Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the two goals conceded…

On the first goal, they had a free kick in their half. Ball gets played to (Jesus) Murillo. We should have went and pressured him right away. We didn't and gave him too much time. He plays it to the next guy who gets it. It's too much time. We should have stepped there as well. We don’t. They play between the lines. We don't cut out that pass. The guy turns, plays the first ball through. And then defensively, we don't get to the guy and he hits a cracker just like they hit their second goal against us at their place the last time where the guy hit the full volley goal.

On the second goal, a terrible loss of possession on our part. How we lose the ball, I don't know. In those moments, too many guys were on the field that played young tonight. And I think that's the difference in the game. We actually played really well for so many parts of the game and so much of the game. But at the end, when you are naive and you give away the second goal the way we do, which is absolutely ridiculous, you should be embarrassed of that. I am and I am the coach. I'm not even on the field. It's just a bad way when you're trying to get back into the game. It's 1-0. You're right on the edge and you give up that goal. It's a backbreaker. But I go back to the first goal as well - just very poor in the way that we respond and react as soon as that free kick is taken. Our transition in that situation was terrible and our organization and our intent and our ability to recognize it. I say this all the time, and I don't use it lightly, when I talk about every roll of the ball, I mean every roll of the ball. You have to be locked in. The second you're not, the other team capitalizes. And they did. The second one we gifted wrapped it for them.

On the debut of Erik Thommy…

I thought he was excellent. I think the reason why is because, first off, he's playing with his brain. He was a guy that was looking to be dangerous with penetrating runs. He didn't go backwards. He went forwards. He put them under pressure in those situations by his runs, by his passes, by having self awareness and spatial awareness on the field to get into good locations. There were a couple of situations where we were coming out of the back and he wound up going to our left and we got the ball right to him and their guys didn't know what to do. Do I go with him? Do I stay? What do I do? His spatial awareness on the field was great and his attacking tendencies. If he played 90 minutes tonight, I’d like to think that the game is a little different. I also think that (Graham) Zusi was very good in the first half. We couldn't push him any more than that half. We’re trying to get him back fit. Thommy has certain qualities that even Gadi Kinda brings where he's going forward. He's elusive. He gets into the attacking third and he's looking for things. I mean, even for him to get on the shot that he got onto that he missed in the first half. It's a great spot for him to be in because that's where I'd like to see the two attacking midfielders in those spots. Unfortunately, the other guys, it's just not who they are and that's not why they were here. That's why the other guys were here. Unfortunately, they're not. But he brought that attacking idea, the tendencies, the commitment to go forward. It was really good for our team. And I think that's one of the reasons why in the first half we were incredibly dangerous and for the most part, we had the control of the game.

On Thommy being vocal on the field…

It's not leadership. It's just playing the game. You come in and you play. And if that means you have to tell somebody to get over there, you tell them. Because at the end, you want to win. And so he's got that mentality. But you can see that when we watched him play. He has this intensity and aggressiveness to go and make penetrating actions going forward, which is tremendous because that's what we need. It's what we've missed out of the midfield and it was very good today. It also helped with Zusi being on the right. As I said, I think in the second half, unfortunately we were playing too young. There was youthful mistakes: the loss of possession, not stepping to the ball, just little things like that. Just a lot of young guys. But you know what? They're cutting their teeth and they're going to have to learn. And they'll hear from me for tomorrow because I don't think that you should take your chance and go in and play young and for the most part, some of those guys have had some really good performances and know what it means to play in these games and how to go in and play. And unfortunately they did not when they came in the second half.

On the condition of Felipe Hernandez…

His biggest thing was he had a gash. They had to give him stitches. I don't know what else has happened. We took a concussion sub just because he had to leave the game. I don't know if he has one or not. I don’t know.

On the debut of Willy Agada…

Again, for somebody that has only been with us for four days in training, he has good tendencies. I've seen them on film. I know what he has. I think he's going to be somebody that gives us a little something different on the field. He's just got to get a little more time with us. And the other thing is too is it's harder when you're trying to chase the game than when you're kind of in control of the game. He came into a difficult moment, but he did some good stuff. He sees the game. He’s strong. I know he has fight in him, I know he does. And he can score for sure. And the other thing I like about him is that he wants to go press the game when it's time and he's got that mentality in him. It will become very useful for us.

Sporting Kansas City forward Willy Agada

On making his debut…

It was my first game and I was so excited. We lost the game, but hopefully, we'll bounce back and keep winning. We’ll keep our heads up and we're trying to concentrate on the next game.

On how he felt coming into the match…

It's so exciting to come into the game. First of all, it's a good feeling and my head is up. I'll keep learning from the players that are here and then hopefully they will improve me and make me better to get me ready for every game like this.

On his chance to score…

It was a good header, but a little bit far from the goalkeeper. Hopefully more chances will come.

On the atmosphere at Children’s Mercy Park…

This atmosphere, it's amazing - especially the fans. They are caring and loving. We're so excited. They're here today to support us, to cherish us, and hopefully we'll bring the smile back to their faces.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy

Thoughts on the match…

I think we started well. The first half was good from us. We created a lot of chances and some chances with good possession. We were in the game but a little bit unlucky in front of the goal. Then in the second half, we lost a little bit of control. We gave them more space and they created their chances. They were lucky. We were unlucky today. That's why we lost. All in all, I have to say that we have to keep the positive things with us and continue.

On his debut…

They welcomed me really warmly. It was a good feeling to be here. And the fans were amazing today. They pushed us again. I said it before, it was like I went in and I had goosebumps and it makes me feel that I'm right here, that I'm in the right place. We have to continue and be successful in the next week.

On finding chemistry…

Some training sessions I missed because I had only four days with the team. We talked a lot in the last few days and that's really important. In the next few weeks, we will be better on the pitch. I think a lot of things were good, but like I said before, we have to continue and then we will be successful and we will make some other thing better than today.

On his shot early in the match…

It was really close. I was in front of the goal from 10 meters. Normally, I have to score, but I was unlucky.

On working toward full fitness…

We are right in mid-season. I was on vacation and then I had to train by myself. I had an opportunity to train with an old club. But it's totally different to train individual or with the team and be in shape. And that's why today it was only 60 minutes. I need more training sessions with the team then it will be better and we'll see how long it takes in the next games.

On the heat…

Compared with Germany, you cannot compare it. It's completely different weather and it makes it tough of course. That's for everyone here. I have to deal with it.

On earning a starting spot so quickly…

The coach gave me the chance to play from the beginning. And if you need me, I want to give my best. I'm here to be the best every time I’m on the pitch. Today it was not enough as a team and that's why we have to train and take our shot in the next games.