SKCvDAL Quotes: "We’re going to continue to push forward and grow as a team"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the play of Cam Duke in his first pro start…

Like a lot of players when they first start out, they’re maybe a little skittish or a little nervous. But he started to get into the swing of things and I thought that he finished the half really well. When you look at all the young guys that got their starts tonight, the other part of it as well is that they helped get a result. I think we deserved three (points) but all three guys (in the midfield) also came off the field at halftime helping us to be even or ahead at halftime, which is a big goal of ours each time we step out onto the field. They worked hard to do it and I thought Cam really started to get into a little bit of routine in the game as the game wore on. It was good for him. I think when he started the second half, he was much different than the way he started the first half. I think he had a good performance.

On the progress of Gianluca Busio…

It’s great. A couple games ago, I was having all these questions about him and his defending but I don’t look at it in just a game-to-game situation. I’ve looked at his progress for a long time now. He never looks out of place out on the field. He’s taken a big step up. He covers a lot of ground, especially from side to side – not just forward and back. It’s not easy in that job to cover as much as he does but he’s doing a great job of it. He always maintains a real good composure on the ball, as well. Great progress by him and great evolution of his game.

When you play a certain system, obviously there’s a certain role and responsibility that goes with each position. What he’s doing is he’s letting his qualities make the position different. He can separate himself with the way he turns, with the way he dribbles guys, he can play the ball both with left and right, he’s got a long distance shot. There’s just a lot of things he brings to that position that is a lot different than other guys can. He keeps getting better. Am I going to tell you that that’s his spot for the rest of his career? He can play anywhere in that middle of midfield. He can also play as a winger. He does a great job there, as well. This is really, really good experience for him and, like I said, every game we play, he gets better and better and I think all of his teammates realize it as well.

On the play of the Homegrown midfield trio…

As the game wore on, they became less thinking and more instinctive which is what you want to get to. They started to get into that rhythm and routine that you’re expecting so that when the ball moves, when do you actually leave the line and go out and pressure the ball. Their timing got better as the game went on. They did a good job. You’ve got (Felipe) Hernandez, you’ve got Cam Duke, you’ve got (Gianluca) Busio, you’ve got (Jaylin) Lindsey, even Daniel (Salloi) came on. You’ve got five guys on the field that have come out of our Academy. That’s a pretty big step for us as a club. Can it be better? For sure, but these are all good moments for those guys as they continue to grow and get better.

On the possible offside leading up to the FC Dallas goal…

I had a quick look at it. It looks like when the ball is played there are six guys offside and they’re all walking back. The way that I see it, it’s always when a player gains an advantage. In this situation, six guys are offside. When the ball goes over and now they turn around, they’re higher up the field than they normally would (be) to start pressuring the ball. All of their guys are in better starting positions for when the ball goes backward, so they shouldn’t get an advantage for that. That’s my opinion. I have seen it called all different ways. What’s frustrating to me is that a few years back, we played in Dallas. I have a still photo. They had a corner kick, the ball goes backward to outside the 18, our entire backline moves up to the 18-yard line, the guy serves it and they have five guys offside and they score. I have the still picture of when the guy is kicking the ball. This is the same thing again. It just frustrates me. You can’t allow the other team to get an advantage and it’s an advantage when they are higher up the field space wise. If they have to get onside, then what happens is they’re that much further away from the ball and they probably don’t even step up to press and they just stay where they are. But because they stay offside and they’re lazy about it, they now get the advantage and I think it’s completely incorrect. There’s no way that the other team should even have a chance to play on the ball because (Jesus) Ferreira actually goes to press and puts the guy under pressure. It shouldn’t be a goal. The discussion between me and the referee was really simple. They have a different interpretation. Of course they do. It’s the way it always is.

On the roster rotation due to schedule congestion…

I think we’re very similar to a lot of teams in this league. I hate the word, but everybody uses it. It’s unprecedented in what we do as a profession. Consistency, routine, all of those things are really important to players and a team. There’s just zero of that. That continues to be the thing that you constantly have to overcome. And sometimes it actually is the number one thing you’re trying to overcome as opposed to all the other things: the referees, the players on the other team. It’s a difficult situation. You can look over the years at all the lineups I’ve had. I’ve always been very, very consistent with our lineups over the years – especially when I think I’ve found the right combination of guys. That’s how you build continuity on the field. And it’s one of those things that you can’t just keep riding guys every 3-4 days and let them play, play, play. At some point, they’re going to break down. We’re trying to do a good job of managing that. I think the guys have been really good about taking care of themselves and putting themselves in a good position but it’s not an easy one.

The good thing is that tonight, (Matt) Besler didn’t start but he came in in the second half and I thought he was a big impact in the game for us. He helped us build out. We had so much more pressure going forward. He was calm on the ball. He was good at breaking up tackles…The contribution by the young guys and the different guys that played tonight that don’t usually, it was good.

Sporting Kansas City forward Johnny Russell

Thoughts on the match…

It’s frustrating to play the way we did with the attack and chances and not to come away with a (better) result. There were a lot of opportunities where we should have done better. Some of the blocks that they made were ridiculous to be honest - some of the goal line clearances and blocks that they made. It just didn't fall for us. It seemed like everything we had was blocked. We felt like we created enough chances and just couldn't get that final touch. That's the frustrating part when you dominate a game that much and you don't come away with three points. It feels like a defeat.

On the blocked shots…

We had so many opportunities, so many shots and good shots that were on target and probably goals, and they just throw a body in the way. Credit to them, that’s the way you want your team to defend. They were very good at it tonight. Sometimes you just get that luck when you’re defending everything. It just seems to be blocked, (they) get bodies in the way, deflections, we couldn’t get the final touch. We had a couple of chances with balls fired across, but we couldn’t get full contact on them. It just seemed like one of those nights where no matter what we did, it wasn’t enough.

On the growth of Gianluca Busio…

I think over the last few games he’s grown massively. I know it’s a position that he’s not familiar with, but that just shows the I.Q. and quality that the kid’s got. For someone that a lot of people see as such a technical, attacking player, for him to play that role the way that he has, breaking up plays, throwing himself into tackles, it seems like he’s done that a lot. He’s got no fear and he’s been massive for us - obviously getting the goal for us the other night and just his overall performance, awareness and positional sense. His distribution of the ball tonight was a different class.

On Cam Duke…

We’ve had to make changes that we normally wouldn’t have to make just with the games coming so close. Those boys have been up and training well for so long and deserve an opportunity. They took it tonight and didn’t look out of place at all. When you look at the three guys in midfield, how young they are, like I said, they didn’t look out of place. In the game, we started a little nervous as a team but as the game went on, we grew as a team and especially those guys. I thought it was a very, very impressive game by those three kids.

Sporting Kansas City forward Khiry Shelton

On the young midfield…

I think they did a great job. They’re still learning and growing each day, and this is their opportunity to prove something and I think they did that. Obviously, we wanted to get the win at home, but we’ll take it for what it is and push forward.

On playing at center forward…

It brought back a lot of memories from 2018. It was good and fun. I should’ve scored maybe two or three more goals, but that’s something I’ll work on this week.

On scoring his goal…

It was a buildup play and I was able to get it to Felipe (Hernandez) and he was able to get it to Gerso (Fernandes) out wide really quickly. Gerso found the gap and I took a good first touch and slotted it.

On walking away with a draw rather than win…

Obviously, we want to win at home. We had some young guys on the field and for (Cam Duke), this was his first start. We didn’t lose like we did last time we were at home, so this is a positive for me. I think we’re going to continue to push forward and grow as a team. There’s a lot of games being played within a short time period, but we have to keep pushing and we’re going to get our results.

On the dialogue between Black Players for Change and the league…

The communication has been very open. As a team, we’ve gotten together and talked about things we can do to be more involved in the community and be there and be supportive of one another. I think from MLS, they have done a good job. There are other areas they could do better in but there’s a learning curve for everyone and we’re all trying to figure out a solution. That’s going to take some time but it’s a step in the right direction.

FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez

Overall thoughts on tonight’s match…

I thought we started well. We talked about being a very hard team to play against. Being compact. Being together, short in our lines. Very hard to play through. I thought we showed that and then we actually gained some confidence to get pressure on the ball and we scored on that transition moment from pressure. And we continued to do that even after the goal. I don’t want to say we could of. I want to say we should’ve scored the second goal. We should’ve scored the second goal, and we have to be disappointed we didn’t get three points, because of what we could have done in the first half in terms of transitions, counters. But that’s football. Kansas City got back into the game. We picked up some knocks, some injuries. We had to make some subs. I thought the subs came in and did the job and sacrificed for the team. And, obviously in the second half they’re home, they pushed the game, they pushed numbers. We switched our formation to protect our last line and to protect our box and at the end of the day the point is valuable. We want to keep fighting always for three points whether home or away, but it is a valuable point. We’re gonna take it. We’re gonna learn from it and guys back hopefully soon. If not, that’s what a roster is for and we’ll get guys to step up ready for the next one.

On the midfield changes…

We wanted Servania to be a little more connected with Thiago, and Acosta to have a little more freedom to break his lines. And, you see how dangerous he is when he breaks lines and puts pressure on the opponent and so that resulted in a play that got Franco in behind. That was the idea, but Acosta has versatility. He played 6 for us last year and he can do that as well. He’s just a versatile center mid and we’ve got some fluidity in how we play sometimes and with each game making adaptations. Trying to have our way of playing and at the same time adapting to what the opponent gives us and Acosta I think he had a really good 20/30 minutes before he had to get subbed and hopefully, he’s not going to be out too long.

On injuries…

Acosta, it looks like a quad. Something is bothering him in his quad. Matt had a challenge with his head, so it was a precaution. I don’t want to say if it was a concussion or not. I just want to say it was a precaution at the half. Then, Jimmy felt something in his calf. What are the factors? I don’t know. I thought we trained really well and we prepared. I know we traveled today, so, but we did this two weeks ago with Houston. I know the guys are hydrating. They’re eating well, so these are things that happen in the game and we have to learn from them and have the next guy ready to go.

FC Dallas forward Franco Jara

Overall thoughts of the game and scoring your first goal with FCD…

The truth is that I am very happy because just like all forwards we want to score, we want to help the team, but there are always things to improve. I think that in the first half we had clear opportunities where we could have scored and had an advantage with more goals. But Kansas City was a very difficult rival and it was an important point, so we will keep working to improve.

Thoughts on the team suffering in the second half…

They’re matches, they’re moments. In the first half, maybe we had clearer opportunities. In the second half, we suffered but if we want to be protagonists we have to improve. There are things to improve and we are aware of that because we are leaving with a bitter taste of not being able to get all three points. But we have to keep working. This is soccer and we need to keep improving.

Adjusting to the league…

One, perhaps, as a veteran, can help young players be more like a protagonist and calmer in these situations or in these difficult games like today. We must have the peace of mind to be able to deal with it and achieve that either as a visiting team or the home team. What I can add to the team is infect others to have that mentality.

FC Dallas defender Bressan

On being a halftime substitute…

It was difficult and a little bit different. It was good for us because it’s really hard to play here. Other guys are prepared to play one minute or 45 minutes. I think everybody is doing a really good job. It’s hard to play here and they are playing a really good style of football. Like I said before, we started the game really well and maybe could’ve scored the second goal, but we couldn’t. The next game we can try to do a little bit more and try to be a little more aggressive. But I think everyone was really good on the field. We are growing, we started the first and second games against Nashville and didn’t do a great job. But now the guys are feeling that we’re growing like a group and trying to recuperate that style of football that Luchi likes and did a great job within the last year. I feel more confidence and hopefully we’re going to do a good job in the next game. 

On first time traveling and staying in a hotel…

To be honest, we’re really happy because we were at home for four months. It’s a different time for everybody. We’re trying to understand what we can do better but I’m feeling really good. I have a baby at home so when we’re traveling, I get a little rest in the hotel, so I’m feeling great (and trying) to do my job; so, it’s okay for me.

Topics: