HOUvSKC Quotes: "We created a bunch of chances. We just didn’t finish them."

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the game…

I don’t think it was a particularly good game for either team. They finished the chance they had. They missed probably a couple. We missed a bunch, especially after they scored. We created a bunch of chances. We just didn’t finish them. I don’t think it was a particularly good game for either side.

On Ilie’s performance in central defense…

I felt that we were going to play out of the back quite a bit, which we did. We had the ball a lot. I wanted to have somebody back there that felt very comfortable on the ball next to (Andreu) Fontas. That was the reason. And I thought that the way we put the midfield together, we’d be pretty dynamic and maybe put some pressure on them coming out of the midfield.

On the team’s increased aggression in the second half…

Nothing different than what we really wanted to do from the start of the game. It was really just about moving the ball quickly. We just weren’t quick with the ball in the first half. There were some players on the field that were a little bit reckless with the ball. We lost the ball in some situations that were really, really easy giveaways that led to us losing possession and having to chase and defend. That was probably the big thing, the big difference to be honest with you. Once we felt we could possess the ball in the second half the way we did and move it the way we did, you could see the life coming back into the team. We were much more on the front foot.

On conceding the game’s only goal…

First off, we’re running down the sideline. We should never cut back and go backwards. We’re on the positive side and we turned around and cut back and that already leads to a negative situation. We’re attacking and we have the ball. We’re in front of their guys and we let them catch up to us. We let them get behind the ball. Then we lose it and we’re open at that point because we’re trying to possess the ball. When you lose an easy ball like that, that’s what’s going to happen to you sometimes. That’s the reason why they scored.

On Houston’s low block…

We lost the ball in a very routine situation and we’re open at that point. Sometimes you’re going to get crushed for it. There were a lot of situations where they lost the ball and we didn’t crush them for it. That’s the difference. The difference is whether you scored or you didn’t score. We won the ball where they coughed the ball up in their end (with) poor passes or things like that, and then we went to goal and we didn’t score.

On the team being shut out…

I think, as a team, we have to score goals. When we get as many high quality chances as we do, the people that get them eventually have to score. They have to score, simple as can be.

Sporting Kansas City defender Luis Martins

Thoughts on the game…

I think we played well, we just need to improve in some parts of the game. I think we did a great job but in the end, what matters is the result and we lost. We need to take lessons for the next game but I think we are in a great way to keep improving and we just need to be more safe with the ball, don’t give away easy passes. I think we have enough quality for that and I think better results are coming.

On bouncing back quickly ahead of Sunday’s match against Vancouver…

I think the team is prepared for that type of game and to play every three days. We just need to make sure that we get back home, recover well and make sure we are prepared for the next one – it’s going to be a tough one as well but I think we have all to win the game at home and bring three points with us.

On why Houston was difficult to break down after taking the lead…

I think it’s the game, we tried, we created a lot of chances to score to at minimum get a result here. But in the end, what matters is the score, they scored one, we didn’t score and they won. I think we deserved more, but this is just the beginning. I think we have more than enough quality to keep it up.

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi

Thoughts on the game…

Houston’s always a difficult place to come in and play, especially when it’s a midweek game – tough circumstances. I think that we pushed well, it wasn’t our best game, we gave the ball away lots of times and missed our chances. It’s just one of those games, it’s early on in the season, we’ve got to learn from it and bounce back and get ready for Sunday again.

On the team’s improved performance in the second half…

I think the mindset, we started the game slow, we were slow to step to the man in front of us defensively and just in transitional moments but I think we were sharper in the second half, but not sharp enough. Still, I feel like we created great chances and many times their goalie made big saves, many times we made mistakes. I think it’s difficult, if we are a little bit luckier and have a better day, we could’ve come away with points from here.

On bouncing back quickly with a home game against Vancouver on Sunday…

Well we’ve all done it in the past, when we have to play multiple games in a week. It’s difficult, but it always gives us motivation. When we have to do it at home, obviously it’s a better environment and we can all focus on it more. We just have to regroup and get our energy because after that game we can have another week of rest so obviously it’s very important to get points at home now.

Houston Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos

On earning three points tonight...

I felt for about 55 minutes, something like that, we were pretty good. We didn't allow chances, we had our chances to take a lead and to get a couple of goals. Overall, I think the last 35 minutes we didn't play as well. Obviously, we got that goal and we had to defend it. We were playing one of the best teams in the league and certainly not easy. I give the team a lot credit, they fought very hard today for each other and as a team. This is a big win for us.

On the importance of earning a win tonight in the context of the game...

It was really important because of the other results we had gotten. The LAFC tie at home was a good result, the Dallas tie on the road, although we should of won - we actually should of won probably both games. It was still a good point. I think we needed to come home and get the three points to solidify the good start that we have had. Now we can look at it as, we have had five very difficult games and we have lost one. So, in general it is a good start.

In the play of Derrick Jones...

Derrick (Jones), it is good that Derrick did his job today. I am very happy for him, he has had a lot of ups and downs in the league. Today he had a great game. Omid (Namazi) and I were talking about this right after the game. This is the Derrick Jones that we know, because he can win balls and he can get forward with the ball as well. Today, I think he showed that he is just a force in there and a player to be reckoned with in the league.

On the red card that was given to him...

Yeah, the fourth official told me that it was for throwing my hands and for coming out of the box, but now I want to see every other coach in the league get a red card every time they go out of the box and complain. I'm going to wait for that, but it's likely that we'll get another apology. You know, the referee that refed our game last week already got suspended for this week because he didn't give that second yellow against Dallas. We keep complaining about things that happen and we get the apology later. Look, if my red card is a red card because I left the box complaining, I just want to see everybody else get a red card for leaving the box and complaining.

On Dynamo GK Marko Maric’s performance...

Yeah, (Marko Maric) was huge. He's been feeling a little sick coming into the game, he had a few stomach issues today. I just told him in the locker room. I said, ‘we need you sick all the time because today was a great effort.’ I mean, I think he's, he's always good, but today he was exceptional.

On the impact of MF Derek Jones on the field...

Yeah, Derek (Jones) is a big player. This is why we brought him. We think he has a lot of potential. I think today it was definitely one of those moments that he can build upon. Today, he was probably the most important player on the field. I'm really happy for him, because he's had a lot of ups and downs, and he needed a little consistency. I'm sure he will get it here.

On playing MF Boniek Garcia as a center back,...

Yeah, it's simple really - we just don't have that many defensive players right now available to play that position. We had three games in the period of seven days and we're trying to figure it out. Maynor (Figueroa) played the last game and he played really well. We thought that we probably couldn't play him after not playing for a month and a half, that he couldn't play four days later and have the same type of performance. We thought maybe Boniek (Garcia) could play on Wednesday so that Maynor could play on Saturday. It was kind of the idea - trying to manage the minute to do the best we can for the players that we have available. Boniek had a little bit of an issue, so he had to come off. That was, that was not planned.

On MF Joe Corona’s performance...

Yeah, Joe (Corona) is a great leader for a team. He has great feet, he helps us to hold possession when we need it the most. I still think that today, we didn't find Joe enough. We have to look for him a little bit more, but you know, we're building. I think today was a very positive effort for us. More importantly, it was a very positive result because we didn't get the results the last couple of weeks that we should have.

On tonight’s performance...

I thought today in the first half we did okay. In general, I think we need to do better. We need to play with more confidence in the middle of the field. We really don't do a great job of holding the ball. We have to continue to improve. I don't want to take away from the great effort that all the players made today, because that that's beyond anything else, but obviously as a coach, you always try to improve and we got to keep improving in that area.

On what the plan was to play against Sporting Kansas City...

Yeah. I mean, we talked specifically to Boniek (Garcia) in particular for the first half, knowing that (Alan) Pulido goes into midfield to receive a lot and we wanted to follow him, but only so far, five to 10-yards. To see if anyone is coming through from midfield to call and pick up the runner – Boniek did a great job. I think Maynor (Figueroa) did a great job with that as well. We could follow them as far as we could, but as soon as there was a runner coming out of midfield, we needed to make that switch. I thought the guys did a good job with that.

Houston Dynamo midfielder Derrick Jones

On the team performance today...

Yeah, I think as a whole we all played together as a team. We had each other's back and we went out there to get a win. So, that is what we did today. We believed in ourselves, we believed we could get the job done and we did it.

On earning three points after two consecutive draws...

It is always good to get a win, in the next game you are more confident going in. Like you said, the Dallas game, unfortunately we tied the game, but I felt that we should of gotten the win. In the second half, we had most of the ball. We continue to build off that, that is what we did today and we got the win. Now, we go to Colorado and aim to get the win again.

On his confidence to play as a defensive midfield...

There are three of us in the middle, so we always communicate and I can't just be stagnant and stay in the middle. Sometimes I have to follow the player and go. So, usually I tell them if I am stepping, that they need to cover for me. I know that usually I am the one that has to stay back. Sometimes, I have to follow my player, especially if I am closer. So, it is all about communication. I tell my teammates when I go, they have to cover me. I do the same thing for them.

On Tab Ramos' ejection at the end of the game...

Every coach would do the same thing he did. Obviously, it was a foul and we didn't get it. These are emotions, he got furious. I would do the same thing. Obviously, I don't think he would do that on purpose, and I think it was harsh giving him a red card.

On his interactions with the fans today...

I know they don't really, know me like that. I just got here, so I had to find a way to interact with them so they could remember me. I love them, I love the team and we are going to continue to build a relationship.

On if this was a breakout game for him...

I came here, because I trust them. Tab (Ramos) and Omid (Namazi). I knew they were going to give me the chance to play. Every time I step on the field, I always try to give my best, because they are putting their trust in me. I try to give 100 percent. Obviously, I wouldn't say that I played perfect. I lost a couple of balls, but I did my best. I feel like I still need a little more work to do going forward.

On if he had more confidence on the ball as the game went on...

Yes, 100 percent I did. Especially in the second half when the game opened up. So, that is when I could get on the ball a lot. So, I think I am starting to feel more confident since I've been playing. Everything is coming, coming to me and I am starting to feel like myself.

On the final 10 minutes of the game...

We always work on our mid-block, we want to make it harder for teams to penetrate or get chances. That is something we work on every day, to try to prevent teams from having a go. Nobody wants to get scored on, but we do that every time, so we don't concede. Especially in those last minutes with tired legs. We just want to grind it out and finish the game.

Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Marko Maric

On the team’s performance...

I think it was good, from the start of the game I think we gave (it all) from the first minute against Kansas. We mentioned it today, that we want to win the game, we went to win every tackle, every ball. We played like a team and we played today like a winning team, like a team who wants to take three points at home.

On earning three points today...

It’s very important, because it’s very difficult to play three games in one week. Especially with the last two games that finished as a draw, everything is a process, and the season is long and we are trying to get a the taste of winning games in a row, hopefully. It’s an important game to win at home, because we fly on Saturday to Colorado and its every time difficult to play away. You have to fly and everything around it, so today three points was very important – it can be a change in the season.

On playing with a stomach bug...

No I hope not, because this pain – listen I just try to help my team with pain or without pain. I just try to give my best. Even when people sometimes say it’s not smart enough, but I felt like I could help my team and I did it. Thank god. This was the most important thing and I hope nobody gets sick, because it’s not a nice feeling, but I'm happy we just took the three points today.

On the save he made against Alan Pulido in the second half...

A save is a save, I don't know. It’s difficult to describe what I saw, I just tried to save the ball and to be honest an important part is because he had so much free space, that is why I don't gamble maybe he goes right or left. I just staying waiting for the ball and then I save it.  It could go the other way, but this day it went on my side and I saved it.

On Tab Ramos getting a red card...

It just shows that we are all on one page, I would say. Everyone wants to win from the coach to our physios, to our kitman, everybody wants to win. We are all one way and stuff like this happens, for me this is football. Football without passion is nothing. Passion is love and we love this sport. There are emotions, sometime in a wrong way, sometimes in a good way, but I have nothing to say, I think this is just showing that we want to win every game.

On the play of MF Derrick Jones...

First of all Derrick (Jones) is right in front of, so now I have to say good stuff (laughs) that's the problem. No, I think to be honest for every player who comes into the team, he needs time come into the team and feel the game we are playing and feel the play around him. For me, Derrick today for me played a fantastic game. He showed his best side and he helped us a lot. He just has to continue his hard work.

On his first clean sheet of the season...

It just shows that we work, that we are constantly working in the background. It’s not only me, it is the all the guys on the field today, my defenders in front of me and my midfield players and the strikers. It was nice to just have a clean sheet at home and get the win. It’s a nice feeling to go home with and sleep.

On facing players like FW Alan Pulido...

I think I have said this before, I prepare for every game, for every team the same. Of course, I watch videos and see what the guys are doing, how they play, and what's the weakness, what's the strength. You can of course watch the player, but it’s difficult in the game because anything can happen, and some things can change. I prepare myself and try to know the other opponents’ players, but in the game still anything can happen.

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