Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

A tremendous performance by the guys. I don't know what else I could say, just a tremendous performance on both sides of the ball. We were very organized and excellent on the ball. We created probably four high-quality goal-scoring chances in the first half. We were very dynamic in the final third and I think that we were tactically very good. Defensively, we were excellent. The goal that we receive is a tough one to swallow because we were playing very well up until that point. But again, credit to the guys for not losing themselves. An excellent, excellent game for the guys and a great point for us.

On the play of John Pulskamp…

He was tremendous the whole game. There was one with kind of a little combination play on the top of our box and the player got in on a breakaway on him. They called it back, but he made the save before they even called him offside. He comes out in a great way. He played really well tonight. In the second half, he was a monster. He never lost himself emotionally in the game, which was tremendous. And I don't mean because of the goal that occurred. There was nothing he could do about that. I'm not talking about that one. I'm talking about emotionally in the game, because now they're coming at us a little bit there at the end with the corner kick and everything else. He maintained his focus and made great saves. He was very good. It's exactly what you're hoping from your goalkeeper, right? If you're 0-0 and he makes that one save to keep you in the game and then you score, unbelievable. If you're up 2-1 and he holds the team off. But in this situation, it was late in the game 1-1 and he was pulling saves out of everywhere. He was just really good. He was also great with the ball at his feet today. His decision making was really, really good.

On if the team played well enough to win…

They played really well. The performance was great. When you consistently play performances that are good, you usually get points. Minnesota is a really good team. They have a lot of weapons within their group. They create a lot of chances off of balls that they turn over on you or they just win errant balls in the middle third of the field and they wind up going and scoring on you. We were tactically really good in that regard, but at the same time I thought we had such dynamicism with especially our front three for the most part of the game, it was really good. Johnny (Russell) came on and gave a really good spark to the group. I consider it to be a great performance and well-deserved point. Possibly, we could have gotten three because, as I said, we had four really good chances in the first half.

On the insertion of Johnny Russell in the second half… 

The plan was to bring him in sometime in the second half. It could have been the start of the second half. The plan was to bring him and Khiry (Shelton) on at some point. I wanted to keep guys fresh. Daniel (Salloi) did a great job at center forward. Marinos (Tzionis), that's the position that he's probably best at where he played. I thought it was his best performance for us so far. That’s definitely not to say that his other performances were poor, I'm just saying that he's now getting more familiar with our team and the responsibilities that go with the position. He was good on both sides of the ball today. He was dangerous. I think they had a tough time with him in the game. I thought that him and Daniel were combining quite a bit, which was really good to see. And then like I said, Johnny I thought was a good spark at the end.

Sporting Kansas City captain Johnny Russell

On his immediate impact off the bench…

Obviously, you hope to have an immediate impact. I thought the guys played brilliant in the first half. It's unfortunate on the goal that we can concede, but I thought we played a lot of great stuff and created a lot of chances and really wore the other team down. It's coming on with fresh legs, getting a little bit of a rest and coming on fresh, it definitely caught them a little bit off guard and we had them on a good counter. I got a little bit lucky with the ball falling back to me and then it was all about just composing myself and putting it away in the far corner. I’m delighted to come on and help the team and get the goal that got us back in the game. I probably should have had another one as well with my shot from the edge of the box but all in all, it's a good point.

On Daniel Salloi playing at center forward…

He's a very clever player. He's obviously a winger, but when he plays in that position as well, he's a guy that can find space. For being a big bean pool, he can hold the ball up as well. So wherever you put Daniel, he's such a talented player that he's going to create opportunities and he's going to find space just like the one he did in the first half where he sat two or three guys down and then just put it just by the post. You put him in and around the box and the guy is going to get chances like that. It was good to play with him there. It was a little bit different from what we're used to, but I thought the front three in the first half were really good and really dynamic with great little link up play around the box and created a lot of chances. And like I said, we probably should have been two or three up before the unfortunate goal against us. We're in a tough position right now, so we'll take the point and move on. We have another big one at the weekend.

On rallying from going a goal down…

At the start of the season, we weren't coming back from that for whatever reason. When we went down a goal, the confidence dropped and we stopped playing the way that we can. And when you're down, it's tough. But the way the guys have bounced back, the work we've put in at training. We’ve done so much work to try and eradicate some of the mistakes that were made, especially that night. That hurt everyone here and so it should. So none of us wanted to ever feel like that in the game. And obviously we had a little taste from coming back at the weekend. It was such a good feeling to get a win on the road and especially coming back as well, so we know we're capable of doing it. We've done it so many times last year. We don't want to be in that position doing it time and time again. But I think we've shown that we still have that character. We're down, but we’re nowhere near out yet.

On coming in as a second-half substitute…

There was a lot of space there to be had. I saw it in the first half. The guys were getting in behind a lot on that side and I was just watching it closely. Sometimes it's good to sit there at the side and it's easy to watch the game so you can pick up things that you may be missing when you're playing like certain areas in which you can exploit and you can hurt a team. It helps that Cam (Duke) is constantly running about and tiring guys. So you come on and you’ve got fresh legs and guys are already tired. I've played a lot of games. I'm still carrying a couple of things that I'm trying to get right so I’ve not been myself recently. I'll get a little bit more of a rest so to come on and have an impact was the plan. Luckily, it worked out that way, but I don't want to make a habit of missing out.

Sporting Kansas City defender Kayden Pierre

Thoughts on the match…

It was a hard-fought point on the road. I think the team played good. The goal was kind of lucky, but I thought John (Pulskamp) made some big saves. Other players made some big plays. Johnny came on and scored a good goal. I’m happy to grab my first assist. But most importantly, we got a good hard-fought point on the road which is big.

On the team rallying from a goal down…

I think it just starts with training habits and I think we’re certainly training better and players are playing with more confidence which also helps. And then we’ve got everyone contributing - guys off the bench and guys starting. I think it just stems down from everyone in the team -- coaching staff, trainers, everyone in the organization - we're trying to get into our groove and make a push to get into the playoffs. So I think that's why the mentality has switched.

On the play of John Pulskamp…

When your goalie is playing like that, there's no way you should be losing the game. John was amazing tonight. He made some big saves. He helped me out on one of them. He made some big saves tonight. Him and Tim (Melia) have been good the last couple of games, which is big for us. It just helps us defenders feel better about our goalie and not conceding goals.

On five Homegrown Players starting for SKC…

It feels good to know that young guys are getting opportunities and they're playing good, which is always great. It’s just big because you hang out with those guys on and off the field. You see them in the academy growing up together. So it's nice to play with those guys on the field and get a big point, which is very nice.