SPORTING KANSAS CITY MANAGER PETER VERMES
On the match:
The way I look at it is, we came from the opening whistle, we came here to play. We weren’t going to sit in and drop 11 guys in a 30 yard space and just try to play that way. We talked about right from the get go trying to disrupt their rhythm. I think the two goals are well-deserved. I could talk all day about a couple of penalties here or there but at the end of the day we kept our composure in those moments of the game when things got a little bit, I don’t want to say out of control, but sometimes people try to make a mockery of the game so I think our concentration, our discipline and organization in the game.
On his team’s excellent road form this season:
I think what happens a lot of times is, I don’t think it’s much of a secret, when we play at home everybody just sticks everything behind the ball and they do play for 90 minutes with basically trying to counter us. It’s not a lot of space to play in; it’s just what it is. What happens when we come to other people’s places is they have to play because it’s their place and they have to drive the game a little bit so they can’t sit back. They have to open themselves up, and when they do we find opportunities and I think that’s one of the biggest reasons why.
On the tempo early:
It was great that we broke their rhythm. We didn’t let them build out of the back so we put them under a lot of pressure which then there weren’t a lot of balls, it put them under pressure to have to defend and then go 80 yards and try to build their game up if they did get out, but with a lot of work. I think that really disrupted them a lot, I also think it presented us with some very good chances and second chances.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY FORWARD KEI KAMARA
On getting after New York early:
Yeah, that’s our game plan. Obviously we’re playing away so nobody is expecting us to do that, but that’s kind of how we play. The weather is going back perfect to how the season started, where we can basically just do what we do. We came out here, it felt right, we really wanted to interrupt their home record, their play, not give them time and it worked out perfect.
On the festive post-game atmosphere in the locker room:
We’re like this every game we win, home or away, we’re like this in the locker room. Good music, good fun and that’s the same way we play when we go out there. That kind of African-Caribbean feelings we inject into all the players so we can relax and have fun.
On whether he was surprised with how much room he had on his goal:
We have Graham Zusi. He delivered a great cross and all we have to do is just make our runs, finish our runs. I just have the determination that I’m going to go win. I don’t think I’ve scored on a corner kick in a while and I had that feeling going to the game and it worked out perfect.
SPORTING KANSAS CITY MIDFIELDER GRAHAM ZUSI
On Sporting’s first goal:
I was trying to get it up and over the wall, to get it up on the goalie’s side. Sometimes the keeper’s cheat to the near post side but like I said it hit the crossbar and C.J. did well to get it back on point quickly.
On how important the win was:
I think our intention was to come in here and treat it as a game where we thought we could set the tempo and obviously we did that early on and the two goals early we’re very big for us. I thought we did a great job after that of just locking it down and not really giving them too many chances.
On how they took advantage of New York’s tendency to give up early goals:
We didn’t really talk about their ability to give up early goals but we did talk about jumping on them early and really setting the tone of the match, and like I said, we were able to do that.
NEW YORK RED BULLS HEAD COACH HANS BACKE
On the match:
Poor marking on two set-plays in the beginning, too many lost fifty-fifty’s when you play against Kansas, too many unforced errors. It’s a tough one to go down like that, but it was a better second half. We created a decent number of chances but couldn’t really hurt them. They were the better team today.
On losing the undefeated streak at home:
Of course I’m surprised, it’s a big game. We’re fighting to be number one and win, but they’re number one. But we played so slow and couldn’t come out in our attacking game, of course everyone is disappointed.
On starting Tim Cahill at forward:
When you play against a team like Kansas, you need possession, you need to get players up-front to get a hold of the ball and you need midfielders that can get a hold of the ball and hold possession. Because if you get too hectic, they are one of the better teams who can get pressure on the ball and they force you to kick it and that’s not our game.
On subbing Dax McCarty at halftime:
At halftime we just needed to do something, it could’ve been probably any of the midfielders. We needed a striker and we would’ve liked to play Tim (Cahill) as the second striker to try to get an early goal in the second half.
On allowing early goals:
We conceded an early goal, on set plays and I mean it’s frustrating. We are prepared for how to mark and if you lose the one-on-ones it’s costly for you.
NEW YORK RED BULLS FORWARD THIERRY HENRY
On the Red Bulls’ offense:
I thought we created chances, but we didn’t score. I said to you so many times, that you’re not going to be able to come back sometimes in a game like that and that happened tonight. Kansas City was better than us. They attacked the game better than us and like I said to you, once again we found ourselves 2-0 down after 20 minutes. I said to you against Columbus that it was bound to happen, and it happened tonight. I think saying that we created in the second half, maybe big chances always like a toe on the line or something or some crosses. But, that’s not good enough if you go and play against Kansas City and turn it down after 20 minutes, it’s hard.
On conceding early goals:
That’s how we’ve come out every game - home or away. For the guys that follow us, that’s the way we come out. I was here the other day talking about Columbus and everybody was bragging about the goal and about the win. I was talking about one thing: to start better and we didn’t.
On tonight’s game:
We kind of forced some bits and pieces at the end of the game, but overall Kansas City played better. Let’s not hide behind anything. They deserve to be first and they are. Now we’re not in the playoffs yet, we’re going to have to try to fight to go there and our paths are going to cross again this season. Let’s see if we can improve and do better against them next time we play here.
NEW YORK RED BULLS MIDFIELDER TIM CAHILL
On the game:
I don’t think there’s anything special to their team. I think we didn’t perform tonight. Compared to the game on Saturday, we’ve got to be really disappointed to what happened tonight. They won, credit to them. There’s not much to say about that game except to put it behind us. That’s definitely not the team I know. We’ve got a lot more fight than that. We still created the chances, but we conceded two really soft goals and when you get down like that so early it affects the team and it affects the way you play. Tonight wasn’t a night where we come back, but it’s just got to be put right as soon as possible.
On giving up early goals:
It’s so important. To concede two goals that early, you just can’t do it because it’s an uphill battle. They’re a very physical team. You see every time there’s a challenge, or something going on in the middle part, the ref gets swarmed asking for yellow cards. They’re asking for free kicks. I don’t see this in football, you know what I mean? Just play the game and get on with it. That’s what frustrated me the most tonight. The poor ref was smothered every time there was an incident. The ref is on the pitch to do a job. He doesn’t need their coach and their players swarming the ref asking for yellows and asking for fouls. We lost the game ourselves. Yes they’re a good team, but we definitely should have competed a lot better. I really wanted to win this game so much tonight: for us, for the fans, and for what we’ve done in the last two months.
On the game plan:
I just think they pressed hard on us and we couldn’t answer the questions. The other day we played great football. We stayed tight, we stayed compact in, and played out very well and more patient. Tonight it just didn’t happen for us. The second half was a lot better. Obviously we had a lot more shape and a bit more continuity and we had our bases again. Maybe we have to look at it again and regroup. To me, it’s frustrating mainly conceding goals as a team. Collectively we take the blame together. It’s not just about the back four, it’s about all of us. That’s one thing that we need to do is take responsibility as a team and put it right. Kansas City came away with their … points, they’re very scrappy, you know the ball is in the air a lot. It was a weird game. Just a weird game and one that I want to forget about.