Peter Vermes - Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo - June 1, 2019
© Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports

HOUvSKC Quotes: "It was a great effort and a good, solid performance"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On how the team played in a tough road environment...

We talked yesterday about a specific plan that we wanted to put in and I thought we executed it better than I expected, to be honest with you. So many things, with the lack of rest, with the short turnaround in games and all that, for us to be able to come in here and really more than likely deserve the three points, that was big for us. We played very well, so I’m very proud of the guys, from their organization to their execution on what we talked about doing.

On Yohan Croizet’s goal...

Excellent. He was very good. He keeps getting better every game that he plays, and he definitely put in a strong game in again today. His last three games have been really solid for us.

On whether Sporting could have done more to prevent Houston’s goal...

Yeah, we actually dealt with all of that stuff pretty well for the majority of the game, and that was more of falling asleep for a second and the other team taking advantage, and obviously a good finish from their guy.

On Seth Sinovic’s performance against Houston...

It was Seth’s best performance of the year. He was very, very good in the game. He really, really defended him very well. He was smart with him. He knew when to step to him, when to give him a little space, when to delay. He was just excellent tonight.

On Gianluca Busio’s performance...

Again, good. Really good. A solid, solid performance. Like we say all the time, he does not look out of place out there. His progression continues and it was excellent.

On playing Graham Zusi on the right wing...

We just needed to have a little bit of a defensive-oriented person. We also understood what needed to be accomplished at this moment, and I thought he was the best choice; pretty simple. It wasn’t a position change, more of what we needed in the game. Obviously, with the lack of a lot of players at the moment, I have to mix and match them as best I can. For me, it was a good decision. It was the right guy, just based off of his experience having played there, but also having a good understanding from a tactical perspective. When you talk to him, you can implement it pretty quickly.

On a number of players logging major minutes over three games in the last week...

Like I said, I’m very proud of the guys. It has not been an easy stretch for so many reasons and obviously those guys did the work. I think the game plan suited us today in a lot of ways, just because of the heat and obviously the close proximity of the fixtures. I’m not a guy that goes for ties; I just don’t do that, but we leave with a point. I still submit that we probably, in a lot of respects, probably deserved three.

Sporting Kansas City forward Yohan Croizet

On the team’s performance on the road in hot weather...

I think it was a good point here. It was a really tough game for me, for Daniel (Salloi) because we had to defend throughout the game because their back was (attacking) every time on my side, so it’s a really good point here.

On what happened on his goal...

The ball was from Ilie (Sanchez) and with my speed, I saw that the defender was just a little bit slow so I got to it with my head. I had to get it to my feet in front of the goal, and I chipped it over the goalkeeper into the goal, so it’s 1-0. I’m a little bit tired, but like I said, it’s a really good point here.

Sporting Kansas City defender Seth Sinovic

On the team’s performance on a hot night in Houston...

I thought we were organized. I thought we defended well. I think we’d like to come away with three points, but they had some chances, we had some chances; that’s just kind of how the ball rolls sometimes. If nothing else, it was a great effort and a good solid performance.

On his matchup with Houston forward Alberth Elis...

He’s a really talented player. Obviously he’s got a lot of pace, but he’s very technical as well. You can’t give him a lot of space, and sometimes you’ve got to try and make a tackle and hope, and thankfully I came away with some good tackles. And the cover behind me was great. I can’t be that aggressive without some good cover from Graham Smith and (Andreu) Fontas in the second half there, so it was a good team effort against him.

On getting some momentum tonight leading into a month of away matches...

Yeah, it’s a good start. We’ve got to start getting some more points, getting some wins here. Obviously it’s not easy on the road in this league, and obviously in the conditions we were in today I thought we did alright. We want to come away with three points but we’ll have to settle for one today.

Houston Dynamo Head Coach Wilmer Cabrera

On the outcome of the game...

Well I think we went out the first half a little bit flat. A little bit not well coordinated to do our pressure and sadly the players from Kansas City started to manage the game and delay and it was too much for the referee. Today was really embarrassing how the players noticed that they could waste time—dive, delay, everything and the referee didn’t care. It was embarrassing because the fans, they come to watch a good game of soccer, but the referee Kevin Stott today wasn’t up to the level. He allowed them to waste a lot of time and in this sport, you can win, you can tie, you can lose but the referee needs to do the right things and today, I don’t think he was up to the level for this game. The players noticed right there in the first minute, second minute, tenth minute, the goalkeeper noticed that he didn’t care. He just was comfortable doing whatever he wanted, and they stared to dive. They started to get on the ground and he just—for him, it was fine and that’s not good for the game. Listen, if they go and win and they are better than us they have to get the three points but the referee needs to create a good environment for the game of soccer and he didn’t do it and the people, the fans, they were getting really upset and we all. Of course, for them it was good, but we wanted to play and if they are better than us that’s fine, but it has to be a better situation because he wasn’t up to this game and it’s embarrassing what happened today. It was embarrassing for the fans how they wasted time and he didn’t care.

On how that style of officiating affect how he wants to manage the game...

Because we want to pressure, we wanted to play. We wanted to play; this is our home. We want to play and I understand that they want to slow the game. It was humid. They played on Wednesday. It’s normal when you play away you want to delay and make everything slow and he allowed that and he didn’t care and he never, never, showed that he wanted the game to flow and when the game doesn’t flow, it affects us because we want to get the rhythm. We never took the rhythm. It was difficult for us and when they manage that, and they did very well so it’s not bad for the Sporting Kansas City they manage the game very well. It was bad for us because we wanted to go. We wanted to attack. We wanted to play and they always on the ground so okay trainers coming in, so it wasn’t rhythm and we need rhythm during the game in order for us to impose ourselves. We never had rhythm and that’s something that we weren’t used to. We come over here to try to play when we hope when we go away it’s always, the referee is always pushing us ‘come on play’ but in this case even the fourth official sat on the chair and he was right there. He didn’t even move. So, that’s fine.

On if he was surprised by Sporting Kansas City’s tactic in the first half...

Well no, I think it is normal, they been playing this is the third game, so they did it, it’s difficult. It was very humid, so they didn’t want to come and pressure us. They were expecting for us to just go, loose the ball, and then counterattack us. That’s fine. We were expecting that. We weren’t expecting them to put pressure on us but again the rhythm of the game was very, very disruptive—very interrupted so we couldn’t get the rhythm in the first half. In the second half, it was much better for us despite that mistake, but it was much better we created better chances we were more dangerous, but it wasn’t and never was a good rhythm for us. We couldn’t do it and then when we tried it was something happened and we were like has the game stopped, water break, substitution, cramping, balls right there and the goalkeeper is slow, everything was slow today. Today, everything was slow, and they did it well except they took advantage of the referee that allowed that and if the referee allows that you are going to do what you are allowed to do.

On how he will manage the break and keep his players sharp and monitor the players that are away...

Yes, right now we are going to lose six guys actually and so we have to work hard. We know that is going to happen, but we cannot make excuses. I don’t want to make excuses. I don’t want to say if we lose because we don’t have six guys no, no, no, no. We know and it’s our responsibility to take the opportunities. Our players that are here, stay here, I hope they take the opportunities. I hope they show why they are on the roster. Now is the time, now is when we need them and now is when they have to step up on the field and do it well.

Houston Dynamo defender A.J. DeLaGarza

On the result...

It’s a tough one. We didn’t play our best tonight, that’s for sure, but we go down a goal – a little bit of a lapse. We worked hard under these circumstances and got a point out of the night. We can take the effort. We all put in a good effort. A little more quality, and we win the game.

On coming back to equalize after going down a goal...

We’ve got to stop doing that. We’ve got to be the ones to get that first goal. We know what happens when we do that. We usually pour it on teams because they open up even more when we score first. We had some mental lapses ourselves, and everyone in here can say they’ve had a lapse this year. Unfortunately, we gave up a goal that we shouldn’t have. They [Sporting Kansas City] didn’t have much tonight, I think. Joe [Willis] said he didn’t have to make a save. We can take that away from this and move forward.

On his involvement in the equalizing Dynamo goal...

A couple of weeks ago, [DaMarcus] Beas[ley] showed me on a video times where I can get in behind. Obviously, the attempt is on Alberth [Elis], because he’s so dangerous in the air and on the ground. He said [to] take those moments where they’re focused on him and run in behind and time it right, get a good ball in. I wasn’t going to score from there, so I just tried to put it back in a dangerous spot, and obviously did very well with it.

Houston Dynamo forward Alberth Elis (translated from Spanish)

On today’s draw with Sporting Kansas City...

This was a tough game. It was very humid out there today and it was to play with that type of weather. I am grateful to God that we could secure the draw and we have to keep working so we can improve on today’s performance. We have to win at home. We cannot let points go at home and now we shift our focus to the next game.

On the team’s slow start to the game...

Yes, we just couldn’t keep the ball and they came out playing and it was challenging for us to recover the ball. So we were in a position where we had to run more than what we anticipated. That didn’t help us, it was a bad mix between not having the ball and running more to try to win possession.”

On Wilmer Cabrera’s message to the team at halftime...

He told us that we had to dig deeper, that we had to leave it all on the field. We knew that we had to run more and that’s what we did. Their goal came off a long ball, but we were able to respond and come away with a draw.

On returning to action after missing the last game...

I feel good, real good. It is difficult because I virtually missed two games – I left 10 minutes into one game and I didn’t play last week, but the important thing is that I was able to help the team today and make an impact prior to the break.

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