Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

I think we played really well, outside of their goal. We weren’t as good on the ball in the first half. In the second half, we were actually much better with the ball and we opened them up quite a bit. On the goal, Khiry (Shelton) does a great job to keep that ball alive and play a great service across to Remi to come in the backside. That’s what you work on and what you hope for. The guys really have to bust it to create an opportunity like that. To be disciplined defensively and not lose ourselves in the game—and to not panic after going down 1-0—that was a positive.

On Roger Espinoza’s performance…

For me he was man of the match, by far. The team played really well, but I think Roger brought a different level of intensity into the group. Roger has done this his whole career he has been here. He’s always had this “never die” mentality and attitude. He showed that today and stepped up big time. It’s what I asked him to do and I knew this was going to be a great opportunity for him this week because of the weather. We’re hoping for the same type of weather in Minnesota as well (on Wednesday) in this three-game swing we have away from home. I’m really proud of him because we needed that from him. Man of the match, for sure.

On Roger Espinoza’s long-range goal…

Roger has been doing that his whole career. He has incredibly anticipation and timing when an opposing player receives the ball with his back to the field to step in and win it. The second part was his presence of mind to know where the goalkeeper is, and then obviously to be able to pull it off technically is great. The whole play was a 10. Again, we needed that kind of performance from Roger. I know he can do it and we needed it. It was important for the team.

On Remi Walter’s late attacking runs into the penalty area…

He's a player who has shown a few times over the last few years that he’s good coming in late. He has great speed but also great timing and desire to get there. He’s racing one-on-one with the other player and he beats him to the ball, and it’s a great finish.

On Sporting’s adjustments in the second half…

I don’t think the guys lacked motivation. It was a good goal by Montreal. We maybe could have done a bit better, but I thought defensively we were good. Their No. 11 kept coming in between the lines in the first half, and we took that away in the second half big time. That was a big difference in the game.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza

On his long-range goal…

Romell Quioto was going back for the ball and I knew their center back had seen me coming but not Quioto. I knew he needed time to hold the ball down. Once I knew that was going to happen, I went all the way and pressured and I took a touch. Once I took a touch I looked up, saw the goalkeeper was out and decided to take the shot. I could see the ball curving a little bit but I’m glad it went in.

On returning to the starting lineup after a few matches on the bench…

I haven’t played a lot in the last few games, so that gave me some energy. The weather is great here too, so that gave me some energy. At the same time, that’s what Sporting has been about over the years. When we go a goal down, we’re still going to fight back. We haven’t seen our team do that this year, but we did it today coming from behind. I’m sure that’s going to give our guys a lot of confidence.

On Sporting’s recent performances…

This year I have been able to watch a lot of games from the outside. Watching our team, a lot of times we have played very well. I’ve been telling a lot of those younger guys that they are doing well and that it’s a matter of time before the results go our way. We’ve seen a lot of good things in each game. If you’re able to watch the game and evaluate the game, you’ll see that not everything is bad. Sometimes you don’t win, but if you evaluate the game, you see the positives in each game. This was a tough win and definitely a huge win for us here in Montreal.

On staying ready to play…

Once I get the opportunity to play, I’m always going to give 100 percent for the team. I know it’s very tough to keep in shape, but I want to play and I’ll wait until it’s my turn. And that’s okay because I’ll keep working hard and today I got my opportunity. I made the most out of it and the team did too. It was great for us to take three points.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Remi Walter

On his match-winning goal…

I’m very happy for my goal tonight because it was my third one (of the season) and we had to win the game. I’m very happy for that and it’s good for the team.

On Sporting’s victory…

Sometimes it’s like that. Sometimes you play well and you don’t win the game. Tonight it wasn’t our best game, but we won the game and that’s it. We are very happy because that’s the most important. We want to continue and go on a run in the second half of the season and make it to the playoffs.