Peter Vermes post match press conference vs. FC Dallas | April 30, 2022

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

I thought we started off well. We get the goal. I think we have good aggressiveness in the attack, which is something that we wanted to start off the game with. We wanted to try and get the first goal and get into a really good position. Obviously, we create the penalty. We score that. Having played defense for half of my career, I'm always very critical when it comes to defending and I think that the first goal shouldn't happen because we shouldn't make a foul in the situation that we did. I know it was a good shot, but we've got to do better to keep that ball out, but we shouldn't foul in that situation. The second goal, not all of our line, but part of our line is stepping up when they shouldn't. There's no pressure on the ball. They're running in behind us and then we don't get a body to the player. So we give up those two goals, which is just incredibly disappointing at that moment.

We came in at half time and I just told the guys that ‘you have got to go out in the second half and you have to change completely your mentality. We have to get the first goal. We get that and then we can start really trying to push the game and go for the third one, if you will.’ Again, I think the intent for the guys was good. I think they were pushing the game. We were getting chances. (FC Dallas) definitely were sitting back and I think it had a lot to do with our pressure with the ball, not without the ball. I think the other thing we did though is, in the second half, we had much better pressure higher up the field which coughed up a lot of balls. We actually won a lot of balls in their half of the field. In the first half, we started out that way, but then we backed off for some reason.

The second half was much better. Then at the end of the game, I just think we could have been -- it's not for a lack of effort -- it's just we weren't risk takers enough with the ball in the box. Some of that has to do with, look, there's a lot of new players on the field and a lot of young guys on the field at the end of the game. I was looking to probably keep Roger in, but his legs were getting tired so it was one of the reasons why I had to make that move, but his experience would have been really good at that moment. Same with (Graham Zusi). They've been in those games many times. The fact that those two guys are now out and two younger guys are in changes a little bit. We just don't have the same experience. But at the end, it's also good for those guys to get that experience and understand that. Now I can show video and make them understand that they have to be a little bit more aggressive in those moments at the end of the game.

On the play of Cam Duke at right back…

Very good, really good -- especially when he first came in. He was finding himself in really good attacking positions on that right side on the opposite side of the field, probably because he was away from me at that moment. He did a good job. He had good timing. I thought he defended really well. I think he always a surprise to other teams because of his speed and he also was really good in 1v1 defending. He was really good. His athleticism really helped the team a lot in that position.

On Robert Voloder’s first start…

He was good. Being thrust into this like he has been, I'm not going to say it's incredibly difficult. I'm going to say it's a little different. It's always nice to be able to build a guy into games but he's been thrust into this and he's a professional. He's got to be able to deal with that. But I think he's doing a good job. I think he's learning a lot about the league on the fly so I give him a lot of credit for that.

On playing FC Dallas again in the U.S. Open Cup in 10 days…

It's never an easy thing when you have to play a team twice like that in a short period of time. I'm sure both teams will probably make changes for that game as well just because of the small amount of time. It's all about getting recovered, getting rested and recharged and ready for the next one. So that's what we got to do.

Johnny Russell post match press conference vs. FC Dallas | April 30, 2022

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell

Thoughts on the match…

I thought we played well. We scored the goal and then for a period after that, we sat off them and gave them a little bit too much of the ball, too much respect. Their first goal is a bit of magic. You can't really do anything about that. But the second goal, that's something that we can stop. Our communication and our lines weren’t good enough and we allowed the split, which we work hard to stop. That's disappointing, especially going a goal up and then letting them take the lead. So we knew we had to come out in the second half and we needed the three points. The red card obviously helps, but even before that. I thought we were dominant in the second half after the red card. I think there was like a 10-15 minute period where they just couldn't get out of their box and we really had to score in that time frame. Obviously, Daniel comes up with a great finish and equalizer, but it's still frustrating. The situation and position we’re in, these are games that we have to win so overall frustration and disappointment.

On the team scoring twice and creating more chances…

Last week, I think we were a lot better defensively. We were a lot tighter as a group and it probably took away from us offensively. I don't think we were good enough last week offensively. That was a focal point this week. Taking the step that we did in the Columbus game and bringing it into this and adding to it. I feel like we created enough chances in the second half with enough pressure in their half and around their box where we really should have won the game. Obviously, it's nice for me and Daniel to get on the score sheet. We haven't been up to the standards that we set last year. We know that. I spoke to Daniel before the game actually, and just said, ‘it's about time that we step up.’ It's all good talking and we have to get to those standards that we set last year and help get us out of the situation we're in because no one's going to help us out. It's got to come from us.

On adding to his goal tally against FC Dallas…

It's always a high-intensity, competitive game. You just get certain clubs where you score goals against them. We want to continue that obviously. We want to continue that against every club, not just Dallas. We're making steps in the right direction, but I think overall we're still pretty frustrated with the point. We really needed the three to start closing the gap that we've created for ourselves.

Daniel Salloi post match press conference vs. FC Dallas | April 30, 2022

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi

On the pre-game chat with Johnny Russell about stepping up…

Yes, he did talk to me and it's nothing new in a way. We realize that there are lots of injuries. We can be the creative attacking players who have to get the goals and try to win the game. We have to step up in moments and I'm glad both of us could score. This is a tough year. It's been a tough start and I think we are doing better. I think it's obvious that game by game we're improving. We just have to find a way to win because we can't let our season run away from us. We have to find a way to win these games because you go to New York on the road now that's a very tough game and then you have the Open Cup coming up. Every game is difficult, so we have to find a way to win these ones.

On scoring twice in the match and building on the team’s attacking performance…

I think we've been lacking that goal scoring. We need to score more and more goals and we're going to play a team who is amazing at it. They score a lot of goals and it's going to be tough. They won the league last year and you have to challenge that team and do well. We need to score more and more goals and win the game. We need to find ways to win games because we can always talk about how difficult the game is, but at the end of the day, we need to get three points somehow. If it's ugly, it's ugly.

On the team’s aggressiveness in the attack…

It's one of those when everything's clicking and everything's nice, then you can beat teams being creative and playing around them by having combinations. Sometimes those things don't click yet and then you have to improve with being aggressive, being better defensively. That's something that we had to work a lot on because the least you can do is go into challenges and be aggressive and fight as a team and then the rest you can figure out later. I feel like that's the part everybody can do. Everybody can fight and everybody can put their bodies on the line. I think we've been improving in that as well and hopefully that's going to stay and then we can build on that.