Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

We gave up the first goal early, six minutes into the second half. And then the red card—we tried to chase the game and they knocked two in after that. It’s really hard for us to get into the game after that, and the game opens up. We were trying to get back into it from that point on, but it wasn’t like we were in position to defend a lead or anything, so the game got opened up.

On Roger Espinoza’s red card…

I saw the action. If it’s not a straight red, it’s a second yellow card. Roger gets to the ball first, but unfortunately the guy comes in late and Roger steps on the guy’s leg. They are going to give that (call) to him every day of the week.

On Sporting conceded goals off crosses…

You’ve got to attack the ball and in two of those occasions tonight, we just didn’t attack the ball. Their guy beat our guy to the ball. It’s pretty simple.

On playing three road matches in nine days…

I think the guys performed well in the other two games. It was good to get four points. Unfortunately with this one, we’ve just got to get ready for the upcoming week—get a good week of training and get prepared for the next.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper John Pulskamp

Thoughts on the match…

It’s a hard one to swallow—very, very frustrating to lose by that amount after it was 0-0 at half. Coming into the locker room, we felt good at 0-0. We knew it maybe wasn’t our best 45 minutes but being 0-0 it was our game to win our lose, and we knew that. We just came out flat in the second half, and it’s not good enough by any of us.

On Sporting conceded goals off crosses…

It’s tough to pinpoint the exact problem. From a goalkeeping perspective, defending crosses is largely a mental thing. It’s an aggression thing. It’s a desire to win the ball and a commitment—no hesitation going for a ball when you decide it’s yours. I can’t exclude myself. I haven’t watched it back yet, but maybe I need to come out for the third (RSL goal). The cross is coming from a higher position at the near post. In the moment, it didn’t feel right, but maybe that’s one I need to come out for. So I include myself when I say this, but it’s a mentality thing. It’s a desire to win the ball and an aggression—expecting guys to be coming in and challenging you. Right now it seems like we’re almost going slow at the ball, like we’re just expecting it to be a free header for us. No, attackers are going to be crashing the box. You’ve got to be 100% aggressive to win the ball, so I think it’s mostly a desire to defend.

On what he learned from Sporting’s second-half performance…

Not a lot of good things. When something goes wrong, you need to be able to take hits in a soccer match. In 90 minutes, not everything is going to go perfectly. The second something goes wrong, it’s a test of character and a test of mentality to see how you react to those things. That’s something we have done phenomenally in the last two games—going down 1-0 in Montreal, no problem. Keep playing our way and we come back and find a way to win. Playing great soccer in Minnesota, same thing—go down 1-0 to a fluke play that hurts even more, but we kept our head down and kept playing and got a point from the game and play a good match. In this game, it’s 0-0 and we concede that first goal. That was just kind of a gut shot and it just deflated us.