Quotes: Peter Vermes reflects on the end of preseason

Peter Vermes Feb. 25

Sporting Kansas City wrapped up preseason with a narrow 1-0 defeat to New York City FC ahead of the 2017 regular-season opener against D.C. United next Saturday at RFK Stadium. Manager Peter Vermes spoke with the media after the game and reflected on both the result and preseason as a whole.

On how the team has progressed through preseason:
“It’s definitely a process and we saw some good things in preseason and we saw some things that we really have to work on. I’ll tell you that the good thing is that we know what they are, so now it’s about us working on those things and getting better with those things and taking it into the season. That’s the biggest thing, if we can improve in a couple of areas that I think that we need to, I think we’ll be a competitive team. But it’s definitely going to take some time, especially with the fact that we have new guys, kind of getting a feel for what MLS is all about, how they play and what the games are like. But all in all, it’s been a good preseason.”

On how the new players have fit into the group:
“They’ve got a decent foundation, there’s certain things that they have to just get more inclined to doing and just being more alert to them. Some of that is concentration; the other part is repetition in situations. We have to keep providing those environments for the players so that they’re ready to go. All in all, I think the guys have adjusted well. Just from their personalities, they’ve indoctrinated themselves with the team in a really good way. At the same time from the soccer side, they truly have a foundation of our model of play and we’ve got to keep building off of that.”

On why Dom Dwyer didn’t play in the preseason finale:
“He got kicked in his foot the other day, we just didn’t want to (play him) from the cautionary perspective.”

On what positives can be taken from preseason:
“You can see that the guys are getting familiar with the way we play and what they have to do with their role within the team. That’s evolved from the first time they played with us until now, and I just think from a personality perspective they’ve fit into the team really well and the guys all get along with each other. That’s an important aspect where they're not just off on their own.”

On Daniel Salloi’s performance in preseason:
“He’s been fantastic – great attitude, works hard, just a good mentality.”

On the performance against New York City FC:
“In the first half, I think we gave the ball away in possession too many times and so what happened was we kept defending and then we lost the ball and kept defending and then we lost the ball again. It didn’t give us a chance to really move the ball in a purposeful way so we could have possession for a while. It actually happened the opposite in that we gave the ball away and we were countered on. We were countered on quite a few times and that put us under a lot of pressure because we lost the ball in a bad area. The other thing is that we countered once or twice in the first half and in the second half where we’ve got to walk away with a goal. As much as I think Roger (Espinoza) did a good job for us winning the ball, he could have been a bit more clinical with some of his final passes because we were right there. The good thing is that we turned some plays over and I think we’ll be able to do that as we move forward.”