SKCvCOL Quotes: "We are so disappointed about this game"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Comments on the match…

We started off very well. We were in control of the game. We scored two very good goals based off the way we went at them. We knew where we were going to get our goals from and I think we were good about it. I think there was more to come, for sure. Unfortunately, we got the double yellow and the red. It was hard for us to hold on for 70 minutes. It was very difficult.

At the same time, I’ve said this before, it’s not like we haven’t given up goals this season. So it’s not as if we’re going into the thing feeling really good about ourselves in that area of the field. We weren’t really confident. We didn’t do an adequate enough job to try to hold on all the way to the end.

We had a chance to go up 3-0 and probably 4-0 even when we were down a man. We didn’t stick those two away. I’m not blaming the guys for that piece because we did enough in the game, 20 minutes in, to be up 2-0 like we were. We were in control of the game. The unfortunate thing is, like you know, the man down affected us a lot because we were in control of the game no doubt.

On the ejection of Matt Besler…

It’s the turning point in the game. There were a lot of other things that were in the game that could have been dealt with, in my opinion, differently. I don’t have any decision-making in that stuff. Sometimes I think maybe I don’t know the game. Because I don’t know sometimes what a foul is. I don’t know sometimes what a yellow card is. I don’t know what sometimes is going on in the game anymore. Maybe I have to go talk with somebody and find out about some of these things because I really, really don’t understand some of the calls the kid made.

On the team’s reaction to the red card…

We started out well. We were in control of the game. Even when we were down a man, we played hard. We tried. Obviously, some of the situations – they happen. It’s not for a lack of trying. Sometimes when you’re not confident in certain areas, things don’t go your way. It doesn’t help when you go down a man. We haven’t been the best at keeping the ball out of the back of the net this year. And so it wasn’t like that was a strong point at that moment and we had to do that. We did a good job for a good stretch of time but not long enough.

On how he’ll approach the last three games…

We want to win the games.

On if players will be playing for roster spots…

You play for that every single day you play. That’s the thing about our business. If you’re in a department in a corporation, it’s not the same way. All of us are constantly being evaluated and looked at and assessed. That’s an every day thing. That just doesn’t happen because of the loss today or what have you. It happens all the time.

On if there’s a way to give feedback about officiating…

There is. They’re always cordial about it. They’re always willing to answer questions. The complaints that I have or the issues that I have, they’re so much bigger than just our club. I’ve voiced them for a long time being in this league. Unfortunately, a lot of those things don’t get addressed. We talk about them being addressed, but they just don’t. I think the thing for me always is that I don’t think just about Kansas City – obviously I have to because of my position – but I also think about the growth of the league. I’ve always said that I think one of the biggest things is: What kind of league do we want to be? I think that’s the first question that you always have to ask yourself. What kind of league do we want to be? I think that’s one question. The other statement I would make is that I think there is way too much protection given to certain players in this league. My contention would be that the player who is on the ball should always be the player that you should protect.

If you watched tonight late in the game, there were all these plays that were not soccer actions. If some guy hits a guy off the ball, that’s not a soccer action. That’s not the kind of league that I would like to see. If I’m a fan watching the league, I don’t want to see it. And I am a fan of the league. I don’t want to see that stuff. I hate it. I think it should be dealt with all the time in a very, very serious manner and the players wouldn’t do it. But we have a hard time changing behavior. Until we do that and we have that consistency across the board for every player – not because sometimes what name he has on the back – until that happens, there are too many guys in our league that get away with too much and that has got to change.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Ilie

Thoughts on the match…

We started really well. I don’t even want to talk about the red card because it could seem like an excuse. This year, the games have been too busy. In any game, we have had to face different situations. The team could not respond as everybody expected in every game. It happened again tonight. We are so disappointed about this game. We really wanted to get the three points, but we left the field with nothing. We have three games left. We still have to try to do our best.

On the Kick Childhood Cancer festivities…

It’s one more thing to be sad about that we couldn’t get the three points and a good result or a good show for The Victory Project. They are a fantastic organization. We work really closely together during the whole season for many, many years. It’s the least that we can do. They deserve everything. Unfortunately, tonight we couldn’t get everything for them. We tried. I’m happy for their work and hopefully we can help them to do it for many more years.

Sporting Kansas City forward Gerso Fernandes

Thoughts on the match…

It’s hard, especially at the end of the season, playing a man down. It’s hard. You’ve got to run more and eventually you get tired. That’s what happened. We were winning but the team got a little bit tired and we gave up goals.

On the team’s outlook…

We’ve got to just focus on what’s coming next season and hopefully we will do better. This season was bad for everybody.

Colorado Rapids head coach Robin Fraser

On adjustments after the first 15 minutes…

They got a player thrown out. That helped. Seriously, even the first 15 minutes, the chances that they got were off our mistakes and turnovers. We know that this is the type of team that if you give them opportunities, they’re going to be hard to deal with. Credit to them, they took their chances and we dug ourselves a hole once again, but I talk about this every week it seems like, it’s the resiliency of the team. Even being down two goals in spite of being up a man, that’s a tough situation. This is an organized team. They’ve done this before. They sat back in and made it very difficult for us to create scoring chances, but we were pretty relentless in our endeavor to go forward. Certainly things could have been better and cleaner. We would have liked to see the game be more controlled, but at the end of the day you can’t fault the effort. The effort was fantastic. At the end of the day, they kept pushing and pushing and found ways to score.

On Kei Kamara scoring right before halftime…

It was crucially important. It was one of those where we go into half and we cut our deficit in half. We’re still up a man and we had a lot of the game. I think the goal really helped bolster the confidence and belief. The mood in the locker room at halftime was very positive. They felt like there was something there for them.

On the insertion of Andre Shinyashiki…

Johnny (Lewis) is the type of player who, if there’s a lot of space to run in behind, is extremely, extremely dangerous. Andre is a player who operates in tighter spaces more having been forward and really having players around him all the time. It just seemed like an opportunity to get him in there. The spaces were going to be really tight because they were really compact and it was just an opportunity to change a little bit of our attack.

On the goals coming off set pieces…

A lot of it is fantastic delivery. Now there’s so much belief. Now when we get set pieces, there’s so much belief because they know that the ball is going to be put in a good spot. Guys’ runs are different if they know where the ball is going to be versus maybe it’s going to be here, maybe it’s going to be there. Jack’s delivery has been important. At the end of the day, that sort of belief happens every time we get a set piece now. This team feels like they’re going to score. We’re just a little hungrier than most when we get those opportunities. It’s really been a result of consistent service, good runs and great execution.

On takeaways from the team’s performance…

I think we’ve seen, since I’ve been with the team, we’ve scored some real good goals. We’ve had some good team goals. We’ve had some great team attacks. We’ve fought back from certain things. We’ve stormed ahead and had leads. But I think what we can take away from today is we’re able to score goals, even in adverse sorts of conditions and in unpredictable ways. We have players who can make plays. That’s always a good thing to have. Certainly you want to be consistent and predictable in the way you play with consistent movement to create goals or goal scoring chances, but you also want to be able to have guys who can make plays. I think that you come out of this thinking you’d like for things to be perfect, but even if they’re not perfect, we have a good chance.

On his message to Kellyn Acosta during stoppages in play…

We were just talking about what we needed to do in stopping them and what we needed to do in being able to deal with how they were coming up. The players want to know. They obviously want solutions. They’re so receptive. They want to know what to do in situations. We talked through certain solutions that we thought would work. Then they go out and they execute. They didn’t score any more goals after that. The team went on to obviously have this great win.

Colorado Rapids defender Tommy Smith

On the team’s rough start…

They came out quick and obviously got two fairly quick goals but sending offs change games and thankfully we were able to capitalize on that.

On adjusting on the fly…

We get a bit of information from the bench, from Robin (Fraser) and the coaching staff and how they wanted us to try and break them down because you can see as soon as they went down a man they just sat in on the edge of their box camped in. It’s always going to be tough to break a team down like that. They’re a well-organized team. They’ve been a good team for so many years in this league so we knew it was going to be tough, but we knew that if we played the way Robin wants us to play, we could grind them down and create those opportunities.

On the team’s patience…

Having patience is key. We were guilty of it at times, especially in the first half, where we tried to force things and gave silly balls away. They could have had a third goal when they were down to 10 men. I think they hit the post. We have to make sure we close the door at the back while trying to stay a threat up front.

On Kei Kamara’s goal…

It was always going to be important to get one before the half, so it put them on the back foot again. It was a great finish and it gave us that platform to build from.

On his assist…

I was going to shoot and then I heard Diego (Rubio) shouting my name, so I just assumed that he was in a better position than I was. I had a few bodies in front of me so I just laid it off for him. He’s the goal scorer at the end of the day so I let him do the hard work.

On which goal was better, Diego Rubio’s or Kei Kamara’s...

They’re both good in different ways. The buildup to the second goal. Kellyn (Acosta's) ball, Sam (Vines') cross. It’s a tough one to choose but I think the third one was the best.

On Jack Price’s crosses…

I’ve actually told him that his deliveries haven’t been good enough because he had a few free kicks in the first half that hit the first man. I’d like to think I claim an assist for the assist. Obviously all season his delivery has been top notch and hats off to him for getting that MLS record. It’s fully deserved and hopefully we can get a couple more for him before the season finishes.

On his goal...

You just try to get a header on target. You don’t really aim too precise. Thankfully for me, it went right in the corner and the goalkeeper had no chance. It’s so nice to see them go in like that especially when it’s a game winner.

Greatest takeaway from the win…

The character to come back from two goals down to go on and win the game. That’s a massive plus for us. We don’t want to be two goals down in games going forward and that’s two in a row now. That’s something we have to address. We have to start games better and I’m sure we’ll be looking at ways we can stop leaking goals early in games, starting with these next two games. It shows the character we’ve got in the squad. We’ve had that character all year. A team that goes 11 games without a win could’ve easily folded and said that’s it, the season is done but we all rolled up our sleeves. Even during that stretch, nobody ever gave up. That’s the basis that this team builds from. We never say die. I know that’s a cliché, but it rings true for us. We’re never going to give up. We’re going to try and finish the season strong with two more wins.

Colorado Rapids midfielder Jack Price

On the team’s slow start…

As the game kicked off, I thought we started quite well. I thought we pinned them in. I thought we were looking good but then they scored two quick goals and it wasn’t ideal but obviously we got ourselves back into it. They got a red card and went down to 10 men, so it was a lot easier, but it wasn’t that slow of a start. It was just unfortunate we gave ourselves a lot to do from there.

On leading the team on the field…

We need to be more patient on the ball - move it side to side a lot more. We need to just move it quicker and be more patient. We were trying to get a cross in, and I think at times we forced it and forced it into the middle. When we did get it wide and got the ball into the box, we caused some problems. I think we need to do that a lot more than we did but we got the win, so it was nice.

On how the team faces adversity…

Just working for each other every day in training. We’re a tight group. We like each other which helps on and off the pitch. It makes good team spirit and like I said we just work for each other every day and thankfully we get results. It was a tough start to the season and if we picked up a few more points we’d be right in the playoffs. We’ve still got a chance and we’ll look forward to seeing the results tomorrow and see if we can stay in it.

On leading the team in assists…

I just put the ball in the box. I just put it in a good area and hopefully people get their heads on it and they do. It’s a proud moment for me to get a record like that. There are some high caliber players I took over and it’s a nice feeling. But, like I said, I just do what I do and hopefully somebody gets their head on it.

On Tommy Smith’s goal…

Since we made it so hard on ourselves in the second half, it was just nice to take the lead for the first time in the game. He came over to me and said, 'You got the record thanks to me lad' and I was like, 'Cheers, Tom.' I think it was just relief more than anything.

On what this kind of win does for their confidence…

We know we’re a good team. We can come to places like this. We went to Red Bulls and picked up three points recently. We were unlucky against Toronto. I think that we know we’re a good team, we just need to do it on a more consistent basis. Hopefully we can get ourselves into the playoffs this year and if not kick it on again next year and start better than we did this year.

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