Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Opening comments…

Before we start, two things. We want to send our thoughts and best wishes with Andy Reid. I know that after the game he was taken to the hospital from what I understand. I don’t have any other news other than that, but we want to send our thoughts and best wishes with that. Hopefully everything is okay.

Also, our condolences to Eduardo Meza and his family. He’s a person that has obviously been a long-term fan of the club. He played the drum in the Cauldron. His passing leaves behind his children. We want to send our condolences from the club.

Thoughts on the match...

That’s what happens when you play a good team. When you play a good team and make a mistake, they capitalize. They’ve got some guys up front and that’s what they live off of. They’re excellent at it. That’s why they’re a good team. They’re a really good team. Hopefully we learned a valuable lesson. We made really poor plays. The first one, we shouldn’t be trying to do what we did by any means. We had just survived the play before that. For us to then give the ball away again and expose ourselves the way that we did is not what we try to address and deal with and the concepts that we talk about and our philosophy of play and all of it. It was just not a good decision in that moment. The second goal, even with the loss of possession, we still had two guys on one. We should have easily taken care of that play. We have to be honest with ourselves. We were poor. On the second goal, our defending was very poor. We have to be honest with that. When you play a good team, they score. We do that to other teams as well at times but today they got us.

On his message to the team at halftime…

I thought in the first half we were just playing the game. We weren’t out there to win the game. There’s a big difference in the two mentalities. We were just playing in the first half. In the second half, we came out to win. We went after it a little bit. We were making penetrating runs, getting in the box, service into the box, that type of thing. That ultimately causes chances and creates goals. We scored and we could have scored another one. Seattle cleared the one that was inside the six-yard box that was right there. Gadi Kinda was maybe half or a fraction of a second too late. Those are the things that happen when you’re playing. We were different in the second half, for sure. We just gave up two very bad goals.

On the absence of Alan Pulido…

He’s still recovering from his injury. He’s actually in a pretty good place. It’s just that he was out of training. He was starting to train again but he had general soreness. What we’re not going to do is now risk him getting hurt somewhere else. That’s really what it is. But he’s actually really progressed in a short period of time that we didn’t think he would.

We want him every game, but we’ve also got to make decisions based on when and if he’s available then he’s going to be available long-term versus he goes into a game, plays a short period of time and is struggling again. I just don’t think that is healthy for him or for us or for anybody. We’ve got to make sure that when he enters, he’s got to be ready to go.

On reports of Johnny Russell’s contract extension…

He didn’t sign it but we’ve agreed verbally to terms. If all goes well, we’ll sign that this week.

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell

Thoughts on the match…

We looked really sluggish. We looked like a team who had been on a run of playing games. We didn’t look like a team that had a break or had a rest. We gave ourselves way too much to do. The two goals are mistakes from us. You give a team of Seattle’s quality chances like we did – not just those two goals, we gave them a few more opportunities – you keep giving a team like that chances and they’re going to score. You can’t always come back in games. They are a very good side but I feel like we caused our own problems tonight. The goals are easily avoidable and mistakes by us.

On the reports of his contract extension…

It’s been spoke about for a little while. We had too many games recently for any chance to really sit down and talk. It wasn’t the right time. I don’t think it’s anyone best interests to talk about that in preparation for games. We had a bit of a break and, like I said, it’s been spoken about for a while but it moved pretty fast this week. I’m delighted to be here. I’ve said plenty of times that I want to extend my stay here. To do that is massive for me. Obviously, I’m not really in a celebrating mood tonight but I’m delighted to extend my stay here and keep pushing to what the ultimate goal is and that’s winning.

On the upcoming rematch with Seattle…

It’s not so much getting one back over on them. We went there earlier in the season and it was probably one of our best performances of the season. We completely controlled the game and went about the game the right way. It was kind of similar to the way they came out against us in the first half tonight. Obviously, you want to test yourselves against the best so to get another opportunity to go and play them will be a difficult game. Going away there always is. We’re full of confidence. We went there and won before. I feel like if we cut out the sloppy errors that we made tonight, then we’re more than capable of going in there again and creating chances and scoring goals. That’s a game we’ll look forward to but we’ve got plenty of games before then so it’s not really a focus right now.

On his goal…

It obviously just dropped into the back post. Anything that went long, we try and recover it. I took my first touch and my initial thought is just to sort of loft it back into the back post. All of the defenders kind of stepped and it gave me a slight look at goal. There wasn’t really much else on to be honest. The keeper wasn’t really sighted on it. It was kind of behind his defender so I just tried to get good contact on it and get it on target. It managed to go in. Obviously it’s good to get a goal but it doesn’t really mean anything in the grand scheme of things. We get nothing from the game so I don’t really take anything from that to be honest.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza

Thoughts on the match…

Tough match for us. I thought we were keeping the ball well, unlucky goal – the first goal – well, unlucky both of the goals I would say. It was our mistake, and we’ve just got to make sure next time we do better. I’m proud of the guys, second half, everybody was working very hard. But hey, we need to do better in these type of games.

On if the team will be ready for the quick turnaround to Dallas on Wednesday…

Absolutely, this is the type of game like LAFC – we lost against LAFC and right away we had to bring ourselves up and play some more games and try to win. Today was one of those games, it didn’t go for us, there’s still eight games left. There’s a lot of points to fight for and try to finish on top of the West. 

On what the team learned in tonight’s loss…

A lot. No game is going to be easy, it doesn’t matter if the team that comes in here has played three days before, if we have rested more, it doesn’t matter what it is. We know this league is very tough, we’ve just got to get up right away. We searched for the point, we were very unlucky at the end but we’ve just got to keep going forward. This league is very tough, a lot of travel and a lot of games going on. Some days some teams play better than others and today, Seattle was better. So we’ve got to get up from this and go to FC Dallas – another very tough team, another tough place to play, they’re searching for points too so we’ve got to be ready.

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