Vermes Ferguson
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Quote Sheet: Kansas City 2, Man Utd 1

On the game

“It was definitely a big game for our organization. Having the opportunity to play Manchester United, arguably the best club team in the world, was a huge accomplishment for the Kansas City area. It was tremendous to have 50,000 fans show their support at this game. I am extremely proud of the team for how they played during the game. To have the courage and competitive drive to stay ahead for 55 minutes while a man down was big.”

On his goal

“Scoring a goal against them was big, but scoring a goal in front of that many Kansas City Wizards fans was bigger. The goal being a game winning goal was huge for me.”

On building support in Kansas City
“Hopefully people will give us even more credit, and continue to come out and support us even more. We have a new stadium opening next summer and we still have four months left this season, so hopefully they will come out and see what we can do.”

On the bid process

“This has a lot of ramifications in terms of us being a host city for the World Cup, for us to be able to handle a game of this magnitude and generate more than a 50,000-person crowd is great.”

On playing Manchester United
“It was really exciting, we took the initiative and really made them play. We didn’t allow them the time to do the things they like to do. We know it is their pre-season, but we knew we would get their best, but to be able to take it to them early was exciting.”

On playing Manchester United
“It was very special, for one of the best clubs in the world to come to Kansas City and for us to have over 50,000 people, it was a really special night. It was obviously a great thing for the Wizards, but also for the fans. They came out and supported the game and hopefully they enjoyed it.”

On his goal
“Teal (Bunbury) held the ball up well, so I tried to make a run because I knew he would play it back to Kei (Kamara). Kei saw me and played a perfect ball behind their defense. I had some time to think about it, I put it on frame and it went in. It was a good feeling, and a good time for us to score.”

On moving forward
“As a group we have a lot of confidence in ourselves. In the last two games we’ve gotten big results, so hopefully this will propel us into the rest of the season.”

Overall assessment of tonight's game
”I thought the inexperience of the defenders showed itself in the first 15 minutes of the match. We never quite recovered from that until the second half. That was a handicap of that inexperience. We had a young goalkeeper, and he had to calm down. Their center forward (Teal Bunbury) was a handful, physically. We had a few chances; that is to be expected. We had a few good early ones from Diouf just after halftime. It was a competitive game and a good atmosphere. The stadium was terrific. The pitch was good. I don't have any complaints. I am quite satisfied with the progress we are making.”

On the physicality of the game
”Well my experience with the game, so far, is that the committed American players are very athletic. It is a big game for them, you know. They're playing Manchester United. You have to expect that kind of motivation.”

On his team’s progression
”Well I think the things we're looking for are coming our way in the sense that we're getting our fitness through the games. Possession with the ball today was ragged at times. Normally we're much better. That hopefully will come better with more games. We picked up couple or three injuries this week, which isn't a concern, but it is disappointing for these players because it means they miss games. We want to make sure we get as many games as they can. Darren Fletcher and John O'Shea missed today's game with injuries. Picking up injuries from training or things like that. “

What did Kansas City do that caused problems with the Manchester United defense?
”They got an early goal. That gave them a good early start in the game. They're a big, strong team. They're athletic, very powerful. But I thought once we scored a goal, we'd be all right, but they scored a goal right away. (A tie heading into half) would have been something for us to hold onto for the second half.”

What would you have liked to see your team do better after Jimmy Conrad was sent off?
”Well possession of the ball is something we're normally good at, but it was ragged today. Another thing is when you're down you need to make sure you hit the target. A lot of our shots were off target. I think we had six shots in the second half that were either by the post or over the bar.  So that is a starting point and then you need to keep the ball in play. Keeping your shots on target, having good possession, not giving your opponents any feel of the ball. For quite a bit, we did okay in the sense that they got desperate with the defender and just kicking the ball down the pitch just to defend. Normally we can convert the ball in these situations and do quite well.”

On growth of soccer in the United States

“You can see through the standard of these teams, the standard of the U.S. national team, the crowd and the fans, it is definitely better.”

On Kansas City’s style of play

“Their entire team played very well today. They played with a lot of motivation because they played Manchester United. It's difficult to compare them directly to Barcelona because they're one of the best teams in the world to play that kind of football, but they play very nice and quick and they passed the ball well like a quality Spanish club. Their style was good.”