Sporting Kansas City secured another win on the road in Vancouver on Saturday night that has given the team a boost in the playoff race.
Immediately following the 3-0 result, goalkeeper Tim Melia addressed what the team has been doing differently to get back to back into the win column.
“We’ve been eliminating opportunities; we didn’t really give anything away. It was a gritty performance and we were good on the ball,” Melia said. “We were able to disrupt them a little bit. All in all, I’m really proud of everyone.”
Sporting Manager Peter Vermes reflected on the team’s performance and liked the improvements he saw.
“I always think it’s really difficult when you have to go away from home and sort of control the game. The fact that they bunkered in at home doesn’t make for an easy game, because it’s very easy to get a little overzealous and open yourself up for a counter,” Vermes said. “I thought we were really good in possession. We didn’t lose the ball in critical areas of the field that found us unbalanced and at the same time, when we did go forward, we were really conscientious of defending from behind. If they won the ball, we were really quick to snuff a lot of things out and I think that was the difference in the game.”
Vermes also addressed the importance of getting three points on the road while battling for a playoff position.
“I think the most important thing for us is gaining three points. That’s the biggest thing,” Vermes said. “I tell the guys all the time, we can’t worry about what everybody else is doing. We just have to focus on ourselves. You can sit at home and hope that everybody loses but that’s not reality. If we’re just taking care of our business, then we have a good shot.”
Forward Gerso Fernandes and midfielder Felipe Gutierrez each tallied a goal, with the first strike coming from a Vancouver own goal in the 24th minute.
“Gerso was very good and very dangerous,” Vermes said. “He put them under a lot of pressure. I also think when Nemeth came in he did a really good job in that final 25 minutes because he was active and was the cause of the third goal. The guys did what they needed to do. It was good all the way around.”
Not only did the win in Vancouver give Sporting three points, but it marked regular-season win No. 58 for Tim Melia, making him the winningest goalkeeper in Sporting history. Melia reflected on reaching this accomplishment.
“I owe it all to Peter and this club. This club has given me so much,” Melia said. “The players in front of me have given me the opportunity to achieve these goals, but I hope there’s a lot more to come.”
The victory was Sporting’s 30th against Canadian opposition in the regular season and 12th on Canadian soil—both of which are most among all American MLS teams—but most importantly moves Sporting within four points of a playoff position currently held by seventh-place FC Dallas ahead of this Saturday’s clash between the two MLS charter clubs at Children’s Mercy Park.
Tickets are available online at SeatGeek.com and fans are encouraged to arrive early for the induction of Josh Wolff into the Sporting Legends hall of honor during the pre-game festivities.