Quotes: New England Revolution 0-0 Sporting KC

Reaction to Sporting KC's 0-0 draw at New England

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes
This was terrible conditions for a game. It was a miserable environment. I said to the guys before going out to the game, just knowing how it was yesterday, because we trained here yesterday, as well, and it was windier here today than it was yesterday, we needed two things. One was to be concentrated and focused for the 90-plus minutes and the other was we just needed to play every roll of the ball. And I thought that our guys did that. We didn’t give up anything, we came out with a shutout, we were still trying to nip something we got the one off the crossbar, the little chance at the end, but the conditions today weren’t made to play a soccer game, that’s for sure.

For both teams (balls in the air is) territory. You just want to get the ball in the other team’s end and let them make a mistake, opposed to you making a mistake. Sometimes people think it’s easy going against the wind. Sometimes it’s hard because a ball holds up, so there were a couple different things you had to deal with during the course of the game, but I thought we did well.”

You can also lose this game very easily because you’re not paying attention and I thought our guys did a really good job at that.

I thought our concentration was good. I thought our battling was good. I also thought we played to what the conditions were and you have to be able to solve that stuff out in the middle of the game and I thought we did a good job of that.

I don’t think (the teams’ missing national team) guys would have helped today. I think this game was really just about two teams battling, just trying to get lucky. I really don’t think those guys would have helped, just like last night I think they could have put a different 11 on the field and I don’t know who would have done better there either.”

During the week we saw the weather getting worse and worse, and then yesterday having practice here it was pretty simple it was going to be a difficult game based on whichever way the wind was going. We just wanted to make sure going into it, today, that we just stayed focused, and in this situation you got to play every roll of the ball, because if you do not, one mistake leads to a goal.”

You have to get a few of these I think, you have to go into some games where you just have to battle and you have to get a result and it’s not a bad thing to do early on in the season when you’re playing … and on the road for us.

After last week’s game, I thought we played extremely well, I really do. I don’t like the fact that we didn’t score a goal, but I also know that it’s hard when a team puts 11 guys within 30 or 40 yards of their goal and it’s difficult sometimes to break that down. I just liked from the first minute to the last minute how we played our last game. I think today with the guys who jumped in, they were locked into the game. Now, we all know it wasn’t pretty soccer by anybody’s imagination but it’s good because they were in the game. If you can battle like that, I know we have soccer and that’ll come out as time goes on.

What’s good about this game today actually is with (Matt Besler and Graham Zusi) gone, it gave us a chance to get to where we wanted to be anyway, and that’s with the three competitions coming here fast and furious, I need those guys to get experience. So having a game like this, I think was very good. Them getting a result builds their confidence, so all that’s a step in the right direction.

We’re always assessing the game based on our next opponent. What do we have to do for that next team? This is a hard one to do that off of. It really goes back to the Chicago game for our next game against Montreal. The great thing is, now two games, we’ve put a 90-minute game together where we competed and that’s what you need in MLS. You need that first, if you get that – you always give yourself a chance. If you don’t compete and think you’re going to play through another team, that one’s not happening.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen
Very, Very tough conditions out there today, (it was) extremely windy. It made it very tough for both teams to play soccer. It became an ugly game, became a battle. Both teams came out and gave everything they had. As I said before it was very, very tough to do something with the ball and be creative. You had to battle and hope for the best.

(In the wind) Get the ball in the opponent’s half and see what happens up there. Be ready for all the second balls and try to keep the ball as long as possible up there and try high pressure.

Sporting KC defender Ike Opara
It was a hard-fought game. Obviously the conditions were difficult. I think they made the game difficult and we made the game difficult and it was a battle for 90 minutes and it was who could hold their ground. I think at the end of the day we did very well. Obviously we changed our style today from what we’re normally used to, and we almost got a goal or two so looking back, we got a good group point and we’re looking forward to next week.

We were expecting [the wind] but it’s a whole lot different once you get out there on the field and you’re trying to wing it on the game. So obviously that and the turf bouncing around made it very difficult, especially in the first half with the wind. Again, I thought we did a great job. I think after the first 10 minutes we got our feet wet and did as much better as we could for the game. Obviously we would have loved to have gotten three points but we’re not going to shy away and say we’re not happy with this one especially with the conditions.

New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps
It was a tough game all the way around. It certainly wasn’t going to go down as the prettiest soccer game ever played and it was a good fight from our guys. I was real excited with the way we approached the match . . . but, in the end we didn’t get enough chances. We weren’t good enough, I don’t think, on our set pieces when we had our corner kicks and when we had our chances. But, in terms of defending and fighting and making sure we made it a battle, we did that.

I don’t want to make excuses but I will say this, the wind was definitely difficult to play in. You can see the ball moving, you could feel it. I think if you go do heat maps, it’s going to be split down the middle and it’s going to be all away from where the benches were because the wind was just pulling everything over there. It was hard to switch fields when we needed to change the point of attack. I think that, for me, Kansas City is one of the best teams at grinding out a game like that and I think that it showed a lot of our guys coming out and fighting them and making it a difficult battle. I think our back four played well but not just our back four, our entire midfield defended well. It’s one of those games where you want the three points. We’re still looking at film and everything I thought maybe got a handball on a cross from (Andrew) Farrell, but it wasn’t our way tonight. 

I thought about it from probably the 65th minute on. Diego (Fagundez) and (Andy) Dorman were the two guys I was thinking about bringing in. For me, the way that their back four were playing and how physical they were and what (Ike) Opara was doing and where the game was being played, it just wasn’t a game where I thought we would get much forward. Going forward and we were going to lose a little bit defensively so it was a little bit...  Kelyn Rowe I thought was battling well. He had a good physical match and he played well and that would’ve been who I probably would’ve brought Diego in for and I just thought Kelyn just kept doing well, kept doing well. Diego is an explosive player. He needs the ball on the ground. He’s technical player. We need him to win games for us and tonight I just didn’t feel we were going to get what we needed from him. It would’ve put him in a tough spot because he would’ve had to defend corners and set pieces and long throw-ins. That’s just not his kind of game.

I thought Chad (Barrett) did a great job. It’s a fitness (issue) at this point. Chad obviously joined us late in preseason and then he took an illness and was sick for a little while had a virus. We had to be cautious with him … I thought he did a great job for 60 minutes. It wasn’t much to play through you guys saw he was running down long balls, he was running down two center backs that can knock the heck out of people and I thought he did a good job and then Ryan came in and equal to the challenge and did an excellent job.

Obviously, you want to leave with three points. I hope (fans) saw something a little bit different from us in terms of how we go out there and fight. I think last year maybe this game slips away from us and maybe we lose it. But, in terms of what we want to do for an offensive stand point, it wasn’t good enough in our end. Whether it was cold or snow, we need to get a goal. I think we have to get better at that.

I mean we tried (to the conditions). We got the best passers the ball. Last week on their home field they had 75, 70 percent possession they had or seventy percent possession. Why don’t you go ask those guys they’re the ones that want to be the best passing team in MLS. I think we did all right, considering.

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis
Windy, the conditions were very difficult. It’s hard to get any kind of rhythm or anything going. The ball kept going to the one side where the wind was blowing. Both teams battled hard and you know fought and scratched and fouled their way to a 0-0 tie.”

We all have to if we want to encourage our outside guys to go. That’s why we have Clyde [Simms] and Scotty [Caldwell] there to help us. We balance out with those three guys the two center backs, but with their formation we encourage those guys to go because then their two offensive wingers have to go and that leaves one guy out. It’s always a cat and mouse game and it’s always a situation where we have to be turned on for 90 minutes, because you saw the one chance that they got was a direct ball played over the top.”

You really can’t guess what’s going to happen. You just have to react to what’s going on. It changes every time. It gusts, it blows. The worst thing for soccer is wind. It really is the great equalizer … It was just going basically to the southwest side, the side opposite the benches. In the first half everything was going to our right. In the second half everything was going to our left. We tried to play as much as we could, but we also were trying to not take any chances and make sure we were solid. The best thing is that we fought for the whole 90 minutes.”

New England Revolution midfielder Scott Caldwell
I’m definitely starting to feel a little more comfortable. Today was not a pretty game with the wind, the weather. The way we had to deal with that, but it was definitely nice to get a second start in a row and get the tie out of it even though we were hoping for three points.”

They were difficult, some of the most difficult conditions I have played in. May not as bad as the U.S. game last night, but they were tough.”

You can try on the ground, I would say that is the best bet, but the way the winds were swirling even the ball on the ground was moving. So that was kind of the dangerous ball, we had to stay away from it sometimes.”

Just as a team, Kansas City really presses hard in the midfield right when it gets in to the center position, defensively especially. They really press hard and try to pinch the ball and attack from there. They do a pretty good job of it.”

Yeah, I mean, you said it was against their team, the way they play they disrupt, they do a very good job of disrupting their opponents, and it’s tough to play against them. I thought we did a good enough job, we created a few chances and did alright.”

We always want three points, we do. We go out there every game and try to get. We got the point, we got to deal with it and push for three the next week.”

We always try to stick to it [game plan] so we have to deal with in-game you have to change things based on what the other team is throwing at you. I think we did a good job tonight overall.”

Yeah it was real cool, for the first time getting out there in front of fans it was awesome. Good experience, I was excited, too bad we didn’t get three points, but it was overall it was alright. It was a good first game.”

Yeah we knew they were going to battle. We had to fight harder than them if we wanted to get any results so we expected it and we did a good job with it.”

New England Revolution forward Chad Barrett
The other team knows it is hard to control the ball. They have the same hard time doing that. Everyone puts the other team under pressure as much as they can. We played high-pressure defense. KC played high-pressure defense. You kind of got an ugly football game, but you know, hopefully, when the weather gets nicer and the wind settles down a little bit, we can play a little bit better soccer.”

What the guys have been saying from the get go is that we needed to win. That is something we wanted to establish on and make sure when people come in here they just try to get out of here with a tie. They don’t even think about winning, you know? We had a chance to do that today - we had a couple good chances – and hopefully next week we can start off with a win.”

Well you know going into the game, you know it’s going to be like that. You might get just one chance, you might get none. Pretty much my job was to create havoc out there, make sure if they did get their head on balls they didn’t get a clean head on balls; pretty much fight with them. In the formation we played, it was hard because sometimes I don’t have a lot of help, but that was the game called for, that was the game plan. I thought the game plan was, as it was instructed to us, we went really well with it. Going forward we will see what happens and hopefully like I said we can play a little bit more attractive soccer and create more chances.”