Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

I think, at the end of the day, we played very well in the game. I think after the first goal was scored, I think we were solid. We settled down. They kind of changed their formation somewhat. We talked about it before the game, but I think the goal came off of the exact thing we didn't want. We were trying to stop them from playing through the middle as much. You're not going to stop everything, but you want to try to avoid or limit as much as you can. And we did. I thought we were good in that regard. We get back into the game. And then we go ahead. And then we're on the verge of just making a sub right before that goal gets scored. I'm not saying that's why the goal went in, I'm just saying we were on the verge of trying to change it up a little bit. But I think the guys defended well and I also think that for us to score two goals on the road (was positive). They had to drive the game. They're at home. They have to be the ones to push it. I thought that we handled the game really well. I'm pleased that the guys fought for the point, which is not an easy thing to do.

On the play of John Pulskamp in net…

I think the great thing there was that John kept his composure. He didn't let the emotions of the situation get to him. I give him a lot of credit because he definitely matured a lot in that moment because he could have easily gotten caught up in all the emotion that was in the stadium. The fans did a great job putting a lot of pressure on the referee to make the call. Now John's all in it and obviously he's the protagonist. He's got to be the guy that has to make something happen at that moment. His control and his control over his emotions was excellent. That's big for him and big for us.

On closing the game out…

On the second goal, we didn't rotate. We could have done a couple of things on that play. But look, teams are going to get chances. I commend the guys and I’m proud of the guys. I think they worked hard. We would have liked to have gotten three points at a place that I don't think anybody expected us to even get a point. We were in a position to get three. I think we played well. Maybe we could have just been a little bit more compact. That's probably it.

On the assist from Willy Agada for Felipe Hernandez…

Willy has demonstrated time and time again that he fits our team and he continues to show he has more and more inside of his arsenal. It's a great ball. I didn't expect him to do that. It was great. I thought Felipe had good composure and set it up really well. It was opportunistic. You’re not going to score if first off he doesn't play the ball forward, or if Felipe doesn't take advantage of the 1v1 running into the box. He cuts back well and gets the deflection. If he doesn't shoot, he doesn't score. So it's a great action away from home. Like I said, it's opportunistic. Whenever you're in and around the box and you take shots, different things can happen. And that's what happened on that one.

On the play of the outside backs…

I think that's not an easy thing for the team and it's not easy for those guys. They haven't played a lot of games here. We've actually been pretty consistent with our lineup, and now all of a sudden two outside backs change. The way that they played put a little bit more weight on them tactically. It was a decent performance on both guys. I think on the (Logan) Ndenbe side, I think one of the things that he did really well was he was much more efficient in his game today with the fact that he has just come back off of injury and getting his first real minutes. He was very efficient. He did what he had to do to help the game and that was good.

Sporting Kansas City captain Johnny Russell

Thoughts on the match…

Obviously, this is a difficult place to come. Normally a point would be good on the road at a place like this, but not really within the position we’re in. It was disappointing being in front and then obviously conceding again and then I guess we ride our luck little bit. John saved a penalty. It's a big decision to stay there and luckily for us, he tried to chip it down the middle. A bit of frustration. I thought we played well enough to come away with the points but at the end of the day it’s a point. We move on and we know what we still have to do.

On coming from behind for a road result…

We don't really start well. We don't really come to terms with the way they were dropping a couple of the midfielders and they kept playing through the middle. That was disappointing. And they get the early goal from doing that as well. It's not really like us. I feel like probably halfway through the first half, we fixed that and then sort of controlled the rest of that half. Then we came out and I thought we were probably the better team when we get the penalty. Obviously it's good to get a goal and get us back in the game. Then it’s a great finish from Felipe (Hernandez). It takes a little deflection, but it's a great strike. From there it's just disappointing not seeing the game out.

On the penalty save in stoppage time…

It’s a big decision. He's obviously watched a lot and obviously knows a little bit about the trickery that he felt that he was going to try and win it in style. It’s a big decision staying there because if he stays down the middle and he goes either side, then you’re kind of asking him why he doesn't dive.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez

On his goal…

I had a lot of space. I think the right back was up the field, so I took a look over my shoulder and I had tons of space. The only thing on my mind was to cut back onto my right foot and put it front post. Obviously, there's a deflection but you put it on target and things like that happen.

On the assist from Willy Agada…

I saw him hold up the ball. He does really well holding up the ball and just gets in those spots and he's able to turn and pick out passes. He had so much time and I had so much space, so once he saw me, he just put it in a space and I was able to dribble in and get the finish.

On coming from behind after conceding early…

I think we did enough in the first half to keep the game 1-0. Obviously, it's hard to go other places and play away from home and keep them from getting chances. At 1-0 coming into half, we were confident that we would get our chances and we would get our goals. I thought we came out in the second half and we were able to do that. The PK is just unlucky.

On the penalty save from John Pulskamp…

Every time there's a PK, we're confident in our guys. John's big back there. He's been big for us. I’m never shocked when you see him come up with a big play like that.

On riding the momentum of a three-game unbeaten streak…

Just continue doing what we've been doing for the past month or so. I think we've done well in all three phases of the game: defensively, offensively and set pieces. That's the important thing. We have just got to keep working on those and minimize the mistakes and we'll be in a good spot.