Quotes: Postgame reaction from SKC 1-0 HOU

Reaction to Sporting KC's 1-0 win against Houston

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

 
General thoughts on the match…
 
What can I say, I think it was, in the three years that I’ve been coaching the team,the best performance we had in 90 minutes. We absolutely dominated the game. Guys played with incredible, incredible concentration and organization. I thought Uri [Rosell] and [Peterson] Joseph were outstanding. The way they moved the ball from side to side, I though they were just tremendous, I thought it was just a complete game, other than getting a second goal, we created some very good chances.
 
I think their goalkeeper [Tally Hall] does a very good job but at the end, what can I say, we dominated the game, It’s unfortunate, I’m proud of the players. Definitely not an easy game, but they kept their composure and I couldn’t ask them to do anything else, they did everything they could other than get the second goal in which we created more than enough chances, we ought to be able to do that.
Sometimes that’s the way it goes, but tremendous performance for 90 plus minutes.
 
On not finishing goals well overall this season…
 
If you look at it from the point of view that we stayed on top of the division the whole entire season, and we won the Open Cup, I’d like to think that with the best goals against average, and we scored when we need to. We did very well, we have a very good team, there’s no doubt that you want to score more goals, but like I said, I couldn’t ask more from the guys than what they did tonight.
 
On Seth Sinovic not celebrating his goal…
 
It’s the way it is, we needed to get the second goal and we talked about that there’s no celebrating, you grab the ball, get back to midfield and let’s start again. It was a great goal. We had quite a few others that just went across the goal mouth, right over the net. There were some very good chances.
 
On the performance overall…

 

I couldn’t be happier with the performance tonight, from a number of reasons. You’ve also got to look at two young guys come on to the park playing such a big game like this, and to play with the composure and the ability those guys played with what a great future for those young guys and our organization.
 
On starting inexperienced players Peterson Joseph and Uri Rosell…
 
You’re putting them in a situation that they don’t have rhythm. They’re not playing game after game after game. Those guys came in today without missing a step, but look I’m telling you their performance, from both of those guys was outstanding, we’re not talking above average, they were fantastic. They played the position exactly the way that we train and talk about game after game. Those guys were tremendous.
 
General thoughts on the season as a whole…
 
We are going to look at it and say, ‘there are some very good things, but we fell short of all of our goals.’ I actually feel very confident in the group that we have and they way that they finished this game tonight. That’s the sad thing, that’s the disappointing thing, when you play that way, and you win the game, and you still have to be done, that’s the disappointing thing for them as well. Those guys sacrificed the whole entire season, and that’s why we were the position that we were, I’m very proud of the group.
 
On not using any subs…
 
I felt very comfortable with the group that we had out there and I believed we were going to get a second goal, which then probably would have put us into the mini game, so that’s where we’d need some fresh legs, but it wasn’t as if I was holding back. Those guys were fine, I couldn’t break that rhythm
 
On next season…
 
We’ve got a lot of positions that we want to continue to get deep in. We have a lot of different things that we need to put into this team. We have three different competitions we have to play in between regular season and Open Cup and then Champions league and we’re going to have to have an even deeper team than we do now, but like I said, it looks very bright when you see two young guys like there was tonight coming out on the field and playing.
 
Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic
 
On scoring his first career MLS goal…
 
It was an exciting moment. I didn’t really think much about it, just took the ball out of the net and back to the center circle. We wanted to keep going, keep playing fast, keep pressuring. We needed another goal.
 
On Sporting KC’s 2-1 aggregate loss to Houston…
 
We outplayed them over the two games and probably deserve more. But that’s how playoff soccer is. Houston is a tough team with a lot of experience. They’re never easy to break down. We did our best tonight and played our hearts out.
 
On the final quarter of the match…
 
We all thought the second goal would come. We knew that if we got one, the crowd would get behind us and it would be really tough for Houston. The chances were there. It just wasn’t quite our night.
 
On the fans’ support throughout the season…
 
This team wouldn’t have been as successful without the fans. Every single game day they showed up and they were loud. It’s an honor to play in front of them. You couldn’t ask for more from the fans and the entire organization, really.
 
Sporting KC forward C.J. Sapong
 
On narrowly missing multiple goal scoring chances…
 
I expect myself to take some of the chances I had tonight. We came out guns blazing and should have scored more. But we were unlucky. And that was sometimes the story of our season.
 
On Sporting KC’s 2-1 aggregate loss to Houston…
 
I think we showed we’re the better team. But things happen that you can’t explain. We knew they would sit back and defend and make it tough, but we could have done it.
 
On concluding his second MLS season…
 
The goal is to keep improving, individually and as a team. We won our conference last year and this year, and we want to do it a third time. We want more trophies. We got a taste of that with the Open Cup, but we’ll be back next season hungrier than ever.
 
On the fans’ support throughout the season…
 
We have the best fans in the league, no doubt. They give us pride and energy, so thanks to them for helping us big time this season. They were great every single game.
 
Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear
 
General thoughts on the match…
 
It’s been an exhausting night for us. We didn’t play particularly well, but Kansas City definitely did. With a little bit of fortune on our side, we are moving on to the next round. I give them a ton of credit for pressing and we had to defend more than we wanted to. Lucky for us one goal was all they could get, and we’re happy to be moving on to the next round. It’s tough playing here for a number of reasons. The most important reason is that they have a good team that puts you under pressure. It’s a fantastic place with a wonderful atmosphere. It was a tough night for us but I’m happy that we are moving on.
 
On Sporting Kansas City’s high-pressure system…
 
Their energy was great and they didn’t give us any space or time. We had maybe five or six spells of possession the whole game, which is not nearly enough. We broke a couple times at the end and just couldn’t come up with anything. Kansas City’s energy and effort to get the ball back was good. We couldn’t play out of tight spaces, and we changed our formation to try to match them up. They definitely had the run of play tonight and I can’t say anything else.
 
On Houston’s impressive playoff history…
 
It’s pretty remarkable. I didn’t know that. I don’t pay attention to that stuff too much. The one thing that really impresses me is that this year we knew it was going to be a tough road to get to the conference final and it was going to be on the road. To get rewarded for beating Chicago with playing Sporting Kansas City is kind of an unjust reward, but it is a reward. But five conference finals in seven years is definitely something that a team should be proud of. The coaching staff and players should be proud.”
 
On the final 20 minutes of the match…
 
You want to win, that is the most important thing. You want to advance to the next round. As soon as they scored, I whispered to [assistant coach] Tim Hanley, “I think that we’re in trouble.” And we were. But lucky for us, we had a couple bounces go our way and bodies thrown in our way. It was definitely a long 26 minutes. At one point, I said something about getting a substitute ready for the 82nd minute and looked up and realized it was only the 72nd minute. It was tough, and they kept on coming and we could never get the ball under control. I don’t think Nielsen even touched the ball much in the second half, so it was a long 26 minutes. I give Kansas City a lot of credit. They never let up and even the last play of the game was a cross into the box. Our group showed a lot of heart tonight and it was great.
 
Houston Dynamo Defender Kofi Sarkodie
 
On the victory tonight…
 
It’s huge. We had a hard road, so coming to KC was tough. It’s definitely an exciting time. We scored a crucial two goals in Houston and then we came here and made it out. 
 
On whether the Dynamo would prefer to face New York or D.C. in the next round…
 
No preference we just focus on ourselves and continue to move forward and keep the momentum up.
 
On the game plan going into tonight…
 
There wasn’t really a specific game plan, we just wanted to play our game. It wasn’t as if we were thinking we wanted to sit back. We just wanted to come in and play well. 
 
On the atmosphere…
 
This is one of the best venues in MLS. If you heard and saw the fans, you could see that it’s an amazing place to play. It’s something special playing here and it’s always hard to come here and play- credit to them.  They play good soccer. There was a lot of pressure on us and fortunately we didn’t succumb.
 
Houston Dynamo forward Cam Weaver
 
General thoughts on the win…
 
We’re excited to be moving on it’s obviously what we came here to do. It was tough but in the end we are going through.
 
On the team’s strategy coming into the game…
 
We talked about coming here and trying to play a 0-0 game- but credit to Sporting, they put us under a lot of pressure and we had to defend most of the game.  We bent a little bit but not completely.  In the end, we held on to our lead.
 
On moving forward in the playoffs…
 
We just look at the next game.  We will take the first home game and keep the same mentality and come out strong in our first home game and then we will think about the next round on the road.
 
On their impressive record at home…
 
Houston has been good to us and we are very confident playing at home and that won’t change regardless of who we play. We like our chances.