Peter Vermes post-match press conference at Portland Timbers | May 14, 2022

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

It was a good first half, other than the set piece. That was a bad mistake on our part - not the set piece itself, but the goal. Then just a horrible second half with the counterattack goals; very undisciplined for us to try to get back in the game after we started the second half and gave up a goal in the first 15 seconds or whatever it was. I don't know the exact time but it was short. From that point on, we're chasing the game and we were just undisciplined. We were getting countered because we were shoving way too many guys forward.

On what went wrong in the second half…

They got on the counter and we just weren’t prepared. Giving up the goal at the start of the second half was terrible. That started the snowball. We were pushing to get a goal and we were pushing too many guys forward.

On pulling two goals back…

They really didn’t mean that much. We were getting back into it a little bit. We were kind of there but we were pushing too many guys forward undisciplined.

On the quick turnaround to Wednesday’s match…

You’ve got to put the game behind you and you’ve got to move on quickly.

Johnny Russell post-match press conference at Portland Timbers | May 14, 2022

Sporting Kansas City captain Johnny Russell

On what went wrong in the second half…

We spoke at halftime that we had done some nice things in the first half and that the next goal was massively important. If we got it then we really felt we could have went on and won the game. Then we let them score in 45 seconds, something like that. Then it's just an absolute capitulation after that. To concede six goals in one half of a game is – I’m trying to choose my words carefully here -- it's not even embarrassing. It's so far beyond that. It’s just a complete disgrace as a professional, individually and as a team. That second half is so unacceptable on so many levels. Generally, I don't even know what to say honestly. I've never been as embarrassed in my whole career. I've had some low times in my career but this is number one. Already this season hasn't been acceptable. Just pathetic really in the second half. Not good enough. Actually, I'm embarrassed to call ourselves professionals.

On his message to the team…

I said a few things after the game but obviously it's my job. I have to lead the team. I'm not above that. I've not been good enough. It's easy to lead when times are easy. Times are not easy right now and it's a challenge that I have to take. I generally don't know right now where to begin. Every single one of us inside should feel disgusted at that performance. If you don't, this isn't for you and you shouldn’t be playing this game. We need to have a serious, serious look at ourselves and stop talking about the next one and the next one. All we've done is talk. We've not shown anything. We've shown snippets at times that we might turn a corner but that right there shows how far off it we actually are right now.

On how Portland was able to find success…

We were just so easy to beat. How many of their goals were one pass? Probably the majority of them were one pass through all of us and they’re in on goal. Granted, there was a couple of nice finishes there. I'm not taking anything away from Portland. But after probably the second and the third, we just shrunk. We mentally broke; so fragile and it showed. You can't concede six goals in a half and not mentally break. It's not possible. And for me that's obviously one of the most disappointing things. Obviously the result, even thinking about the scoreline makes me feel sick to be honest. But that's probably the worst part. Mentally, it just looked like we gave up and that's just not acceptable in any level whatsoever.