Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On earning two wins in Dallas this year…

It was a good mentality from the game on the weekend where we came out of that game with a loss and had to respond. I thought the guys responded well. It’s not an easy place to play. The guys have a good mentality. I’ve always said that you have to have purpose behind the way that you play. I think tonight it was a couple things. It was purpose, it was effort and it was intelligence at really opportune times within the game. There were times we were excellent in possession. There were times where we went on the counter. We showed that we have the ability to get behind teams. We’ve done that many other times, too. Tonight I thought the guys recognized in the first half that they went to five in the back. We moved the ball really well possession wise. In the second half, they went to four in the back. Then we started getting in behind them and caused the penalty kick. Khiry (Shelton) had unbelievable movement off the ball. It was a great ball into space that eliminates guys and it was a foot race, kind of like in LA. The only thing they could do was tackle him from behind and that’s obviously what caused the penalty and the red card. It has a lot to do with movement. It has a lot to do with effort and intelligence. It was an all around good game for us. I’m proud of the guys, very proud.

On Daniel Salloi’s performance…

The first one comes off of a situation where he doesn’t get the opportunity to cut inside and face the player up like he did if we don’t move the ball from east to west as well as we did. It gave him time to receive, which then he does a really good job of setting his defender up and cuts inside. He had a very similar opportunity against Seattle, but he hit it a little too far. I think he was trying to bend it too much versus this one he put a little more power on it. It had a little movement to it. It was a fantastic finish. I think that’s one of the keys when you come play here is you want to try to score first. That was a good start to the game. The second one was all based on the counter. Again, he opened his run up, has a very good touch and sets the player up. And this credit goes to him and Zoran (Savic), because Zoran works with him a lot going to his left. He’s predominantly right-footed. He roofs the ball and he gets a lot of credit because that’s a lot of hard work that’s being done in training which then translates to the game. It was big time.

On the play of Cam Duke…

He played excellent. Obviously, there were some things where he was maybe a little too aggressive a few times and they exploited space behind him, but he was very, very good. I would rather him make mistakes being aggressive than being a guy that’s too timid to do anything. Tonight he was very good. He was really, really good. Even on the bench, you could hear people talking about ‘Great tackle, great this, great that’ and they were correct. He was in it. We didn’t spend a lot of time with him. What I would say is that it has a lot to do with he’s played that position before in our academy and coming through the ranks. He did a really, really good job. And (FC Dallas) is not an easy team, because when they feel good about their game, they really push their two outside backs really, really high up the field and push their wingers inside. At times, it almost puts four guys on the backline. He handled it really well. He had good decision making. Johnny Russell helped him as well on that side. He was very good.

On saving players legs with the man advantage…

That’s a really good point. The other thing too is the weather here was actually pretty good tonight. It was in the low 80’s at best and very little humidity. It was a game where we didn’t have to expend a ton of energy. That part was really, really good.

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell

On the importance of bouncing back after Sunday’s loss…

Massive, we said that before the game – we can’t drop points in consecutive games if we want to achieve the things that we want to do. We’ve still got our eyes on finishing top of the West. Obviously disappointment at the weekend so it was important to bounce back. Felt we’ve done that, as we have done all season – when we’ve come up with a little bit of an upset, we’ve always bounced back well. Tonight was the same, we knew it was going to be a difficult game coming in here, always is. Absolute worldy from Daniel (Salloi), and after that we probably sat back a little bit too much, invited too much pressure in the first half. Then obviously getting the red card in the second half sort of killed the game and we could control it from there. All in all, good night, disappointing to concede but it’s three points and three more towards the end goal.

On Cam Duke’s performance at right back…

I thought he was great. It’s not easy, especially coming into a place like this, they attack down that side a lot but I thought he held his own, thought he was really good. He deserves to be playing, he’s probably found himself a little bit disappointed that he hasn’t played as much as he probably would hope because he’s deserved it, but he’s kept a good attitude, he’s stepped in when we’ve needed him in a position that we were struggling in. I didn’t think he looked out of place at all, I thought he had a really good night.

On how the frontline took advantage when Dallas switched from five at the back to four…

We weren’t quite sure what they were going to do to begin with, but once we saw it was a five and obviously their left wing back was stepping high onto (Cam) Dukey and right wing back was stepping high onto Luis (Martins), if we were moving the ball quick enough like we were in the early parts of the first half, I think you’ve seen me and Daniel (Salloi) got a lot of space, the two forward midfielders were able to pick up those little holes behind their midfield in front of their defense as well. There was pockets of space everywhere. We get the goal from doing that, then like I said we probably sat back a little bit, invited too much pressure, stopped doing the things we had started doing. And then second half, they changed to a four, went down a man, it was – I wouldn’t say easy but we’re a team that can come away from home and keep the ball and move the ball, we’ve showed that all season and I thought we done it really well in the second half.

On if there was any thought to allowing Daniel Salloi to take penalties with him in the Golden Boot race…

(If) Daniel wants the penalties, Daniel can hit the penalties. It’s just kind of the way it worked that I took the last one, scored it, so I took this one. If he’s on two goals, at that time then obviously I’ll let him take it. In hindsight, you let him take it if he gets a hat trick. If Daniel feels confident, which I’m sure he does at that time, then he’s more than welcome to come and take it, it all just depends on if I give him the ball or not.

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi

On determining who takes penalties on the field…

There was really no conversation in the game. We’ve talked about it. Yes, I do need to take them to have a chance to win the Golden Boot. It’s one of those, as I’ve said before, Johnny (Russell) is really good at taking them. It comes down to the team. In my eyes, if somebody takes the PK and scores, they have the right to take the next one. This is what Johnny has been doing, putting all of them away. I kind of want to wait until the last game and maybe I can add a couple goals there. The team comes first. You want him to take it.

On scoring with his left foot…

Obviously, you try to always go for your right foot first. I think I have a decent shot with my left foot. This one felt good. I hit that one nice. You have to switch it up because you can get predictable if you don’t so taking the defender down the line is another thing I have to do more and more so I can always keep them guessing.

On his long-term plans…

I love Kansas City. I love this club. I’ve been here since I was 18. It’s been pretty much my home besides my actual home where my parents live. I’ve been very happy. It’s soccer at the end of the day so you never know what happens. I do have a contract for next year so that’s all I know at this point.