Sporting KC locked in on Toronto test: "We need to win"

After coming away with a draw in Houston on Saturday, Sporting Kansas City is headed north to take on Toronto FC Friday. A press conference was held Wednesday morning at the Pinnacle National Development Center, where midfielders Ilie Sanchez and Gianluca Busio addressed the media about moving forward from Saturday’s game in Houston.

“It’s time to win Friday,” Ilie said. “We can’t control the people who are missing right now. We’re happy for them because they are on the national teams and that’s good for them,” Ilie said of teammates Botond Barath, Nico Hasler, Krisztian Nemeth, Johnny Russell, who have traveled abroad for the resumption of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying.

“This week is a short week again, and we need to use everything we have here to win Friday. In our minds right now, we are thinking about getting three points in Toronto.”

Ilie elaborated on Saturday’s tie with the Dynamo and the performance from the team.

“We played a really good game. We had to plan and we did everything we could to execute that plan,” Ilie said. “We are in a situation right now where any mistake is going to go against us and could allow the other team to score. We did a good job, but we need to win. We have to try and erase those mistakes.”

Busio addressed the issue of losing four players on international duty along with still dealing with many injuries on the team.

“It hurts not having your full team and full potential, but we’ve gone through it before and we know what we have to do without those guys,” Busio said. “It’s time for other players to step up. Everyone on this team has the talent to do that.”

Moving forward, Busio said he feels that the team is improving.

“I think we’ve gotten better defensively over the time. We’ve given up some goals over the past couple of months, but we are getting better. There’s some things we can still work on, but I think we definitely have grown.”

Friday's interconference clash will be shown live on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO, while ESPN 94.5 FM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will air local radio broadcasts.

In conjunction with the Toronto match, fans of all ages are invited to attend Sporting’s annual First Friday Party from 5-10 p.m. CT in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District (2020 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO), home to Sporting’s corporate office. Guests who RSVP to the free event at will be treated to complimentary beverages and receive a Sporting KC pint glass.