SKCvORL Quotes: "We should have been able to close the game out"

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

My overall thoughts on the game are that a point probably was a fair result but we should have been able to close the game out at the end there. I’m not happy with the goal we gave away. I thought in the first half they probably were a little better. In the second half, I thought that we were better. I thought that we were smarter in the game and I think it was very hard for them to break us down.

On the play of Gianluca Busio…

He’s done a great job. He’s done an excellent job. The goal he scores – people aren’t going to look at this way, but from my perspective – I look at it as being an incredibly high-level goal. You could even say world-class from the perspective of the tight space that he receives it, he turns, and the quick release to hit it to the near post and overpower the keeper. It was tremendous. The play itself was really good too because we work on that pressing moment. The other piece is, when Daniel (Salloi) won the ball, he was really good to recognize that Busio was the guy furthest advanced in the field and the goal itself was, again, just tremendous.

On whether Busio still surprises him…

I’ve very proud of him because I love his attitude. I love the way that he goes about his business. He’s always up for a challenge. That’s what’s great about him and he can find his way. He is just a pure soccer player. That’s why he can move around the field like he does and perform the way he does. He’s just an incredible kid. He’s got a great mentality and he’s got a great soccer IQ. I’m always proud of him.

Positives from the performance…

Our second half performance was good based on the tactical change that we made. I thought that we were a lot smarter, especially defensively. I thought at that point they were having a tough time. They weren’t finding the game like they did in the first half. I think the tactical adjustment we made for the second half and the way the guys implemented it and executed it was really good. The other thing is that I think we kept our wits about us, but I’m just disappointed about the goal that we gave up at the end. I know they were pushing forward and getting a lot of players in the attack. They moved at one point to having five players on the front line. But we’ve got to be able to handle that. We just made some mistakes and I think it would have been really simple for us to deal with.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio

On his 45’ goal…

We had a good high press and Daniel [Salloi] did well there and got to the end line and cut it back. I took a good first touch and the defender was kind of shading the front post, he was cutting off the far post and I didn’t want to try to dribble around him, so I looked up and saw the goalie and hit it front post. I hit it low enough and hard enough where it would be hard for him to save it and in the end, it went in.

On his new role in the team…

I can get used to any position. I just want to be on the field and win games. Scoring goals is what I always want to do no matter if it’s from forward or midfield or left wing, I want to score goals. I think I was unlucky not to get one the first game but this game I got one. I always want to score from anywhere on the field.

Thoughts on his goal…

I think it was a good finish. I have the technique to hit balls like that and I always have confidence in myself that I can score goals and it feels good to get one in the second game of the season. As soon as I took my touch, I knew I was shooting. It was either far post or front post and he was cutting off the far post, so I decided to take it front, and it was a really good strike.

Thoughts tactically on false nine position…

I think it’s just however the game’s going. With Orlando, they did a really good job with the midfielders dropping back and I didn’t want to run all over the place, they had really good movement. In those moments, I have to drop back more and help the midfielders because they can’t run all over the place and they don’t have unlimited energy, so I feel like I need to drop back and help. There are triggers where we can step up and time it right. Being on the frontline, we have to figure out when we go and when I go, hopefully the whole team has to follow and today we got a goal out of it.

On space and time with the ball compared to previous game vs. New York Red Bulls…

In the second half, I felt like there was more space. Playing as a forward, I’ve learned that there’s always someone on your back and I’m still getting used to that. It felt the same for me although New York did it with a little more energy and their game plan was to press more. I think Orlando was similar to New York also with there always being someone on my back. I don’t know if that’s what comes with the position of if that’s just the team’s we’ve played. They were intense and, on my back, the whole time.

On what he’s taken away from switching positions…

I’ve always been a midfielder so going back to midfielder after playing nine isn’t that much of a difference for me. You definitely have to play a little different at striker. There’s somebody on your back so you’re looking to combine more and play back and then go forward. At midfielder, it’s more space and you can see the game more. When you get it as a midfielder you can turn and get more but as a forward you have to connect the game more. I think it was just a little different mindset when I switched to midfield, like I’m going to go and create more and a striker going to combine more.

On Daniel Salloi’s form to open the season…

He’s always had it in him. Obviously, he’s had a tough couple seasons but the thing with his is he’s always in the right spots He does everything well and even when he’s not scoring as much, he’s still always there. Major props to him, he’s a good player and I’ve been playing with him for a while now and we’re really good friends, so we have that connection. I’m more than happy to see him playing this well but it’s what I expected from him.

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