Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the statement made with the victory…

They’re obviously without a lot of players. We’re without a lot of players. I think, right now, everybody is kind of going through the grind of the summertime. I think we were just fortunate enough to put together a good effort, which resulted in a good result. Outside of that, we’re still points behind. They’re still points ahead. We’ve got to keep trying to gather as many points as we can as we move through the season.

On watching the match from Kansas City…

Being where I am right now, it doesn’t beat being on the sideline obviously. I relieve a lot of stress on the sideline, as most of you can see probably on a pretty regular basis. I’m in the game. Being at home, watching it here – it’s not easy. The logistics are really tough. There are a lot of rules in and around our game about not being able to communicate with anyone on the team there. That’s been very difficult, as well. I had a couple opportunities to do Zooms and stuff like that but it’s just not the same. I’m glad that this is over with and I’ll be back this week and I’ll be back in the swing of things. I’m looking forward to it.

On the play of Remi Walter…

Where he’s had a little bit of adaptation has been the speed and physicality of our league, but I think last game he was better in the way that he approached the game. I also think that this game, he started out much more disciplined staying in the middle of the park as a number six. I thought, at the end when we went to two (holding midfielders) and one (attacking midfielder), I thought he finished the game really, really strong. He’s got really good vision and he always makes really good passes and good decisions on the ball. Now that he’s seeing the pace and the physicality - and also you’ve got to take into consideration the climate in which we deal in (because) for our new guys it’s completely different – but I think they’re all getting there and I think he finished the game really strong today.

On the play of Cam Duke…

I’m very happy for him. Sometimes I think guys have to prove to themselves that they can do certain things or that they can play at this level. I think at times, for young players, what happens is doubt creeps into them a little bit. I think for Cam, at times, he’s had a little bit of ups and downs maybe in his confidence. These last two games, the way that he has approached these games has been tremendous for the team. I hope that he continues to grow in confidence and maybe even a little bit of arrogance because he’s a shy kid. He needs to stick his chest out a little bit, especially because he’s done well. He’s proven that he can contribute and help the team win. And that’s what you’re here for. I’m happy for him and he just needs to build off of this.

On playing with two defensive midfielders at the end of the game…

We’ve done it in other games as well just to kind of finish out a game or what have you. I think that Remi finished the game really strong. I wasn’t sure if he could go 90 minutes. The fact that he was able to hang on and do that, it was excellent. It’s a big step forward for him and for us. We need him in the middle of the park. We need him available for selection. We need Gadi to get fitter as time goes on here. It was good. I think that the guys finished off strong. They really possessed the ball a lot better today. The rhythm was much better than in our last game. I hope that continues to build because that’s where we left off when we played against LA. We were very good on the ball and I think we’re starting to embark back on that form.

Sporting Kansas City captain Johnny Russell

On taking free kicks for the club…

It’s a responsibility I feel I’ve had since I came here. I’ve taken a lot of set pieces, especially that side. That side is more set up for a right footer. And the one the other night, (Gianluca) Busio was not there so Busio or Alan (Pulido) would probably usually hit that one. It was late in the game. I felt good so I stepped up and I managed to get a goal out of it. Today is the same. The keeper stood a little more central in his goal than I thought. It is really difficult to get up and down over the wall from that distance so I usually always go to that side and he left it a little bit open for me. I got enough power on it and sort of perfect placement. I’m just delighted to help out. That’s a massive result for us. They’re a great side. They’re up at the top for a reason, but so are we.

On the team’s possession and pressure…

That was something we worked on coming into the game. We didn’t have a lot of time with the quick turnaround after the game midweek but we said we’re at the best when we high press. We’ve got players that can press well, that can read the game well and can win the ball up high and of course when we’ve got the ball, we’re going to create chances. A lot of teams, when they come here, they kind of sit back and they give them too much respect. You need to give them a little respect. They’re a good team. But we weren’t going to sit back and let them come at us and dictate the game. We came in here to dictate the game. I felt we did that through the way we played. We kept the ball well. We killed the game when we had to. It was disappointing giving away the quick goal but then we responded brilliantly again after that. You’re always going to be under a bit of pressure at times against Seattle, especially when we come here, but I think we dealt with it. After conceding a set piece during the week as well, I thought that we were brilliant tonight – every set piece, I thought we were brilliant. We knew we had to be very spirited and be dogs at times when we came in here and I think that we showed them everything that we had to today.

On training on turf to prepare…

I think it helps slightly. The turf we’ve got is actually really different to the turf here. Just little things – like the way the ball bounces and the ball moves – it’s good to train on it back home. Noone likes playing on it. You can ask anyone. They don’t like playing on it. Some places you have to go and do it in this league. So we have that advantage at home where we can get on it and get a little bit of a feel, but it’s different when you come here. The ball moves just slightly different. It’s good to go on it, but at the same point, it’s not identical.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Cam Duke

On his first MLS goal…

Obviously, I’m very excited to get my first goal but most importantly to get the three points away against a very good team. We’ve just got to focus on the next game against FC Dallas at home.

On his two strong performances in the past week…

I’ve been getting a lot of messages from friends and family. Everyone has been cheering me on which has been amazing. I’ve just been so thankful. I want to keep working hard, getting wins and progressing as a player.

On his confidence…

Playing the full 90 gave me a lot of confidence because it was my first game playing the whole game. Scoring tonight gives me a little bit more of a confidence booster. I just want to continue to have an impact on the game and the team.

On his progression as a player…

It’s been a great feeling, finally getting minutes. I’ve been trying to work hard each and every day in training – trying to work on things I’ve been lacking in. Obviously, I’m going to continue to do that. It feels good to start finally playing and have an impact on the team.

On his instructions when he entered the game…

My role was to play as a number 10 in front of Remi and Ilie. Just kind of shadow Khiry (Shelton) and try to pick up any loose balls in the midfield and get in spaces and turn like I usually do. Basically, that was it.

On playing with a single attacking midfielder at the end of the game…

You’re a lot more isolated just being by yourself. I tried to do what I usually do: get on the ball and go at the defense. Fortunately, we were able to do well in that formation.

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