Quotes: Sporting KC 3-1 New York City FC - July 10, 2016

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes

On the difference in Benny Feilhaber’s recent form…

I wouldn't characterize it as just him. I just think that when we are committed to work the way we did in the game tonight I think what happens is you start seeing the good qualities out of all of the players on our team. And, you know, I wouldn't just bring it down to just him. I think you're seeing so much from so many guys now. Because when you're on the front foot, when you put the work in you're out working the other team you start to break them in different ways. And it's not just physically but it's also mentally. And I think when you look at the game, we gained confidence as the game went on just because we were closing everything off. 

On the physicality of the game wearing down NYCFC…

Yeah sure, it's who we've always been in the past and, like I said, I think we're getting back to our DNA. I said that last game and I say it again. What's happening is we're getting in a place where our decision making is becoming better and better. Our transition moments in the game are getting better. And that's what's leading to, I think, the goals and the opportunities that we're creating in each half. 

On having different players deliver the past two games and balance the team out… 

It's good but, again, I say it's indicative of the way that we're playing. When you're winning the ball high up the field like we are, when you are relentless in and around the box, and not letting them clear the ball and winning the second balls back. When you're doing all of that, those second and third chances happen and the other team winds up either losing concentration or they're just not in the right place and we take advantage of it. And so it's just a product of what we're doing in the game. And again, you get rewarded when you work as hard as we do on the field. 

On Ike Opara….

I think that he's getting back in his rhythm. I think we still have to be really careful with him. Because you saw Ike coming out at the end of the game and I think he started getting to a point where he had to stretch a few things. And I just want to make sure that we're always being careful in that regard because I'm a big believer in as a player you have to have a routine in playing. If you don't have a routine, and you don't play on a regular basis, then the risk of injury is much higher. And so the fact that he really hasn't played prior to this year for two years, we have to be very smart in the way that we're continuing to bring him back to the team. So it's going to be important going into this next game how we see him this week because we have three games in eight days. 

On the lack of performance of NYCFC’s Designated Players and if that was a product of game plan…

I think it's a combination of both. It's what our game plan was and it was also what our execution was. And I think you have to give our guys a lot of credit. It's not easy to play the way they played for 97 minutes. It's not. It takes two things: one is that it takes condition, but the other thing it takes is a very strong mentality to do it. And I think that's one of the big reasons why we had success in today's game. 

On Jimmy stepping it up in training…

I think there is a good level of competition for all of our positions right now. Especially with guys getting back healthy. We have had a lot of guys that have been injured, but you can start to see that half of our team getting stronger and stronger. It was great to bring Nuno [Coelho] on for 10 to 12 minutes just to give him a run. He hasn’t been playing and he is just getting back into it, just getting his feet wet on the field. It is very important, just like I said, we have a string of matches in July and August to where we will travel somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,000 miles by plane. So we are going to have to be prepared with all of our players. Everyone is going to have to give a contribution and with that players are going to have to play games and be 90 minutes fit. 

On the grand opening of the National Training and Coaching Development Center…

It is a big day for the club. Today is the ground breaking for the NTCDC and one of the big things for that is that it shows an incredible commitment by ownership and also the state in that we continue to develop the game of soccer. It is not just a Kansas City base; it’s a national level. U.S. Soccer and their partnership with Sporting Kansas City and the state, I think you get an idea of what type of things that we are trying to bring to this area. When you look at coaching education, referee education, and then you are going to bring in select national teams to that facility, I think it is going to be another tremendous acquisition for our organization in showing how we are developing the game not just locally, but also nationally. It was a big day for us. We look forward to that facility because there is not going to be anything that is going to touch it in all of CONCACAF, the Americas, and probably most places in Europe. It won’t even come close to it. 

Sporting KC Defender Jimmy Medranda

On his first goal for the club…

I was very happy to score my first goal tonight.

On playing left-back and his growth at the position…

I played last year at left back and I played at left back in Colombia too so I feel comfortable playing there. I just need to keep doing my job and be good on the field every game.

On his goal from long distance…

I knew it was on the goal. I always try to score but tonight I finally did thanks to God.

Sporting KC Forward Diego Rubio

On his impressions of the game…

I am very happy to get the win. We now have 3 wins in the last four games so it’s good for our team confidence.

On team’s recent form moving towards the playoffs…

We are really good and recently we have been very positive. We have a lot of confidence so we to keep it up and focus on the next game.

On the heat and support from fans…

The stadium is amazing. The fans give us a lot every game. Even when we are down they give us so much support. They are the 12th player so they are important all the time.

Sporting KC Midfielder Benny Feilhaber

On his goal…

I didn’t know the positioning of everybody else but I guess good forwards get in the right position. I got lucky to follow it up and I was in the right place. Jake [Peterson] got his body on it and was able to put it somewhere. Honestly, I thought I was going to be offside. I was going to put it in and I looked at the linesman to see if I was offside but I wasn’t. I haven’t scored an easier goal in my life. I feel like I have been talking about getting an easy one like that for a long time and thankfully today was the day.

On offensive production from defenders Matt Besler, Jimmy Medranda, and Ike Opara…

It makes it easier for everybody else. It makes it hard for teams to lock in on one or two guys, goals can kind of come from anywhere, and it allows us to have more space. We have to take away some of the pressure that we put on our forwards with Dom [Dwyer] scoring most of our goals, and Diego [Rubio] when he plays up top.

On the increased offensive production…

It’s nothing that we’re doing consciously. I think it’s just that we’re producing more chances than we were at the beginning of the season. Our set pieces have been better, our runs too. I think we got unlucky to not get a goal or two on set pieces tonight. We’re getting more guys inside the box and that was one of the things we wanted to make a point on from earlier games this year. That’s what happens you get goals from different guys.

New York City FC Head Coach Patrick Vieira

On the club’s road performance tonight despite playing well on the road recently…

We played against a team who were better than us.

On the team’s effort tonight…

Do you really think we would travel that far to give up the game? That's not part of our culture and not part of who we are. Of course we have to take into consideration that was our third game in a week and of course that played a massive part of the way we played

today. But I have to give credit to the players because they gave me everything. If you look at how they are in the dressing room, they were really, really tired and it's not an easy place to come. It's more difficult when it's your third game of the week.

On the team’s recent road performances despite struggling at home…

I think that's a big challenge because we spent a lot of energy the last two games we played and of course the third one is always the most difficult one. We came here with good intentions to play good football but we find it really difficult but tonight I think there was a lot of mental and physical tiredness. Of course, that aside, you have to give them the credit because they executed a good game plan, they stop us playing and they became more difficult for us.

On the team’s competitiveness…

I think we were second in everything. When you are second best throughout the game, it's hard to pretend the competitiveness of the game and that's why I think it's the mental and the physical tiredness from us tonight.

On the decision to sub off Frank Lampard…

We just needed to have a little bit more control in the midfield, that's why I made the change.

New York City FC Midfielder Frank Lampard

Overall thoughts of the match tonight…

We didn't play very well today. We've had a long week. Without making excuses, two good results during the week. Today, I think we deserved to lose. They were the better team. 

On scoring four goals in five games…

I'm fit (laughs). I've been injured a long time and I've been able to start games. The team's been playing well and we've been creating chances. A lot of chances and I've been fortunate enough to score some. You're happy when you win. But even when you score, if you don't win, as a gruesome person, I'm not very happy with that. 

On positives to take from the match…

We have to remember what made us win four games recently, back-to-back. We'll take out the negatives today and look back at the game a bit and realize that if we drop our standards, we're going to lose games. That's the nature of the MLS. You get punished. So it's about picking ourselves up. Getting back to New York, working hard and looking forward to the game at the weekend. 

New York City FC Midfielder Andoni Iraola

Thoughts on the match tonight…

I think they fully deserved the win. They had the better chances. We weren't able to play from the back, it was difficult for us with their press. It wasn't the best pitch, also. We conceded two goals off of second plays off a set piece. That always punishes you. 

On playing the central midfield role more often in last few games…

Well when the team wins the games, we always feel more comfortable. I've played there before in other systems, I think I can play there. But everything is about the game result. We were happy when we were winning games. We wanted to continue with an other win this week. Now we have to focus on the next game in Montreal.

Some positives to take away from the match…

I think it has been overall a good week for us. We won two games versus Eastern Conference rivals. We've lost today but I think overall it was a good week and next game versus Montreal will be a huge game for us.