Quotes

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the second-half saves from John Pulskamp…

The saves were very good, especially the one early that kind of deflected and he caught it underneath him. That was the big one and that was the important one because if they get that, maybe they get a little momentum. I'm being honest when I say this. At times our psyche is a little fragile, which is normal sometimes in this state. We're trying to find ourselves. We're trying to get to a place where we feel comfortable in those situations. If you look at the last three games, we scored four goals, three goals and four goals. That part is excellent. It's just about us now trying to finish off the game and I think in the second half we were much better. We were getting out, not letting the other team play as much. They also changed their formation. I think one of the things in this game is that when you can get the other team to change the way that they play, you've won something. I think the first half proved that. I thought we played very well. I would finish off by just saying I think that we didn't hold back though. Scoring the fourth goal in the second half was also a really important aspect.

On the importance of the first goal…

I think we were knocking on the door. We were close, we were close, we were close. And that's the game. Sometimes the game is very unfair and other times, like tonight, we finished some really good chances. I also think that we could have finished some more. They dodged some bullets as well. It's not as if we scored a couple of goals and then the game was over. I just think that we actually did what we needed to do. And then at the end, I think getting the fourth call was a really important aspect.

On Willy Agada’s start with the team…

Goal scorers can score goals in all different ways. I thought his second goal was excellent and it was his movement to get the defender to step with him as he went back to the ball and then he created the space underneath. An excellent finish for him to get on the end of that. And then I also thought that the ball that gets played into him and he lays it off to Thommy, holding off the defender, and the first-time finish from Thommy is world class. It's like I said before, if you look at the two guys that we added in the summertime, it was the two positions that we have two guys that are out at the moment. Hopefully for the future, it also makes us incredibly strong going forward.

On the goal from Andreu Fontas…

I didn't know he was going to start scoring every game, but it helps. I think he's been opportunistic in the last couple of weeks, but Fontas has always proven that he's very good on the attack. He’s good with the ball and also smart around the boxes. He took his chances well. For us to be able to score on a set piece, through the run of play the way we did tonight and on the counter - all of those things proved to the guys that they have the quality to do it. Now we have just got to do it consistently.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Erik Thommy

On the play of Willy Agada…

I think Willy is really important for our game because he creates space in the front. He keeps the ball and that makes for us a lot of solutions in the final third. It's important for us. Today was a reward for us because the last few games we played well, but in the second half we had a lot of space for the other team and we sometimes we made it too easy for them. I think the second half for us was much better than the other games. We pushed forward. We created a lot of chances as well and, at the end, 4-1 was perfect for us. Willy is in a good shape and he helps us a lot and hopefully he stays healthy and keeps going and keeps scoring the next games.

On the team’s mentality in the second half…

I think we learned about the games from the last weeks because the results were not what we wanted. The coach told us in the second half that we should go a few meters in front and push forward and keep attacking, keep going for the fourth goal. I think we did it. But we have to say that John (Pulskamp) saved us twice, and that was really important for our game. At the end, it was 4-0. Of course, if they had scored it could be another game. We wanted the three points here. I think after 90 minutes, it was a good game for us.

Sporting Kansas City forward Willy Agada

On the importance of the team’s third goal…

I think we're so excited. First of all, I'm excited for the team. Shout out for the boys. All the boys were working today. You can see how everybody is so hungry today to play and everybody knows we did it. We deserve these points and I'm happy that everybody was working and that we did it. I’m excited for us.

On the play of Erik Thommy…

I think Thommy is an important player in this team, just ask everyone. We have such a great mentality. You can see him trying to work and trying to put us in the situation. That’s my job to keep the ball on the top and if I don't have an option, to keep it. Thommy always gives me options. So it's a good goal by him and I'm excited I'm the one gave him the assist.

On moving past missed opportunities to be successful…

It's a game. That's football for you. It's moment by moment. When you have the chance, you get it. Even if it's a goal, even if it's not a goal. You just need to keep your head up and keep going. It doesn't matter if it's a goal or you missed it. It doesn't matter. In that moment, it’s done. It will never come back again. You just need to keep your head strong and be professional and wait for the next one.

On the team golden boot race with Johnny Russell…

He's a great leader in the team and we all respect him and we hope he keeps going. He's the one that is pushing everyone, me and everyone in the team. He's a great leader and I have great respect for him and I hope we keep scoring. Me or him, anybody in the team can score. The most important thing is team is winning. This is the most important thing.

On the assist from Ben Sweat…

Wow, a brilliant assist from Ben. It's such a great connection. When I look at him, he just looked at me and he just put the ball where it's so easy for me. Shout out to Ben. That was a great pass from him. It's crazy. These guys, they're just making me to be a star. They’re cooking always. I'm just eating. I'm so grateful to have amazing players like this in the team. They're lovely. Everybody is just here about the team. We are not selfish in this team. You can see how I laid the ball to Thommy and I tried to give some balls to Russell. It works out. We play together.

On the support from the fans…

The fans are amazing. It’s all about love. It’s crazy. The love is crazy. I’m excited to have fans like this. Hopefully we keep winning games and putting smiles on their faces. The stadium is full always. It’s amazing. I’m excited to be in this family. I'm so excited to be here.

On if the team believes there is a shot at making the playoffs…

Why not? It's a race. We keep pushing until the end. We have great belief that we will make the playoffs. Why not? We just need to keep our heads straight and take it game by game, just as we did this one. The next game is so important to us. It's game by game and just keep our mentality straight.