Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes
On what went wrong in the game:
I think that they were good in the first half, I think all-in-all in the first half they were better, but in the first 15 minute, we had to weather the storm a little bit. They were doing a good job of keeping the ball and pressing and turning us over a little bit and I think that, at times, we were a little bit slow to the ball and we weren’t as definitive as we normally are. In the second half I thought we were much different in that regard. Combination play was good, especially in the attacking third, some really good opportunities that were created. They for sure were better in the first half, I think the second half was a different game. The first goal, we were too spread out and the second goal was just a broken play all the way through. It reminded me of one of the goals we gave up in our last game of preseason – kind of like a broken play, it’s like one thing after another, the ball’s squeaking out here, squeaking there, but it is what it is.
On if having new players along the frontline caused a disjointed attack:
I might agree with you a little bit in the first half, but not the second half. I thought second half, combination play was great, great service in the box, good runs. We had, at times, five or six guys in the box and they were good defensively too. Sometimes some things go your way, you get in the right place, ball hits you, deflection, little situations like that. I thought in the second half, again, combination play was very good, even though some of the guys are new for sure.
On his first impressions of the new players on the team:
I think always you want to see what your team is going to be like in games, because that’s what you have to play and that’s what you have to get ready for. You want to see how different people react in different situations. I think, at times, the guys were very good. I think as the game went on, Johnny Russell, for example, got better and better and better and better. He was incredibly dangerous in so many different situations – through the dribble, through the service, trying to cut inside and combine – he was really dangerous but it happened as the game went on because he’s getting more familiar with MLS games, which he really hasn’t played yet. It got better as the game went on, but as I said, I think it’s going to take a little time to put all of the pieces together for sure.
On the debuts of Felipe Gutierrez and Yohan Croizet:
Gutierrez I think is a great ball winner, sees the field very well and is good in the build-up for sure. He finds really good spots as we’re going to goal. Croizet was a little more a man on an island a little bit on the outside, I think he had some very good actions. But again, it’s going to take a little time for those guys to really get used to how we want to play.
On if the introduction of Daniel Salloi gave the team a boost:
I think so. Right before that we were already going at them a little bit because it was in the second half. But he definitely came in and had great movement off the ball which changed things a little bit.
On fan energy and loyalty:
I think it’s very well known from our perspective we think we have great fans. Our players have a very unique relationship with our fans from the perspective of that our fans have come to know how we play, understand what’s going on in the game and from that point of view I think it’s great. As I said before, it’s a long season, you’ve got 34 games you start off with, we’ve 33 left. It’s a long, long season, a long grind. Our expectation is that they’re going to be here because we’re going to be here for every game.
On needing patience for the new team to jell:
Sometimes things click quickly. Tonight wasn’t bad, they were good, they were on top of their game, they played really well, got to give them credit. It’s the way it goes sometimes. For us, we’re trying to get to a certain place, it will take time, you’ve got new players, you’ve got to bring them into the fold but I feel confident in the guys we have.
Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler
Thoughts on the match…
It’s difficult to lose your first match of the season, especially when it’s at home. We always say we win and lose together as a team. Collectively, we weren’t good enough tonight so it’s disappointing. I wish we would have given our fans something more. The season isn’t won or lost on the first night. We have to move on from here. We have to thank our fans, it was a long wait -- waiting three or four months to play in front of them. We weren’t good enough tonight. We have to give New York credit.
On the team’s improved play in the second half…
We didn’t play well the first half. I don’t know what it was, whether we were almost too excited to get out there. It seemed like we were a bit nervy there with some of our passes. It’s the first game. Sometimes stuff like that happens. In the second half, it was much better. We settled down and started to play a little bit more like ourselves. We have to move on and get better from some of the mistakes that we made tonight.
Sporting Kansas City forward Daniel Salloi
Thoughts on the match…
It’s not the result that we wanted and we are obviously not happy with it, especially since we played at home. Thanks to our fans who supported us. It didn’t work out for us. I thought we played better in the second half. Towards the end of the game we showed some good things, which wasn’t enough. We’re going to play our best next week and try to get that win.
On moving on from the loss…
In the second half, you could see some good actions. We had our chances too. It’s unlucky that VAR exists because we were going to get a penalty kick. That’s life. That’s the league. We’re going to try to solve our problems and win next week.
On the two VAR decisions…
Obviously, it stops the game and that’s not the best. We still have to get used to it. At the same time, if the referee makes a decision then this helps him. We’ve got to get used to it.
New York City FC head coach Patrick Vieira
On opening the season with a win…
I think it’s a good way to start the season. I think coming here and performing the way we did was really good. I’m really proud of the team and happy with the way we played, especially in the first half. Of course, when you play against Sporting KC away from home, there’s a period of the game where you will suffer. In that period, we didn’t concede a goal and that was good for us. Sometimes you get some luck. Today the luck was on our side. Overall, I was really happy with the team’s performance.
On the play of Jesus Medina…
I think he’s a player who needs to grow up.I think he has really good potential. We’re going to give him time. Today he had a fantastic game. He managed to score the goal. We know you need time to keep developing. Myself and the staff are going to give him all the support that he needs to grow up. It is really tough for him. He has come into a country where he doesn’t speak the language and the culture is different. He will need time to adapt himself. We have the support in our football club to help him go through the difficult period that he will face.
On his team’s attack…
I don’t think many teams will come here and win games and score goals. I think that’s why I’m really proud of the team. We showed a lot of character. Our game plan was good. We tried to move the ball really quick from one side to the other side. We found the space in between the lines. We tried to put them under pressure and that allowed us to create a few chances and score two goals. Scoring two goals against Sporting KC at home is really good for us, but everything wasn’t perfect today. We need to improve some parts of our game. For the first game of the season, winning 2-0 in Kansas City is really good for us.
On both goals coming from wide areas…
We knew that if we managed to find players in between the lines and we put the ball wide, having this kind of cutback would give them problems. We’ve been working well in the last few days about it. Of course, when you plan something and it works, you feel pleased and happy about it.
New York City FC forward Jesus Medina
On his performance...
First off, I’m very happy that I was able to debut. Like I said in the past, I’m very excited. It’s a big step in my career. It was a very, very competitive game. It was a great game, but we played really well and it was a big step in my career to have my first game.
On his first impression of MLS...
It’s a very high level and it’s a very tough league, and it was a very tough game. That’s what I expected.
On his relationship with David Villa...
It’s good, both on and off the field. We have a very good connection, and I want to keep that going – having a good connection throughout the season so that we both keep playing well together.
On the attention surrounding him...
I’m enjoying the game and I’m really, really happy. I don’t feel the pressure. I’m enjoying the moments as I’m going through.