#SKCvORL Quotes: "A massive three points for us"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match…

It would have been nice to get the second goal. I thought we played very well tonight. I thought we kept the ball. I thought we didn’t give all that much away – we were very good defensively and really disciplined. A lot of credit goes to the guys. That’s a massive three points for us.

On the team’s depth with five players out…

When everybody is available, we’ve got a solid group. (Gianluca) Busio came on tonight. He was really good in the game. He helped us big time. Khiry coming on and finally getting back in the team is really important for us. We’re looking good as we get down the stretch here. 

On the play of Yohan Croizet…

I think in the second half of the season, he’s adapted and acclimated himself really well. He’s starting to really find his way in the team, which is great. He’s very dangerous, as you can see. He was destroying them down the right side.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Felipe Gutierrez

Thoughts on the team’s performance…

I think in the last five games, it was in the same way. We played very well today and also in the last four games. I think we are in a good way. We have to keep that going. It’s really hard, especially in this part of the year. I think we have to keep that going. I’m really happy with the performance of the team. 

On his goal…

Sometimes somebody has to score. Today, that was me. It’s not all about the scorer. The performance of the team is most important for me.

On the team’s clean sheet…

We are working really hard in these last five games. It’s possible to keep that going for a long time. We train every day really hard. The mentality in this part of the year, everyone is very focused on the games and getting the three points and the clean sheet, as well. 

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia

On the key to the clean sheet…

Just being very aggressive with our defenders. I thought Matt (Besler) did a really good job stepping into the space. I thought (Andreu) Fontas did really good closing in, getting in front of Dom (Dwyer) and bodying him. I thought everyone was really good on the ball. Our possession is allowing us not to give up opportunities and that’s really important for us.

On managing the match…

I thought the last 10 minutes and injury time, we managed it really well. I thought we were calm pretty much all over the field. One or two misplayed balls but all in all, a really important result at home.

On his two saves against Dom Dwyer…

Dom is such a quality striker. He’s a nuisance to the centerbacks. He always figures out a way to get in behind. Fortunately, tonight he didn’t score on us.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Roger Espinoza

Thoughts on the match…

I thought the way we managed the game was really great from the first half to the second half. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy. We knew we had to be patient. We knew that we were going to have opportunities. We had Felipe with that opportunity and he was able to finish it. Sometimes it’s a one-goal game. The good thing is we didn’t have any goals conceded.

On the key to the team’s defensive form…

Teamwork. Teamwork. At the beginning of the season, we said one thing: that we were going to work as a team, play hard and not get scored on. I thought we did that. We’ve got to keep it going, work as a team, stay compact and tactically do really well. I thought we did that.

On playing against Uri Rosell and Dom Dwyer…

It’s always great to play against teammates that have helped the club along the well. Uri and Dom were here tonight. They helped Sporting Kansas City win an MLS Cup in 2013. Those guys are always well treated in Kansas City.

Orlando City SC Head Coach James O’Connor

Thoughts on the match…

In the first half, I thought we had the very best chance with Dom (Dwyer). I thought they pinned us in. First half, we found it hard to get out. Second half, they had a couple of attacks. After the goal, I thought we started to play with a little bit more freedom. We obviously had a chance again with Dom. I think in any game when you get chances like that, we have to take them. It’s important. Especially in the first half, if we go 1-0 up, I think you affect the outcome of the game. You can affect their mentality. It gives us something to be able to try to get after them again. I think the big moments, we need to do a better job of managing them. I think we need to try to capitalize on our chances and try to limit them with their chances.

On the energy from the second-half subs…

I think in the final third, when they both came on, we started to get into a couple good areas and played some really great balls through for Dom (Dwyer), as well. It’s a very tough place to come if you look at the other teams that have come here. It’s frustrating because I think we can do a better job of managing the big moments. The energy they brought was really good. But again, we need to capitalize on those big moments.

Orlando City SC forward Dom Dwyer 

On returning to KC… 

It was wonderful. Of course, it was not the result we wanted, but it was so lovely to come back. I appreciate the welcome from the fans. It was a great atmosphere as always and I really enjoyed tonight.

On the feeling of coming back…

Just all good memories, all good feelings came back. Just driving up to the stadium and pulling up, I remember that I’ve done it so many times. I’m really appreciative that I get to do this on the other side and I’m just very happy.

On the positives of the game...

It was a great fight from the guys. It was a fantastic effort. We had a couple of chances. I had a couple of chances that I should’ve put away and you know that costs you the game sometimes and that’s just how it was.

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