Quotes: Sporting KC 1-2 Real Salt Lake — April 2, 2016

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes 

On the offense being out of sync…
I don’t know if I would say it was out of sync. I think they did a good job. They defended well and slowed the game down. We didn’t get aggressive enough until probably until the second half of the second half.

On the team’s performance…
I think what happens is that we knew going into this game that they were going to slow the game down and we didn’t do a good job even though the referee didn’t manage it very well with the time wasting. We have to be able to do something to counter that and we didn’t a good enough job on our end. We played at their tempo and we made it easy for them for the majority of the game. To me it’s a great lesson, because I think that we have had a lot of teams in the years that have come here and have played in a low block and then they try and counter. It is nothing we haven’t seen in the past. The difference is that we just weren’t prepared to deal with it.  This is just something that we are just going to have to work on. When teams do that, we have to be faster with the ball.

On the contentious nature of Sporting KC / Real Salt Lake games…
I don’t think that game was all that tough today. I think, where the difference was there were issues, within the game, where the players were managing it and it wasn’t being managed by someone else. We just didn’t own the game from that point of view. The tempo got slowed down by us for sure. I don’t think it was a spicy game tonight.

Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber 

On the offense being out of sync…
They did a good job. By giving up the goal on the set piece, which was too simple of a goal, we put ourselves in a bad position. We had to play off the counter attack. They put a lot of men behind the ball and when you give up the lead, it allows them to do that even more so. I thought we had a pretty good response after the goal at the end of the first half, but it was pretty short. In the second half we started throwing more bodies in, but at the same time it wasn’t organized. It wasn’t as good as we needed to be.

On Real Salt Lake missing so many starters…
You pay attention to it in the sense of knowing what players can do things, what they are good at, and what to be aware of. The sense of, do you take people lightly, I hope not. This league has proven time and again there is very little difference in any team in this league regardless of who is playing and who is not. We were very adamant about it during the week to not let that be a reason to let down. I don’t think that was a reason that we let down. I truly think that we lost the game on one play. I think that if we don’t give up such soft free kick, a soft set piece goal and put ourselves in such a bad position; where they can play exactly how they want to play by slowing the game down, sitting guys behind the ball and playing on the counter, I think we have a much better chance to get a result.

Sporting KC midfielder Brad Davis

On the start to the season…
We are 3-1 so we have had a good start. We are clearly disappointed about tonight. I don’t think, in all honesty, that we played well enough to win this game. At home, we all know we could have been better and performed better. But you have to stay even-keel. That’s why after three games, when we were 3-0, we weren’t throwing big parties. You have ups and downs throughout the year. You would love to be able to win every single game, but that’s not going to happen. we need to take this as a lesson. We need to go back and review what we did. Overall, it’s been good, but what we need to look for throughout the season is consistency and to continue to try to get better. Tonight wasn’t our best so we need to get back to the previous weeks’ performances.

On the challenge Real Salt Lake offered tonight…
That’s the way Salt Lake was. We knew that was going to happen when they came in here. I would have to say, and by no means is this an excuse, but I think the referee let them be too obvious in killing this game from the start. That’s not an excuse and that’s not why we lost the game, by any means. I think that we knew that was going to be the way it was going to happen. But to go back to your question as far as a test, that is still a test, because teams are going to do that. Teams are going to come in and try to kill the game so we need to figure out a way to break through and score goals. We can’t rely on the ref to speed the game up. Like I said, you can’t get too high and you can’t get too low. We lost the game. We are going to get better. We are going to try to work hard, come back next week and try to win the game.

Real Salt Lake head coach Jeff Cassar

Thoughts of the match...
Obviously Kansas City is not an easy place to not only get a result but to walk away with three points. I'm extremely pleased with the way our team handled themselves out there against a very good team. We talked about punishing them on the opportunities that we got. I thought we did that and we still probably could have scored a couple more. But, for this group of guys, I'm really happy.

With team's condition and recent results, what was the difference tonight?
I think focusing on the game plan that we had. We really followed through. We talked about a few things that we wanted to do all week long and the players went out there and they did it. It's a massive credit to them. I thought our back line was very good tonight. I thought their communication to the players in front of them was very good because Kansas City really had some great movement with their attacking players coming inside and bringing their outside backs forward. So you really have to be on your game to slow them down.

On defensive strategy...
You just try to frustrate them, Benny [Feilhaber] and Brad [Davis] are excellent players. They can find the game, they're smart. Same with Graham [Zusi] and Dom [Dwyer] out there. So you really have to be focused for 90 minutes. I thought we were, well until the PK, although I thought that was outside the box. You really have to focus on them and try to contain them and I think we frustrated them a bit tonight and that's what we wanted to do. But we also knew we were going to get a lot of opportunities at the other end so we just had to be patient.

On the team's offside trap...
We were trying to do some things. We had a defensive scheme that we wanted to do. It was making sure the spacing was right and when it did get to certain areas, trying to win it there. It was more about being disciplined and not getting pulled out of shape.

Real Salt Lake defender Justen Glad

On his first MLS goal…
Obviously Plata played in a great ball. It was perfectly placed. Aaron was right in front of me. If he didn’t have it, I had it. If I didn’t have it, Yura was right behind me and he had it. I think, as a group, we really had the drive and the fight and the commitment to get that and to get the second goal, as well. And I’m really proud of the team.

On what a victory at Children’s Mercy Park means to Real Salt Lake…
I remember the MLS Cup final while I was at the academy, kind of in disbelief. I played last year in a few games against Sporting at home, and you can tell when you’re on the field there’s kind of a disliking of each other. So this game was massive for us, and it felt good.

On the overall defensive efforts and catching Sporting KC offsides on several occasions…
We’ve been practicing a lot this week trying to get on the same page. I think the main thing besides the tactics and all that was just to fight for one another. If one person went down, there’s another defender right behind them, so that was huge. It was a whole team effort.

On getting the win...
We’ve had the heartbreak of being up 2-0 in the 93rd and being 2-2 in the 94th, so I just think there was no way that any team member was OK with that happening again.

On having the opportunity to start this week…
It’s a good stepping stone, obviously. It’s a big confidence booster, obviously, to come in and get the goal. We’ll take it going forward. We’ll take the points and we’ll improve everything that we need to improve on.

Real Salt Lake defender Tony Beltran

On how it feels to come out of Children’s Mercy Park with the win…
We’ve had some tough games here over the years, but tonight is obviously a huge high. It was a tremendous effort out there, and this is a huge win for the club and a big statement to the league, as well.

On Real Salt Lake’s defensive efforts…
I have to give credit to KC. At home they play such a different style. They push their outside backs so high and there’s so much pressure on the defenders, but I think we stayed organized, we communicated well and we tried to keep them in front of us. The biggest thing was that we were ready to fight for 90 minutes.

On how Real Salt Lake prepared for the game…
I don’t know if we learned something about ourselves or if everybody else learned something about our team. I think that the guys know they’re capable of this and we believed in ourselves, and that’s probably why we’re on such a high right now. We wanted to make this statement to everybody that over the course of the season, these guys can contribute and that we’re a capable team.

On securing the win while missing a few key players…
Obviously we had a lot of key players out. But over the course of the season, that’s going to happen. No starting XI is going to play all 34 games. We have a lot of confidence in our depth. We had a lot of confidence in the guys that were playing tonight, and this result is a testament to that.