On what went wrong…

It was a bad start, a poor start. You can’t give up the ball like we did off the kickoff and then receive a goal. They come right down the middle of the field and they wind up scoring. You bring them into the game. The crowd gets into it. They’re into it. And then we give up a silly set piece goal and then we’re chasing the game. We’re chasing the game from the opening minute of the game. That’s what went wrong.

On whether the team had tired legs…

It’s not tired legs. They’re professional athletes. The weather is beautiful. To play a game like this after you played and you play again this weekend, big deal. It’s not tired legs. It’s not tired legs at all. That’s an excuse. What do you think the other teams have to do in this league? What do you think they do, change the whole entire team every game? No. Guys have to play in this kind of environment.

On what he says to the team for the next match…

The players are professionals and they have to find a way to start the game better. It’s simple as can be. There are times when you can have external motivation. There are other times when you can have internal motivation. Normally, it’s internal. As a pro athlete, it’s internal motivation. It was a mistake on the team’s part and now they’ve got to fight for the next game. That’s the way it goes. That’s the way this business is.

On if he’s worried about the team’s performances…

I never like to lose a game. Whenever I lose a game, I’m not happy.

Thoughts on the match…

Unfortunately, we put ourselves in a hole and we couldn’t get out of it. Austin FC came to play, for sure. As I told the guys, all these games down the stretch – no matter who you are playing – they’re going to be tough games. This was, for sure.

On the takeaways leading into Decision Day…

You can’t start the game the way we did. We’ve done that quite a few times this season. It’s not the time to do it now.

On the second half substitutions…

I don’t know if we really made a lot of tactical decisions. We were just changing some guys off the field to get them off and give them a rest and get ready for the next game.

Sporting Kansas City captain Johnny Russell

On the team’s mistakes…

Just look at the goals. They’re not goals that we usually concede. For whatever reason, we’ve done it the last two games in two really important games for us. You can’t give away the goal the way we did in the first minute of the game, especially in a game that we were really fired up for and especially after the last result. The warmup was one of the best that we’ve had and then we come out and let them score in a minute. There’s not really any excuse for that. You make it extremely difficult for yourself. And then they get a second and you’re making it near on impossible for yourself. Obviously, a disappointing night like it was the other day but we’ve still got a game left. We need to win that. We knew we had to win it anyway. And we need Vancouver to give us a bit of a hand when it should have been in our hands. Now we’re looking for another team to help us out which is pretty disappointing from the position that we were in.

On chasing the game…

It’s difficult against any team you play in this league. Austin possess a lot of quality and they showed that tonight. If you give teams a head start, you’re not always going to come back. We’ve shown it time and time again this year that that is possible and we can do it, but you’re not going to do it every time. Coming into this last week of the season and you’re playing for top, to give a team a goal in the first minute and give them a head start – it’s not good enough. We all know it’s not good enough. There’s no excuse for that. It’s just us switching off as a team and sloppiness as a team.

Sporting Kansas City defender Graham Zusi

Thoughts on the match…

It was a slow start. The early goal I think got under our skin a little bit. They got a second as well and then we were pushing from behind the rest of the game. When you do that to yourself, it’s just very difficult to come back from. We’ve got to start better and minimize some of those mistakes. The goal off the set piece is something we can avoid. A poor start from us in the beginning and then we’re chasing the game for the rest of the time. They put all their numbers behind the ball at that point so they were difficult to break down. We never could catch up.

On looking ahead to Decision Day…

There should be no lack of motivation for that game. We’re in front of our fans with it all to play for. Definitely a better start, looking for that. Defending our home, we’ve been good about doing that all season.

On the early two goals conceded…

A little bit of a breakdown from the group and they got a little counterattack, cross came back across and they tapped it in. Just something that we could have avoided further up the field and not put ourselves in that position. It’s being aware from the start of the game and not being surprised that they’re going to push from the start. There’s no one but ourselves to blame for that.