Sporting Kansas City defeated the Tampa Bay Rowdies 1-0 on Saturday night. Peter Vermes gives his thoughts about the match and the team leading into the 2013 MLS regular season.
On Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber
Zusi could play all five positions, and I'm talking about the three up top and the two attacking midfielders. Benny could play four of them. He could play wide or he could play the two underneath. So that interchange between them, I don't know, maybe sometimes they will end up being two attacking mids together. There are just a lot of different combinations we can do. But, I like Zusi out wide at times because I think he gives us another player on the offensive line that can hold the ball and create from there. I like that part of it. And then Claudio gives us a lot of that, we haven't had it in the past, someone that we can play through. He's very good on the one-twos around the top of the box.
On Mechack Jerome
Because of our relationship with Orlando, we've talked about a lot of players that we are interested in or that we could loan to them. So, we've been giving him [Jerome] a really long hard look. He's done pretty well for us. We lost Michael Harrington, and he was a good cover for us at right and left back. So, it doesn’t hurt for us to try and find someone up and coming, and he could be that guy. He's done well. He's got a lot to learn within our system, but he's got a lot of good instincts.
On the remainder of the preseason
We're trying to set these next two weeks up like we're getting ready to play in season. So, I'll give the guys the next two days off although one of the days will be regeneration where they don't really do much. But, then we'll start Tuesday really working. We have a reserve game we'll play on Wednesday for the reserve guys. But, the other guys will go through a regular training session on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Then we'll get ready for the game on Saturday and then we'll fly home on Sunday and do our same kind of thing that we usually do. That's really the rhythm that we wanted to get here in the last two weeks. It was good to be able to do that. And to get out of the game without anyone being seriously injured.
On the shutout
A lot of it has to do with the way we press high up the field. And like I said, it's been a little bit of a transition for Claudio and Benny to understand the way that we like to do that, and when we do it. And there are different visual cues when we do those things. They are getting better at it and that's helping us defensively as well. And then I would say the back four has been together now for quite some time and they have played a lot of games together and those guys are getting better and better. Rosell has some really good instincts on how to protect the two central defenders at times especially when we're attacking the other team and they leave a few guys up front. He is very smart as we move the ball up the field. The defending is good, and Jimmy's doing great with his feet playing out of the back as well.