Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On Willy Agada’s celebration after his first goal…

I've never been strangled, how about that? He came running and wanted to jump and for me to catch him. I'm a decently fit guy, but I don't know if I was catching that. It was good. He told me yesterday if he scored, he's going to do that. I was a little bit prepared.

On if this match was a sigh of relief…

I wouldn't say a sigh of relief. I've said this a lot of times, there's been games where we score goals, but then we give up silly goals. There's been games where we defend really well, but then we don't score. There's been games here recently where we just haven't put 90 minutes together and I thought today we did. I'm not in agreement with the handball for them. No chance. We just had the same exact thing last week. It's different when the ball hits your leg and bounces up and hits you in the hand. No chance. Not like that. But there were opportunistic goals. Like his [Willy Agada] first goal, he's fighting for it, right? He wants to get it in there. He's doing everything he can for a second, third or whatever. Then Daniel [Salloi] on the fourth goal, very opportunistic to fight for it, and to keep fighting for it. That's the thing that I'm proud of. It's a deserving result when you get good concentration in the game. We talked about it before we went on the field. It's three things. You got to attack, you got to defend and you got to be good on set pieces. And I think we did that for the most part.

On what Willy Agada and Erik Thommy bring to the team…

When we were up three nil, I told Willy [Agada] to stay a little bit higher, because he was trying to defend with the team, which I appreciate, but I told him to stay a little bit higher. We're going to win it and they're going to send you through. That's how I got on that breakaway. We can use his speed, and he has great timing of his movement to get in behind. That's the way he likes to play when we watch him. It's a part of his game, but he can play in all ideas and do what we want to do on concepts. But it’s really made for, especially in the second half, for him to get balls in and behind them. He does a great job of getting his position on his defender, and he protects the ball really well. What we miss with Gadi [Kinda] is what Erik Thommy brings. Thommy has attacking tendencies. He goes forward, he puts teams under pressure with the ball and so when he gets it turns and he starts running at the defense, it puts them under pressure, it makes them have to make decisions. It helps us immensely. And we lack that when Gadi isn’t out there. Now that we have him, that's huge. Now it’s the same thing for him to be able to stretch the defense like he does, it gives us some variety within our attack, which is really good.

On Thommy’s goal…

A world-class finish. First off, you're running, you take the ball off your chest, you still got in the air, and you hit the full volley, technically clean as could be. Just a great run, but also a great ball. We work on that run and that movement a lot. I actually feel pretty good about it because as much as we work on it, it showed up in the game. We've done that kind of stuff before, but sometimes you miss or the guy misses a part. Maybe he does the first touch, but not the second touch. It was just very rewarding for a lot of the work that we do.

On what clicked tonight…

We've been there, we've been in front of the goal quite a bit. I wish I had the answer, and I would say that every other coach and fan in the world wishes they had the answer for that. I don’t have the answer. I think we have it in us. We have very good players on our team. We just have to be snipers in front of the goal. We get great chances and tonight we were good. It's also good to score opportunistic goals and we did that.

Sporting KC Forward Willy Agada…

On his first goal…

From the beginning, when the ball came from the side, there was a little bit of a deflection from the first player in front of me. That's why I didn't get to hit the ball so clean the first time. But when the goalkeeper kept it out, I kept struggling, fighting for the second goal. I thought it was a goal. You know how the VAR sometimes is, a little bit complicated, but thank God it went in. I'm so excited that that was my first goal. I'm so excited. I promised the coach I would jump. I would run to him. He wasn't ready, though. But I'm so excited.

On the standing ovation he received…

To be honest, it’s not all about me, it's all about the team. The guys put me in that situation. So, a big shout out to Daniel [Salloi] for the assist, Thommy too, really everyone. Everybody was fighting on the field. The standing ovation is not just for me, it's for all the boys. It's amazing. For me, the important thing is the three points, and the team first always. It's more fun when you go back home with the goal. I'm so excited. Amazing fans. I feel the love and I hope we keep putting smiles on the faces of the fans all the time like this.

Sporting KC forward Daniel Salloi

On how it felt to score in second half stoppage time…

Great, great. I haven't scored in a while and this feels great. I think the team deserved this win. We've had many games when we played well, but the momentum didn't go our way. I think this game was one of those where we were so strong in the first half and finished our chances. We even missed a penalty. I think this is a great win for our team.

His thoughts on Willy Agada’s celebration…

Amazing. I want to hear Peter's thoughts on that because I did not believe what I just saw. It was great, honestly. I love his animation. I haven't (thought about kissing Peter after a goal), but maybe something's wrong with me.

On the play of Willy Agada and Erik Thommy…

Agada and Thommy are great players and great additions to the team. I'm glad they both scored their first goals today and I hope they score many more. I wish they would have joined our team earlier this season.

On the playmaking abilities of Erik Thommy…

He's definitely bringing that technical ability. He has great shooting technique and passing. He's a great player overall and we enjoy playing with him so far. I think it's good that we have players in the middle who can help us attack and get from defense to offense, because if we just go to the width then teams can easily pick up our motion. I think adding Thommy and adding Agada can help us create that middle danger as well for other teams. So far it's been working. I hope it just gets more and more comfortable because it's not easy to come into this league and do well from the first second. I'm glad they have already scored their first goals. Some players come to this league and they only score the next year. It's not easy.

On his goal…

I always try to go for these balls. I think obviously defenders many times make that mistake and I have to be aware and try to steal it. That's what I did. I have long legs for a reason so I just toe-poked it in. I'm happy. I was telling these guys t training that I need some lucky goal in a way to start me again. Hopefully, this is it.

On the crowd’s support…

It's amazing and we're very thankful for everybody who's showing up and supporting us because, look, it's a tough year and we understand that fans are angry. I can say one thing, we are angrier. If it annoys somebody more than the fans, than it's us players. We're fighting. We are there every weekend and we're putting everything out there. We appreciate everybody who comes out and supports us. We're trying to not let them let them down and get more and more wins. This is MLS. Anything can happen. We're still pushing.

Referee Michael Radchuk (via MLS Pool Reporter)

On what was under review in the 40th minute…

The Review was under the goal protocol as the ball had entered the net but the on-field decision was no-goal.

On whether an angle was available to determine if the ball had crossed the line…

The VAR had determined that a clear and obvious error was made in the non-awarding of a goal. A Review was recommended, and the Referee made the final decision to award the goal.

On the decision that Roger Espinoza was onside in the buildup to the goal…

Prior to the Review for the non-awarding of a goal, the VAR needed to check the build-up to the goal, which included a possible offside decision involving Roger Espinoza. When checking this play, the VAR concluded that the on-field decision of Not-offside was not clearly wrong.