Peter Vermes post-match press conference vs. Nashville SC | April 9, 2022

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On what went wrong in the second half…

Terrible mentality. Terrible defending mentality. Just terrible. Horrendous.

On the goals conceded…

At the end of the day, we should never have given those situations away in the game. Tim (Melia) does a great job and makes a save. We go up 1-0 at halftime. We're obviously now in a good position. We come in and figure out whatever adjustments we want at halftime then we go out in the second half and for us to give up those two goals is just terrible on our part. Terrible defensively. Terrible mentality. That's what it really comes down to. Whether any of that stuff was offside or not, at the end of the day, you have still got to defend and you shouldn't be giving those situations away like that. It's a big difference when a guy is five yards offside. Okay, I get it because you cut your line and all that. But the rest of it, nope, that's on us. It's not on the referees. It's on us.

On the midfield tactics…

We had to scratch Uri (Rosell) before the game. We were working towards playing him, but he couldn't go. We had been training a certain way, so I just didn't want to do two moves for the game. And I actually thought that it worked well. I thought Remi (Walter) played really well in that position. It's where his best place is. It's where he's really functional for us. He's busy, he's agile, he's good on the ball, he wins stuff, he makes good runs in there and he's quick. So we needed him in that part of the field. I didn't feel bad about that at all.

I thought that when Marinos (Tzionis) and (Nikola) Vujnovic came on, those two guys, they helped us in that last 20 minutes big time. They were busy. They helped us create a lot. Now, you can't go overboard because when another team's winning 2-1 and the other team is playing away from home, they start to sit in just a little bit and you start to put the pressure on because you’ve got nothing to lose. So you can't go over the top there. But those two guys were really good and they were a handful for the other team. They caused a lot of problems so that was really good to see. I would look forward to seeing those guys a lot more going forward because if other guys go out and don't want to play, don't want to fight for it, we’ve got other guys that have to step up and give them a chance.

On the first goal conceded…

That was actually a really simple play. That was actually an easier play than if they would have stuck the ball in on the first ball. The fact that we couldn't manage that, just terrible on us as a staff and everything.

On the team’s halftime substitution…

We wanted to make an adjustment. (Cam) Duke hasn't played a lot of games so getting both those guys in and giving them a chance to share the game was good just from a legs point of view.

Tim Melia post-match press conference vs. Nashville SC | April 9, 2022

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia

On the penalty kick in the first half…

I think it was soft. I’ll have to go back and watch it. But he's in a position going away from goal. (Nicolas Isimat-Mirin) is in between him and myself. I don't know if he gets him or not, but ultimately I thought it was pretty soft, but that was kind of the consistency within the game.

On Peter Vermes’ comments about the team’s mentality on defending set pieces in the second half…

He's 100% right. We're at home. We have a great fan base. We're up a goal and we are collectively, every single one of us on the field, too soft in those moments. We shouldn't shy away from that. We need to correct it. We need to do better. He's 100% right, because on the first one - say whatever we want about the ref, the call, it doesn't really make a difference - the play happens. There's too many guys open on the back stick. When the ball goes out wide, we're not shifting. It's something that we have to look at as players; no one else but the players, because we’re the ones on the field. We're making the decisions. We're controlling the results at that point. We all need to do better, myself included.

Felipe Hernandez post-match press conference vs. Nashville SC | April 9, 2022 

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Hernandez

Thoughts on the second half…

Just really soft goals and something that we need to fix. It's been a few games where we've given up soft goals, so we just need to work on that and we'll get it done.

On what went wrong with the two goals conceded from set pieces…

Just a little slow. I think we reacted second and we were always on the back foot. They were just on the front foot so that's probably it.

On taking set pieces for Sporting…

I feel like I've always been pretty good at set pieces, whether it's a corner or a free kick. Peter and the coaching staff put me there to do that. So if they need me to do it, then I'll do it.