#SKCvHOU Quotes: "It was an electric environment"

Sporting Kansas City Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes

On a 4-0 win in the team’s home opener…

It was a great exhibition by the players. As I told them, they prepared really well in this offseason, in the preseason and the first couple of weeks starting the season. All they had to do was go and execute. They were excellent and it was great for the fans.

On closing out the game…

I think the clean sheet was really important. When you play games like this, sometimes when you score quite a few goals, you can take your foot off the gas pedal a little bit. I thought we were good. We were still dangerous at the end. I thought all of the guys that came on, they also gave a really good energy and that’s important.

On the newcomers contributing early in the season…

They’re special players and quality. The biggest thing is they’re team guys. They’ve been working as hard off the ball, defensively, everything. That’s what is most important. Obviously, we brought those guys in to give us a little bit more in the attack. They’re pulling through on that, as well, but I can’t say enough about their defensive responsibilities and how they’re putting a shift in each game.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Tim Melia

On opening the season with a big win…

It was an electric environment. For the fans to come out after the year we had last year and support us right from the beginning, it’s special. I always say that. This is a very special place to play. They proved it here tonight. We’re happy. We were able to give them a good performance.

On the team’s defensive performance…

These are my favorite type of games. I don’t want to do anything every game. It was a relentless effort all over the field. It was something special to see. We were pressing everywhere. We were smothering the ball. We weren’t giving them any time. Even when we misplayed a ball, they were under so much pressure and they were giving the ball back to us. This should be something that we’re really proud of, this performance. We’re going to build off of this one.

On becoming the club’s leader in regular season shutouts…

It’s special, but it’s down to all of the people on the field and everyone in this organization. They gave me this opportunity to succeed. It’s not me. It’s something that goalkeepers hold but look at the game tonight. I didn’t do anything and I was able to break the record. I’m just happy to be here and happy to be part of this club. It’s special to me.

Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido

On his first game at Children’s Mercy Park…

It was great. I can’t complain. I was able to score my second league goal and I was able to do it here in front of all of my fans. I’m even more happy because the team was able to win and that is the ultimate objective.

On opening the year with two goals and two wins…

This is all in relation to the effort that I put in individually and also as a team. This is also obviously due to the thanks of God. He’s the one that strengthens me. Yes, this is a dream start and it shows that our hard work as a team is paying off.

Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton

On his return to Children's Mercy Park...

It felt amazing. For a home opener, it couldn't have been any better. That's what we wanted. We came out and did our thing.

On being among the team's four different goal scorers...

Every week, we work hard in training and everyone scores. So it's not a surprise to me. I think we could do it every game. We have the talent and the motivation and the determination to do it. That should be expected every week. 

On his goal...

It was a corner kick. I didn't see the ball actually. It just fell in my lap and I was able to settle it and put it away. It's amazing. I'm so grateful.

Houston Dynamo head coach Tab Ramos

Thoughts on the match…

I think, the first thing is, you have to learn from your mistakes. Today we had a really tough time handling Kansas City’s press. I thought we didn’t play fast enough. But in the end, I thought we were still in the game until about the 65th minute. Unfortunately, we couldn’t put away the chances that we had. We forced them to make a lot of mistakes on their side of the field and unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on that. Then obviously when they got the third goal, it became a little bit chaotic. We were trying to get one back and obviously we were throwing numbers forward which forced us to give up a lot of chances. Overall, up until the 60th minute, I thought that if we could have played a little bit faster we would have been right in the game. We have to learn from this one, that’s for sure.

On looking forward to Seattle…

We have to keep learning. We have to keep getting better. I know that some guys are adapting to the way that we want to play. I think there were a lot of things that were good on the attacking half of the field. I think, in the end, we didn’t create enough clear chances to score although I think we had about 10 shots on goal. We’ve just got to look ahead to the next one. We’ll put this one away tomorrow.

Houston Dynamo defender Zarek Valentin

On rebounding from the defeat…

I think, first and foremost, it’s a tough result but we have to do our due diligence as a club and as professionals to go back and look. Obviously, when you lose like that, it’s not good enough. There were a few different places where we can go back and try to get better.

On putting the loss in the past…

We’re going to go back and watch the film, because we definitely can get better. There are still things we can build off of. MLS is a game of inches in a lot of different ways. The margins are very, very small. That was shown tonight. They scored off of two set pieces and they took advantage of a few of the chances that they had. Obviously, I think we could have defended better in certain spots. We had a few ourselves. When we were down 2-0, we had a chance or two to maybe get ourselves back into the game. It was obviously going to be difficult but there are definitely things to build upon and we have to focus on that going into a big game against Seattle.

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