Kharlton Belmar with the second goal of the night against RSL

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
On the introduction of three teenagers into the starting lineup...

It is very good to see the young guys come in and play the way that they played. Those kids are going to get a lot of chances. Every chance is hopefully going to be a step. The players made really good steps in the game. They were positive ones so I'm happy about that.


On the combination play between Kharlton Belmar and Johnny Russell...

I thought that from (Kharlton) Belmar's perspective, his movement off the ball was really, really good. He put a lot of pressure on the two central defenders. He put them under a lot of pressure because of his movement. He's a powerful dude. He's athletic. He's strong. But at the same time, I think he's got good soccer instincts on the field.


On the 5-4-1 formation...

We just felt that for us going into another game this weekend, it was going to give us the best way to utilize the players that we were thinking about playing in this game and that it would give us the best chance to get the result while at the same time, not have to use all of our guys for 90 minutes ahead of the weekend. That was important to us.


On managing the match at the end...

I think we did what I think we're very good at and that is possession. We can knock the ball around and we can play. That gave us a lot of opportunity to be on the ball. We found the holes in between the lines really, really well.


On the team's ability to play multiple formations...

It's what we decided to do and who we wanted to use. It gave us the opportunity to use Johnny in a way that we think, at times, he can be very dangerous playing as an underneath forward. We felt that it was going to give us some efficiency in the game. When I say efficiency, we weren't going to have to expend a lot of energy - which I don't think we did - and it gave us the opportunity to also only put Roger on for 30 minutes or whatever he played. That was really good. Not having to play (Graham) Zusi, Ike (Opara), those guys right now was a big opportunity for us. The point is that playing the formation also gave us efficiency on the field with our energy.


On the play of Adrian Zendejas...

He was really good. I thought he managed the game well. He played with confidence. I think it's a very good step in a positive direction for him coming into the team like he has and playing the game like he did. He was good. He was smart. He was composed. It's good to see because that's something we've talked about quite a bit and something that we're trying to work on in training. I thought he was really good at that.


On Johnny Russell's contributions...

For me it was important with the way that we were playing. Usually he’s out wide, but I’ve always thought he could do some damage underneath. He was pretty good there today. I think he took a little time to get into the game, but once he did I thought he was starting to become dangerous. We started to find him. He really caused both goals.


On Gianluca Busio...

We finished the game with four Homegrown kids on the field and Gianluca just turned sixteen last Monday. A huge step forward for a kid like that. I mean, to be 16 years old and playing in a game like this and to be able to manage himself not only in the speed of the game, but also in, at times, very dangerous situations where if he’s not good on the ball he could cough it up and the other team’s going on the counter. One, he was very confident and two, he made very good decisions with the ball. He had a long preseason with us this year, and his progression since preseason has been tremendous. I’m very excited for him because I think that he’s worked very hard. I said to him on the field tonight, “I hope you realize you’re getting the start because you deserve it, not because we’re just trying to give you a game.” He did really well with it. He’s interesting because he’s a very mature kid for his age. You have to be to be in that environment and do well.


Sporting Kansas City forward Kharlton Belmar
On his first start for Sporting KC…

After the game on the weekend, we all knew that Open Cup was coming and that there was going to be a chance for some of the guys that don’t regularly get minutes to get a chance. A couple days of practice into the week, I found out I was getting the start. It’s just another game, honestly. I’ve played a bunch so far in USL. It’s about bringing the same intensity and the same desire when I get in front of goal and continuing to help the team win. That’s all it was.


On the team’s changes at halftime…

I think we got into a spot where we were dropping off a lot and letting them find their game. It was about coming out and pushing the tempo a little bit and trying to impose ourselves and continuing to create opportunities. Luckily, we were able to create a quick goal.


Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell
On the goals...

It was a good team move. (Kharlton) Belmar had a great run to get in behind and I knew the cut back was the only ball he had, and it was a great ball from him. I managed to get in front of the defender and tuck one away which was nice to set you up on the score sheet, especially after the first half so it was nice to come out and get one in and get the team ahead. The second one, it just opened up. The coaches were telling me get the ball up top throughout the game. It was a great ball from (Emiliano) Amor, then it just opened up. I saw Belmar’s run, tracked back a cross and he got a touch on it.


On the result...

It was always going to be a difficult way to come and we knew it was going to be like that. We came in with a game plan, we changed our formation. We knew it was going to be a lot of pressure to begin with. We knew they were going to play well; they are a hard team to beat at home. We knew it was going to be difficult, but we knew if we kept our shape with the quality that we’ve got, we’d create chances and we were lucky to take them today. We got the win because of that.


On a quick turnaround...

We take the same mentality. We are going to another difficult place. We know we are going to have to do our job defensively. Just like tonight, we’ve got our quality and we are going to go forward and when we create the chances we take them.”


Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio
On preparing for the match...

I first found out probably a couple days before in training. I was a little nervous at first but, after a couple days of practice, I kind of felt a little more confident going into the game. I was surrounded by guys who were also getting their first starts so that made it a little easier knowing they were having the same nerves as me. That just helped me; they were all encouraging. They put some veterans in there also, which helped me a lot, make me get into the game. I thought I could pair pretty well with the team and got into it a couple days before. It was good.


On instructions going into the game...

Coach just told me to go out there and be confident. That’s the main thing. I’m not going to go out there and just play scared. He brought me aside and told me, "you deserve it, you deserve the start. Go out there, be confident and play the game" that he knows I can play. Confidence was the main thing.


On building confidence throughout the game...

At the start, I was just a little bit nervous. Not terrible, but it’s good to have a little bit of butterflies in your stomach. Once I started getting the ball, connecting my first few passes, just simple passes, then I started trying to do harder stuff to do like hard passes. I felt like more of my game later in to the game.


Real Salt Lake Head Coach Mike Petke


On impressions of mixed starting 11...

I’m going to go watch the game again. I’m proud of all their efforts. It was a tough game against a tough opponent and I decided to rest our regular starters and I thought there were some good things in the first half. In the second half we were chasing the game.


On lineup decision...

There’s not much that goes into my decision-making process. Three games last week and we have an opportunity to go to LA and hopefully get a result. This was an opportunity to see certain guys that have played with the Monarchs a lot and certain guys that have been on the bench coming on once in awhile and see what they have. I didn’t want to bring Brooks (Lennon) on tonight, but Brooks is like my kid; he always wants to play.


On not using all three subs tonight...

I love the US Open Cup for what it stands for. I hope to win it someday. I’ve never won it as a player or as a coach. The thought process was, three games last week and LA is a big game for us in three days, so I didn’t want to risk any injury or continuation of tired legs.


Real Salt Lake midfielder Nick Besler 
On playing with an unfamiliar lineup...

It’s a little bit more difficult however we are all professionals. We get that we should be expected to perform no matter who we put out there. I think we didn’t quite click as quickly as we wanted to and I think you could see that out there. Unfortunately we aren't advancing so ultimately that's on us as players.


On not expecting them to change formations...

For some years now, they have been playing 4-3-3 and they came out with three in the back - five in the back - whatever you want to call it, but it wasn’t necessarily what they were doing. It always comes down to how we play and unfortunately like I said we didn't quite have enough today.


On playing against his brother...

That was cool. It was my first time playing against him, so it was a unique experience. Before the match it was nice to see him, gave him a hug before the game but to be honest with you in the 90 minutes I don’t think I was within five feet of him, so it wasn’t really going through my mind that I was playing against him. But before and after the match it was a cool moment to have him on the field with me.