Manchester City Manager Manuel Pellegrini and defender Alex Kolarov
Jamila St. Ann

QUOTES: Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini and defender Alex Kolarov

Manchester City FC manager Manuel Pellegrini

On the challenge Sporting KC presents to Manchester City...
This is an important game because we are playing the champions [of MLS]. But I think we are in a different moment of the season. Kansas City is already doing well in MLS. They have won a lot of games. We are just starting the season, but I’m sure that the people who come here to the stadium tomorrow will see a very good match. I think both teams will try to win. It’s not an official match, but both teams would like to win the game.

On Manchester City defending its Premier League crown during the 2014-15 season...
Last year was my first year in the Premier League, but I [spent] several years before that in Europe. I knew a lot of things about the Premier League, but it’s different to live everyday in England. Working with different players was a very good experience. Maybe this year will be more difficult than last year. This is my second season in England, but everyone knows that the team to beat is Manchester City. We are going to face very strong teams. Each of them will want to win the Premier League. We’ll see how much [fight] we have, but we have a very good squad to continue [winning] in my second year.

On Manchester City's hopes of contending for the 2014-15 UEFA Champions League...
One of our targets this year is to continue further in the Champions League. Last year was the first time we arrived to the Round of 16, and we hope that this year we will improve. We will see what draw we have in the group stage, but we are very confident we can do better this year. We’ll try to continue as far as we can.

On Manchester City's partnership with New York City FC of MLS and Melbournce City FC in Australia...
Manchester City wants to be a global team. That’s why we have [partnerships] with New York City FC and Melbourne City. It’s a very important project for the future. We will see which way is the best to develop that project. New York City will start in January and we’ll see how we can do it together. It’s very important for Manchester City to have players from every part of the world. We know that MLS and New York City will have important players, and we will see in the future if they can play with us.

On rival Manchester United's appointment of new manager Louis Van Gaal...
I think Manchester United will have a different season than they had last Premier League. I think Louis Van Gaal is a very experienced manager who knows exactly what he must do with a big team. So we will have another important team trying to win the Premier League. What will happen in the future of Manchester United, I do not know. But I’m sure they will be a strong team this year.

On Manchester City's approach to the rest of the summer transfer window...
The squad is not finished. We’ll see it out to the last day and use the opportunity to change our squad. We will decide if we need another [player] or not. That’s very important for us in these friendly matches. We are seeing different things. Maybe some players will [transfer] out of our squad, but we have more than one month to decide.

On the status of injured forward Alvaro Negredo...
Alvaro had surgery today for his broken leg. I think he will be out at least two or three months. He is a very important [absence] for our squad because he is a very big player for us.

 

Manchester City FC defender Alex Kolarov

On how Major League Soccer has improved over the last few years...
We are here [in the United States] for the third time. Kansas City did very good at the World Cup with a couple players from MLS. We know that soccer here in America is growing quickly, so we expect a very tough game tomorrow. We are in a different moment of our season, but we represent the champions of England. So we’ll have to do our best tomorrow.

On the challenge Sporting KC presents to Manchester City...
We try to win every game possible. We will give 100 percent to win this game, but it will be difficult because they are already into their season. Like I said, we are champions of England and we have to show that on the pitch as well.

On Manchester City's main objectives during the preseason...
We had very tough training in Scotland and now we are going to play a lot of games here to be 100 percent prepared for first official game on the 10th of August against Arsenal. We are looking now to avoid injuries and play as much as possible.

On how Luis Suarez's transfer from Liverpool to Barcelona will affect the Premier League title race...
For me personally, it doesn’t mean anything because we won [the Premier League] last year and three years ago. To be honest, I haven’t thought about Suarez or his transfer to Barcelona. But I do think he’s a great player, and he will do well in Spain like he did in England.

On teammate Yaya Toure deciding to stay at Manchester City...
I read in the paper what happened with him, so I’m happy he made the decision to stay with us. He is a very great player and a very important person for us in the dressing room. To be honest, I did not speak with him about what would happen. He has his personal [decisions] and he knows best. He has already met with the club so he knows what to do. I am happy that he stays with us.
 

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