Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On if the draw was a fair result…

Probably. In the first half, I think we were sluggish. I thought we were slow. We weren’t sharp. In the second half, we brought a lot more. The one thing you have to admit is it’s always difficult when a team has to break another team down all game long in a low block. We found chances. Shoot, we could have won it at the end obviously with (Andreu) Fontas. I give the guys credit for the second half. It’s not always going to be perfect. It’s not always going to be the way I think it should be or the way that I want to write it up. It’s just not always going to be that way. Sometimes you have to adapt and adjust from maybe not playing well or not being sharp on that day or being a little bit fatigued. Probably it was some of that. I would say that they probably had some of that as well. Our sharpness wasn’t there in the first half. The second half was better.

On the team’s schedule congestion…

We’ve played a lot of games. We’re still trying to get healthy. He won’t say it but Johnny (Russell) is not even fit yet from when he was out. He was out for over 10 days. He’s got to get back to 90 minutes fit and he’s just played two 90-minute games in the last five days. We’ve got to keep working towards that. We can get ourselves past this next game and give ourselves a little bit of a breath and hopefully get a new player in as well. We can start moving the team around a little bit.

On managing minutes…

In the game against Dallas, when the team is feeling good and playing well, I’m going to stick with it. Like tonight, I thought the second half started out and I’m giving those guys a chance to redeem themselves. They came out in the second half and they started playing really well. I made the change at the end there because I wanted to see if we could get two forwards, especially with Khiry (Shelton), inside the box. He almost got on the end of one of them. Right away, he made an impact and that’s what I was hoping for. It’s not anything other than sometimes I just think there’s a feel that you think that sometimes if you take a guy out, it could change it dramatically. And I didn’t want to do that, especially when a team is in a low block and your team is keeping the ball and you’re finding stuff. You don’t want to disrupt that.

On the team’s crosses…

I think we were really good on the flanks. When you’re in low block like they were for the majority of the game, you’re going to have to start putting the ball in the box and have to start trying to create some havoc. It’s almost like sometimes you’re hoping for a little bit of a pinball situation that catches them off guard because they have so many players in there. I think we were exposing them on the flanks. I don’t think they really had an answer. You’d have to ask them, but maybe they were willing to take service. I don’t know.

On Daniel Salloi’s goal…

He puts power on the ball. He beat him with speed tonight on that ball. It’s a good finish. It’s a great finish. We probably needed a little bit more of that but, again, they had a lot of players just crunched in that area of the field. Who knows what the possession was? (Seventy percent). It’s not easy to do that. It’s just not easy doing it. And, at some point, you’re also going to give up some counters like we did. But we found a way to defend them and go the other way. But doing what we did for as long as we did was pretty darn good.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Remi Walter

On how the team is feeling after such a congested schedule and if that led to a slower performance tonight…

I think that’s true, we were a little bit slow in the first half. I think it’s because we don’t come into the game with a good mindset. We need to push the team when we are at home and I think it’s the most important thing if you want to win. We had a good reaction in the second half and the coach said at halftime that we need to move faster so we tried to do that, but it’s not easy because we played a lot of games in this period. We tried but I think the most important thing is to have a comeback in the game and take one point.

On the difficulty of breaking down a team that defends with a low block…

Every team is different, but we need to focus on us, our game because we are at home and we need to play our game. It’s hard when team’s play in a low block, but we try, we try.

On adjusting to different positions in the midfield…

I can play the eight, but I prefer in this league and in this team I prefer to play the six. I think it’s good for me to organize the game, catch a lot of balls, but if the coach needs me at the eight I can play and I’ll do a different job because it’s very different. I’m ready for that and I’m ready to continue for the next game.

On how difficult it was to play in the midfield when most of the game was played on the wings…

When we play a team like that, we need to go on the side because it’s easier to have opportunities to score. For me, I need to be focused on my job, to keep the ball, to play well with my partner and to have good cooperation when players come into this area. I know it’s not easy for the midfield when it’s like this but we play and we try to score.

On the amount of work that goes into defending counter attacks when chasing the game…

It’s hard because we need to run, to run and to run. We need to do a good job for the team to not take a goal, but we are ready for that. This position needs that so I’m ready.

Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi

On his 12th goal of the season…

If you watch it back, Luis (Martins) was overlapping and I was looking at Khiry (Shelton) coming for a one-two and I just had so much time that I just kept going and going with it. That space opened up at the near post, defender kind of shifted to the middle and the far post of the goal. That was my only way to shoot it, I’m glad I hit it so well that it was a very strong shot and that’s why he couldn’t save it at the near post.

On playing against Portland’s low block…

It’s difficult. I felt like we were more direct in the second half than we were in the first half. What I saw on the team and on myself is that there just wasn’t enough energy today and with so many games behind us and coming up, it’s difficult to play our “A” game every time. I’m glad we got at least a point but obviously it’s terrible to drop points at home, especially when other teams win and they catch up to you or go in front of you, it’s tough but what can you do? Move on to the next one.