They had a good game and scored off a set piece. That’s it.

On Sporting Kansas City’s performance…
Physically we didn’t leave anything out. We left everything on the field. We played with our hearts. It’s just soccer. Sometimes the ball isn’t going to going to go in for you.

On the fans…
It’s going to hurt tonight but we will look back on tonight fondly. The fans were great. There’s such a buzz in this city because of them. We thank them a lot and look forward to seeing them next year.

On the season…
The turnaround that we made, from being in last place to first and being in the conference final, was phenomenal. The MLS Cup would have topped it all off but we had a great run.

Sporting Kansas City Defender Matt Besler

On the outcome…
We’re disappointed because it could have been something special with the crowd and being at home. That’s the unfortunate part about it. We were two teams that were playing really well. They had a couple good plays tonight. I don’t have a lot to say about where it went wrong because it’s tough right now to talk about it. I congratulate Houston and say thanks to the fans and the owners for giving us the stadium. It was a great atmosphere and it’s a shame we couldn’t get the win.

On the team’s performance…
It wasn’t our night. I think anyone who watched the game could tell that the balls weren’t bouncing our way. Houston made it tough and played very well defensively.  We needed to close up the passing.

Sporting Kansas City Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen

On the end of the season…
I’m very disappointed. Normally the defeats are worst the day after the game. It will be a couple days before I can look back fondly. We didn’t really play the way we wanted. We were pumping balls up in the air the whole time. We didn’t play the ball on the ground like we usually do. At halftime we talked about it but then they came back and scored.  Today we weren’t good enough to create those chances and score.

On moving forward…
This team has a bright future. There is a lot of talent in this team. I think the next couple of the years will be very good years for Sporting Kansas City. Hopefully we can keep this squad together. I want to be here and be a part of the future.

On the defeat…
I am so disappointed we aren’t going to the MLS Cup. It’s unbelievable to play here. The fans give us so much and are behind us 100%. Right now I feel more sorry for the fans than I do for myself.

Sporting Kansas City Forward Kei Kamara

 

On the game…
Like we always expect when we are playing a team like Houston - physical. The stadium is amazing. So many people came out and showed us so much love. We played hard, we definitely were going to play, we weren’t going to sit back or anything like that. They got the goal that counts, that one goal to make them become Eastern Conference Champions, but we played well all year. From where we came from to be in this position right now, we can’t put our heads down.

On the set piece…
I was marking Andre Hainault, the ball went to the far post. He just kept making his run standing on the goal line. I was standing a couple feet away from him and the ball was knocked back across the box so he got his feet on it. Its part of the game. You have to pound on people’s mistakes. Sometimes it’s the things you focus on so much and that’s where you mess up. Coming into this game we focused on set pieces, they focused on set pieces. Any team going to play against us or them, when you focus on set pieces so much, you are going to make one simple mistake and that’s what is going to get you.

On the team being held scoreless…
When we went a goal down, there was a moment when we were just trying to lump it in the box because we wanted to get the goal back. But, then we tried to calm ourselves down and play a little bit, but it didn’t click.  It was one of those days. You know you wish things could have been better, it didn’t turn out right for us but I would like to say kudos to all my teammates and all the fans that came out there.  It has been great all year and it was great today and good luck to Houston.

Houston Dynamo Manager Dominic Kinnear

Thoughts on the match…
It’s something to be very proud of. Brad (Davis) going down just before halftime was a bit of a blow, I thought we were playing pretty good. All in all, to get that first goal, it gave us a ton of confidence, we could’ve scored a second right after that. I’m obviously happy, happy for the guys first and foremost. I think three months ago a lot of people didn’t really take us seriously. This is definitely a big statement to everyone that did, but things can happen when things go well for you.

I thought we played well in the first half. I thought we had some chances, and in defense we didn’t give up much. I just wanted to make sure our set pieces were correct because Kansas City is a good threat on set pieces and just told guys to keep going. I thought it was a great goal, could’ve had a second after that. Defensively, I thought we were pretty sharp all night long.

On Brad Davis injury…
It’s a huge blow, he’s a big part of what we do on set pieces and in the run of play he’s an excellent player. I think the move actually worked out pretty good because Kei Kamara was having a good first half. I thought putting Jermaine (Taylor) over there would quiet that down, and I thought he did good defensively. A quad injury is what we’re told he has.

On going on the road for the game…
I think the key point for me is when we won in Dallas a little over a month ago. Then we went to Portland and Portland is one of the toughest plays to play for obvious reasons. And then we went to Philadelphia and won. So I don’t think the guys are afraid. I think before maybe we were a little hesitant because we haven’t won on the road in such a long period of time and that first win kind of kicked it off for us. I give Kansas City credit, what a wonderful place to play, they gave us a good run around last time. It’s a treat for someone like me to see American grow so much and this was unheard of back in the 90’s. So now the guys can enjoy this, and these are special moments.

Tough environment, the guys showed tremendous resilience, great attitude.

Houston Dynamo Defender Andre Hainault

On getting the first goal…
It takes away some of the nerves a little bit because I feel like after we scored that goal we were under a bit of pressure, but we pushed through it. We started playing the ball around and found some success with that. Then obviously that second goal was huge, it was the one that really settled things down for us.

Houston Dynamo Goalkeeper Tally Hall

Thoughts on the game…
We’re a confident team right now and I think that translates onto the field. We have a bunch of dangerous players, as do they, so we knew coming in it was going to be a battle. We knew they were going to get chances and we knew were going to and we had to put those chances away. We just got to fight hard to get those goals. It was kind of a battle the whole game.

Houston Dynamo Midfielder Adam Moffat

On the team’s substitutes…
Jermaine (Taylor) did fantastic. He hasn’t played in a while, but he’s kept himself ready. There’s a lot of guys that didn’t even play tonight, but they’ve been amazing. Those are the guys that get overlooked because they’re not on the field, but they keep that high level in practice that helps us get better. Those guys get a lot of credit as well.

On getting to the Finals…
For me, even emotionally, just getting there. We get a little bit more time, two weeks to prepare for it. It’s a wonderful feeling, it’s a blessing to be able to do what we do and enjoy it.