Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
On Sporting’s performance in the 3-1 loss…

I think we got tired. I think we were very, very sloppy with the ball, and I think that caused so many problems for us. I’d be interested to see how many times we strung eight passes together. We lost the ball regularly. You do that and you’re more than likely going to lose.


On what went wrong for Sporting in the second half…

The temperature was a little bit warmer but it wasn’t terrible. I thought it was a good day to play the game. It wasn’t the dog days of summer, that’s for sure. When you lose the ball—when you’re a team that wants to have the ball and you don’t have the ball—and when you play like we did today, you’re going to struggle. And we did. (RSL) were better. We started out well and they were having a hard time breaking us down. Again, as the game wore on in the first half, we were kicking easy passes out of bounds or they were going under our foot. We didn’t recognize that we had two versus one, sometimes three versus one. We ended up passing the ball to the other team, and you can’t do that. That annihilated us in the game; destroyed us.


On the MLS debut of center back Kaveh Rad…

(Nicolas Isimat-Mirin) was left out with an injury. I thought (Kaveh) fit in well for the game and it was our decision to put him in there. I thought there were things he did really well in the game. I also think that when young guys come in, they need some help from other guys around them—just like John (Pulskamp) in goal. We just need to be a different team and work hard for the goalkeeper. We need to work hard for the guy who’s pressuring the ball, the guy who’s defending. There has to be cover. There were a lot of things today that just weren’t there. I have to go back to the drawing board with the guys and try to get that rectified before we go into this next stretch.


On Alan Pulido’s first-half goal…

It was really good. Alan was actually excellent in the game. If I was him, I’d be incredibly frustrated because him and a few other guys wanted the ball. They wanted to play and they were trying. Again, to play at this level, you have to want the ball. Today, for some reason, with the mistakes that we made, (RSL) really, really hurt us. When you don’t have the ball and you lose it in the spots that we did, you start guessing and you start making decisions that you normally don’t make. Suddenly the other team is motivated in their home opener and they capitalize on it. Credit to them.


Sporting Kansas City midfielder Ilie Sanchez
Thoughts on the game…

I think we all know the conditions that we find here every time we come to play, especially today on their home opener. I think that we tried to get ready for the game. The plan was clear, but at the end of the 90 minutes – we couldn’t stick with the plan. At some point, they took advantage of putting numbers up top and it’s disappointing because we didn’t get the result. It’s the third game in the 2021 season. We have a lot to improve as a team and individually. We have a long week next week and are heading back to Children’s Mercy Park against Austin. Hopefully we can get the three points to get back to winning.


On the play of Real Salt Lake…

I think that, more than individuals, they have a good team. They do three, four, five things really well. Obviously with their new players, they can put them on the field and try to implement new plays into their game. I think we did a good job for the first 30 minutes and then they broke us with the ball and scored to make it 1-1. The team probably started getting a little bit tired. They have good players and a good team. We couldn’t get the result and we are not happy with that.


On the play of his younger teammates…

We don’t look at the ID with their date of birth when they are here. I hope they don’t either. I hope they feel our confidence when they have to step out there and play for us. We are all the same here. Each one of us try to do our best. One thing that experience will give them and all of us is that the team should be first no matter what, in all of the occasions. Because the team performs, then we can all take credit for that and benefit from that. I’m happy that they can keep getting minutes. I’m not happy with the result today. I’m sure that they are not happy either. It’s good for them that they know that we can count on them, that we trust them and hopefully we can improve as a team and keep growing as a team.


Sporting KC forward Khiry Shelton
On his assist…

In the run of play, I saw (Gianluca) Busio and Alan (Pulido). I knew Busio was bringing a defender with him. When I passed it, I told him to leave it. Alan, that’s what he does best with placement. A great goal.


On what went wrong in the game…

I think a couple of plays we took off and that’s what it comes down to. When you take those plays off, good teams are going to punish you and that’s what happened today.


On preparing for Austin FC next Sunday…

We’ll go over film and pick ourselves up. It’s still early on. We’ve still got a whole season ahead of us. We’ll hit it hard when we get to training.