Quotes: Sporting KC vs Manchester City - July 23, 2014

Sporting KC manager Peter Vermes

On Sporting KC’s 4-1 loss to Manchester City…

It would be interesting if we got that kind of workout on a weekly basis. It's a great team for us to play for a number of reasons. Obviously, for us, our focus is on the League. We are playing a big game on Saturday and that is where our concentration is and was. Our biggest thing is we want to make sure to get out of here unscathed, because as you know we have had quite a few injuries over the course of the season. So from that perspective, everyone got out of there with no injuries, which was great. It was a good environment, a good game for us, a good 45 minutes for both groups and now we can get ready for the game we have to get ready for and that is Toronto.

On the performance of Sporting KC’s new additions…

It was great to see [Jorge] Claros because he brought a dimension that we thought he would. He is going to fit into our team very well. Martin [Steuble] just got here this morning and Michael [Kafari] is a young player who is going to need some time. The biggest thing for him is his fitness. It was good for all three, but I think right now, Claros and Martin are guys that have a good chance of being impact players down the stretch.

On the performance of Erik Palmer-Brown…

We were just having a get-together with their coaching staff and we were talking about him. When we first started our Academy, he was in our U-10 / U-11 group when he was nine or 10 years old. So he is one of the first kids that has been through a full Academy with us. It's great to see him get on the field and play at that level. I thought he was very good and he has been good since he came on in first game where we put him on in a very tough situation. He has been very good and just keeps getting more experience. He has a great future ahead of him.

On the announcement of the National Training Center next to Sporting Park…

It just continues to show that we have big plans and the organization continues to keep moving forward with the State and continues to grow our organization from a facilities perspective. It's great with U.S. Soccer, with their interest in doing this and being a part of this. It's really starting to demonstrate to everyone else that Kansas City truly is the soccer capital of the country in that fact that we are getting this training center, co-hosted with us as well. There are a lot of great things coming in the future here and they are coming pretty quickly. It's an exciting time. 

On the team's road success…

I think we are a very disciplined team. We play very intelligently and we make it very difficult for teams to play against us. We do the same thing at home, but at times we get a little anxious when they are so bunkered in and we want to score. We want to make sure we reward the environment that we play in and I think at times we get a little undisciplined. We are very focused and disciplined on the road, which makes it very difficult to play against us.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum

On Sporting KC’s loss to Manchester City…

We looked at tonight’s game as an opportunity to test ourselves against a great team. We knew the result wasn’t that important. Having said that, we’re competitors and we still want to win. In the 45 minutes (the starting 11) played, it essentially felt like a loss. At the same time, we have a game that really matters on Saturday night. I thought we moved the ball well and played well at times. So we can take that away from it and look ahead to Toronto.

On what separates Manchester City from MLS opponents…

Their technical ability is just a little bit better. It’s the little things where they just don’t take a bad touch in certain situations. Everything’s just crisp. Tonight I thought we had good stretches of possession and looked dangerous at times. We did some silly things defensively, but we’ll clear that up for Saturday.

Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber

On Sporting KC’s first half performance against Manchester City…

I thought we played a pretty good 45 minutes to be honest. We maybe had a few jitters in the first 10 or 15 minutes where we weren’t feeling as comfortable as we normally do, but I thought we played pretty well. I thought we controlled big parts of the first half. When we got the goal, C.J. (Sapong) was really confident and composed with it. We were unfortunate to give up a goal at the end of the half and not be at least tied at halftime. But having said that, we played a pretty good game and got what we wanted out of it.

On assisting C.J. Sapong’s goal in the 30th minute…

It was a very composed finish from C.J. He knew he had the space, so he was able to bring it down instead of first-timing it. He took his time and placed it; a great finish from him.

On traveling to Toronto FC on Saturday…

This is a big event individually and obviously for the fans. We want to be prepared for the Toronto game on Saturday, and this was essentially another day in the preparation for that game. We got what we wanted out of the game but were unfortunate not to get a better result. We’ll move on and be very confident going into Toronto.

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini

On Manchester City’s win over Sporting KC…

People who came to the stadium saw a good game, especially the first 45 minutes when the two teams were with their best players. As Sporting Kansas City changed their eleven players for the second half, it was useful for us because it was a very physical game. I understand that Sporting Kansas City was thinking ahead to the weekend, having a very important game against Toronto. And for us, we have a lot of players that are not with our squad at this moment. That’s useful to the other players to demonstrate what they can do.

On the atmosphere at Sporting Park…

It’s different because in England the stadiums are still a bit bigger. This is a very beautiful stadium. The pitch was in good condition to play good football, and the atmosphere of the stadium was very good.

Manchester City midfielder Jesus Navas

On playing in Kansas City and the club’s goals for the coming season…

This is a great facility. Kansas City was a good place to us. The squad is coming together and we are getting to know the new players on our team. We have players with a lot of experience, which will help this team. We have quality in this squad to win the league. It would be great to win that again, but obviously the Champions League is our biggest goal.

On playing against the MLS champions…

It was an amazing experience. The fans were great. [Sporting KC] were a lot more fit than us, but we were just a bit more clinical in front of goal. I think the boys fully enjoyed it out there tonight. It was a good game in the end.

On how Kansas City compares to other American cities where MCFC has played…

Kansas City is definitely one of the best places we’ve been to in the States. The fans are amazing. There were a lot of fans in our hotel earlier on who were all looking forward to the game. It’s definitely one of the better places we’ve been.

On Manchester City’s overall performance…

We played quite well. We’ve still got to brush up on a few things in the preseason, but we’ll enjoy this win and look forward to heading to New Jersey.

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