Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes
Thoughts on the match…

A great mentality by the team. They’re a very difficult team to play against for so many reasons. One is they have an incredible work ethic. Two is when a team plays a man-to-man system like they do, it’s a little bit unorthodox for the players because they don’t normally play that way. So when you can see it, it can be a little bit different. I thought our guys handled it incredibly well.


We talked about a lot of different things that we wanted to do in the game. First and foremost was to try to keep the ball as much as possible. At the same time, we had to create really high-quality chances. I think we did that again today. We had a few more chances that we should have scored and put away. We probably could have scored two or maybe three more at a minimum.


I’m proud of the way that we played. Taking a different way you have to play against a team and find a way to get a result, I’m very, very proud of the guys from that perspective. Physically, I thought that we were excellent tonight.


When you look at some of the guys like Kaveh Rad playing and getting his first win with the team the way he did. He played very well. He was very sure of himself. For a 19-year-old kid, he was excellent. (Gianluca) Busio was just a different level. Looking at another young kid, he was just a different level. (Jaylin) Lindsey played probably the best game he’s ever played for us since he’s been here. He was on the front foot the whole time.


What can I say about the attacking guys? (Alan) Pulido, Daniel (Salloi), Khiry (Shelton’s) work ethic to create stuff and to get forward. Gadi (Kinda) was a man possessed today with his movement in the midfield. Roger gave us some great leadership and stability in the game when we needed it. Luis (Martins), they’re a very right-sided team and he did a very good job of stopping a lot of crosses and winning a lot of 1v1 duels and reading passes but then he was also really good on the ball. Tim (Melia), great saves to keep us in the game when you need them. That’s what you need your goalkeeper to do and he did it. Finally, Ilie was tremendous. He played so well. He read the game. He knew when to step up, when to drop off. His decision making was tremendous.


It was a great performance by the team – an incredible attitude to score three goals away from home at this place. They’re not an easy opponent to play against for sure. Everybody knows when they come and play this team that they’re in for a hard-fought match and it was, but we were good tonight.


On San Jose’s style of play…

The guys understand that when a team plays man to man like they do, there’s opportunity if you move off the ball. Like (Jaylin) Lindsey, he took the space in front of him. It was a good pass and a great first touch by him and a great finish, but if you don’t make that ran and you don’t have that movement off the ball then you don’t have that chance. The same with Daniel (Salloi), the way that once you turn you have to take space with the ball. You have to dribble because if you get past your guy, the other ones are a little bit reluctant to step up. The other thing you have to do is the hardest thing and that is to finish like he did and that’s a world-class goal just like Pulido’s (goal) was. Pulido’s goal was a different level. That second goal was just unreal.


On coming from behind…

It showed a lot of maturity to be honest. This is a place, when you talk about playing against a high-energy team, they are confident when they score a goal. I really think when we scored it changed the game. I think that they changed. We didn’t panic when they scored. We just got right back to business right away. When we found our goal, it was almost like after that we took another step up. I thought that we were very good. They’re a good team. They work hard. They move off the ball. Their guys are fit. They’re a team that goes. It’s a big result for us. These are massive points for us on the road.


On losing 4-1 in the team’s last trip to San Jose…

I don’t think about results in the past. I only think about the ones that are upcoming, especially when we’re talking about the season that we’re playing in. I don’t really go backwards in that regard. I’ll think about the season that we’re playing in and the games we’ve played already against teams. In regards to what the guys did today, this game is about running. It’s about competing. You have to do that no matter what. But then there are some situations that occur in a game where you have players that make plays. They turn a situation into an unbelievable goal like Pulido’s or Daniel’s. You can work hard and you can compete and you can do all of those things, but at the end you’ve got to be able to hit that ball that way in that moment with people and pressure around you and lack of space or time. It was a great mentality by the group. No doubt that we competed every roll of the ball today and for me, that’s the big difference in the game.


On the play of Alan Pulido…

When he came back from the national team, he was hurt so we had to get him healthy again. And then he lost a ton of fitness so we had to build his fitness back up. He has continued to work incredibly hard. He proves every time that he plays for us how important of player he is within our team. He has an incredible work ethic. It’s almost like a hunger on the field. It’s never satisfied. He just keeps going after it. You can talk about him being a sniper around the goal, how great he is at finishing, him passing the ball. The bottom line is what he really has instinctively, he has this incredible quality of understanding what the game needs in different moments and being able to provide it and execute it. He’s tremendous. He can play high up top. He can come underneath. He can go in the wide channels. He can serve the ball. He can give a pass. He can dribble a guy. He can hit a first-time ball. He can do it both feet and with his head. He can tackle. He just gets it. I’d love to be able to take a bunch of credit, but that player is a incredible instinctive player. It’s a pleasure to coach him and, more importantly, to watch him play because he does things the right way in the game.


On the team continuing to improve…

We need to get healthy. We have a lot of players still out. You didn’t see Johnny Russell today until the very end. He had a little bit of a nagging injury and he’s had a couple injuries to start the season. It’s held him back from becoming 90 minutes fit. Graham Zusi is still trying to make his way back. He’s had some good performances but we’re still trying to get him into the rhythm of things. (Nicolas) Isimat-Mirin is another player. We’re still trying to get guys fit. So are we where we want to be? Absolutely not. We still have many games left. As much as two in a row is a good thing, I think this was an important game for us to win on the road. Every game in MLS is really difficult. I think San Jose is a really difficult team to play. There is so much that they do that can be very difficult for a team. I have lot of respect for their energy and their work ethic on the field. They bring it every game. This was a difficult match and it’s a big three points for us.


Sporting Kansas City defender Jaylin Lindsey
On his first pro goal…

I’m feeling really good as of right now. Obviously, getting a goal was pretty exciting and especially on the road. I’m very excited for myself and for the team.


On his comfort level in front of goal…

Whenever a defender gets in the attacking third, you’re out of your comfort zone a little bit. We know that San Jose likes to play in a man-to-man formation. I saw this gap in the defense that I could exploit. I made the run and I got a good ball from Alan. Then I just took a touch and slotted it into the back of the net. Obviously, I was excited. Honestly, when I scored, I didn’t know what to do. I’m glad that I got a goal and that we got the three points.


On playing against San Jose…

Our style of play is having possession – keeping it around the back, being patient, trying to go forward and trying to get some chances. Our thing was more about keeping the ball, having possession and especially when we’re passing it, to move off the ball as well. When you move somewhere else, you create space from where you ran from. I think that’s what we exploited today. I think we did a really job of that. Especially on the defensive side, I feel like we did a really good job of blocking shots. I’m glad we got the three points.


Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi
On the performance…

I’m happy about my assist and my goal. It’s a big win on the road. This team is difficult. I feel like you never know what to expect from them. They have mixed games. Sometimes they win easily, sometimes they lose by three goals. This was important for us to come here and perform well. I think we were patient and we were keeping the ball. We had our chances and we put them away. This is a big win.


On the partnership with Alan Pulido…

He’s a very good player, obviously. It’s nice to play with him. It’s nice to combine with him. I hope this partnership keeps going this year. He’s very intelligent. He understands your movements and he shows for you. And it’s not just that. He has the ability to actually play the ball wherever you want it. Not just to me, but to other players as well. I think he played amazing today. The way he checked back off the line to find the ball and try to turn defenders, I think it was great. He makes our job easier, too. We can make movements off of his runs. I think we’re getting more and more comfortable as the season keeps going so hopefully it’s going to be a good partnership not just with me, but I obviously want him to have this with the rest of the team, as well.


On San Jose’s style of play…

Obviously, it has its difficulties to play against it and sometimes it’s easy because they open up. It takes a lot of movement and I think our team did that. Keeping the ball against a team like that is very difficult. I think we made good movements. You could see that the middle of the field was just wide open. Alan and Gadi were having a field day in the middle. Chances were coming. We executed well. They’re definitely not an easy team to play against.


On bouncing back from conceding early…

I think we’re going to get more and more comfortable as the season goes on. We’re a good team. We can make comebacks. We can keep the ball. We don’t have to panic. As you win more, that confidence builds. That early goal was kind of annoying. They made a good play. You couldn’t really do anything. That was a beautiful, upper 90 shot. It’s always how the team reacts. That’s what is important. As the season keeps going, we’re going to get more and more comfortable in these situations.


On the placement of his goal…

You work on these situations and not just on the field. I watch film. I watch clips of how other players finish these situations. It’s in your head. It’s important when you get into these situations to have something in your mind of what you want to do exactly. This is something I’ve worked on a lot. Hopefully, I’m going to have more and more shots like that. It felt good. I think it was a good shot so hopefully I’m going to have more chances like that.


San Jose Earthquakes head coach Matias Almeyda
On the team's energy and responsiveness...

I ask the players every day how they are feeling. I believe what they tell me. The first thing I ask is if they have any issues or are feeling tired. Our game is dynamic. There were a lot of spaces in today's match so there were openings on both sides. There were opportunities to score for both teams, which happens every time we play Sporting Kansas City. There are always many goals. The games become open, and there is a lot of space. When you are not with your mark, it is noticeable.


On the team's finishing needing to improve...

Today we saw how things are, and we need to get the most out of every player. We believe in every single one of them. It becomes a problem for me when opportunities are not being created, and that's when you realize we are making too many mistakes. It's a part of the game and part of being human to make mistakes sometimes. When you make mistakes up top, you don't convert. To have the opportunity to try and convert results from a buildup. I will have to make a deep analysis on that. We played two big teams in our last two matches in which they had few chances and still scored. We had many opportunities but did not score. Over the last three weeks, we were scoring three goals, four goals and two goals. That will return. We had an excellent start but after these losses, we need to quickly make changes.


San Jose Earthquakes defender Tommy Thompson
On what went wrong tonight...

It's really frustrating for us. After starting the season so well, to drop three games at home is unacceptable. It feels like we're just coming up short. After starting tonight's game so well, we have to be able to put teams away, especially at home. I think we took our foot off the gas pedal. I think we dominated throughout the majority of the first half, and like I said, we took our foot off the gas pedal. And credit to Kansas City, they're a clinical team and they took advantage of the few chances they had, and they made us pay. I think we're doing well to put teams on the back foot and we're creating chances, we just need to put them away.


On how the team can use past experiences to get themselves out of this losing streak...

Yeah, I think that's a benefit that we have in this group. We've been through a lot together, whether it was 2019 or 2020, and now what we're experiencing right now. This team's dealt with adversity. We know how to get through it. I'm still feeling confident. I think losses like tonight, they hurt because we know we can do better, and you can feel that we had the ability to win that game. It feels like it was right there for us and we just didn't take advantage of it. Our locker room isn't getting our heads down. We're not down on ourselves at all. We're just frustrated that we didn't execute in the way that we wanted to. But I think next weekend is the perfect opportunity to bounce back in the derby game in LA.