Peter Vermes postmatch press conference vs. Atlanta | Feb. 27, 2022

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

It's the opener of their place - obviously an incredible crowd. No doubt that those guys fed off that. They had a good level of energy. I thought we were ready to play. I think what it comes down to is just a couple of little things. I think we had quite a few really good chances being away from home, which when you get those chances, especially being away from home, you've got to put a few of those away - not just one. I think the other is that you look at the first goal, just a very routine play for us in that we have the ball, we give the ball away in a really bad spot on the field, which then in turn our team is open at that moment and we wind up losing the ball and now we get exposed in that situation. So that one was difficult just because it wasn't by any build up from them. It was a big mistake by us in the way we were losing the ball in a certain place in the field. I thought after that we started actually get our legs under us. We started to get the game under us. We started to knock it around. We started to probe and started to play. But the second goal, also again, just unbalanced discipline in the game, in this moment and in quite a few moments in that first half, which exposed us. Then after that, second half we come out and we're trying to get back in the game. We get our goal. We're in and around there in the box and then we get a couple more chances but we don't stick it through and we get burned on the other end. So, I don't know if the game says it all. There was a lot of chances back and forth. Credit to them, they played well and they were good on the counter and they scored their goals.

On the speed of the game…

I thought at times we were actually fine in the game. I really did. But goals change things in games. They always change game plans, they change attitudes and mentalities of players, they change confidence, they change a lot of different things. I think the fact that we lose that ball, they score. Like I said, I think in the first half we're now coming back, we're starting to gain some momentum and then we give up that goal right before half time. That doesn't help the situation. Again, it's just a lack of organization on our part. I don't think the speed of the game was the concern. I think it was just that you can't give away silly balls in those situations and we did.

On the play of Marinos Tzionis…

It was probably not the place that he’s accustomed to playing. He can play in that spot but he didn't spend a lot of time in our team obviously training with us or doing a lot of that. But coming into the game, he was very busy. I thought his combination play, his ability to look forward and play between the lines was actually really good and he's so quick. I see him being a really good addition and I'm looking forward to working with him more because I think he's going to fit into our team and give us something a little different.

On the play of Logan Ndenbe…

I thought Logan was really good going forward a lot and his engine was pretty strong for the game. Maybe a little overzealous a few times. There are situations where players were back to belly with him and he just really needed to keep him in that position. He didn't have to really dive in like he did or foul them, but I think he's a little bit jazzed up. It was a good environment, probably one that he's never played in like that before. But I think there's a lot there to work with as a player within our team. He's got a good mentality. Again, he's just learning our League and that's what's going to happen with a few of these guys that need to be in games. They need to figure it out. They need to see games at this pace and at this level. It's going to be different.

On his instructions for Marinos Tzionis when he entered…

We just tried to tell him the area in which he was going to function in. Push the game, see if you can make something happen because obviously he can score and also he can give a final pass. There's not a lot I can tell him at that point.

On the insertion of Marinos Tzionis for Jose Mauri…

It was a change for me because I think we needed to have more push from the midfield at that moment. It wasn't a game where we were trying to possess the ball. We needed to be in this up and down game at that point, and so it really changed at that moment as you could see. So we just needed to have a little bit more, as you say, probably go more offensive at that moment going forward.

Tim Melia postmatch press conference vs. Atlanta | Feb. 27, 2022

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia

Thoughts on the match…

It was a game where it was a bunch of self-inflicted errors. There are going to be moments in games where we lose balls or we make mistakes, but I think as a whole our shape and our positioning and just how open we were hurt us and it allowed them to constantly be on the counter attack. We were in these situations where we are 1v1 defending with really no help around within 30 yards.

On the speed of the game…

I don't think the environment played anything into it. I don’t think the turf, I don't really think there are any excuses. This was more on us and more on our defensive shape as a group. We knew what they were going to do. We watched plenty of videos of them getting out fast and trying to break teams down with one ball through the middle. Those are all things that we are aware of. We just didn't adequately put ourselves in situations to make those situations easy. And it is a first game and there was a lot of positive things in this game and then also we need to get results as a professional lifestyle. You lose, you're nothing. You win, it's everything. So I don't think it's anything to be concerned about. We know what we're capable of. We know how good we can be and we just didn't show that tonight. We're looking forward to taking a look at this game, learning from it, growing from it, and getting back in front of our fans against Houston and putting in a much better performance.

Daniel Salloi postmatch press conference vs. Atlanta | Feb. 27, 2022

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi

Thoughts on the match…

It's the first game of the season. We played at probably one of the toughest places to play away in this League and we did some good things. We had some mistakes. I don't think you can say a lot about this game. We pulled one goal back. We could have went for the tie. We got scored on again. Things happen. We have to bounce back and win at home next weekend. This is just the first game and we all learned that that means nothing.

On the play of Logan Ndenbe and Marinos Tzionis…

They're very good players. They're going to do well for our team. This is just the first game. As I said, I think they both did well and hopefully they can get better and better and get used to the League because traveling is difficult and it takes time to adjust to this League. So I think they did well and I hope they continue to (do well).

On the team finding its rhythm…

It's not clicking yet. Sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. It's the first game. We need to get into the rhythm and do well. I'd rather have these games out of the way early on in the season and then have our team click after a couple of games and then have that rhythm that you're talking about. I know it's going to come. It always comes in this team. And I think, as I said, we showed a couple of good things and that's a good sign for the season.