#HOUvSKC Quotes: "We couldn't close the game out unfortunately"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the match...

I thought for 60 minutes of the game, we were pretty organized. Obviously, we got the goal and that took a little pressure off. I would state that we started to probably get a little tired. I tried to make some subs. I tried to change the team around. We went to five in the back to try to deal with (Houston's attack). We knew what was going to happen. We knew they were going to come forward with a lot of people. We couldn't close the game out unfortunately.

On the play of Amadou Dia...

On that first goal, he did get drawn inside. I thought for the majority of the game though he was pretty good defensively against those guys. I thought he was pretty good. That's the number one priority of his position and his role is to make sure he defends well and he did a good job there.

On the play of Erik Hurtado...

We had some ideas about how he could get in behind them on some of the counters. I think they do a good job defensively. They fight for every ball. They compete. I think Erik was opportunistic on the goal. It was good for him to get the goal for us. It's unfortunate that it couldn't hold up.

On Houston finding space behind the backline...

Just so we're clear, on the first couple in the first half, they were offside. I spoke to the fourth official and he said they had them as offside. Once nothing came of it - one of them turned into a goal kick so they just left it alone; the other one Tim (Melia) made the save and held onto the ball. They were offside. The one I would say they got in behind us was the one with Amadou Dia when he came inside and the ball was played over the top. That was the one that unfortunately we were in close proximity to our goal and we should have done much better in that situation as a team defending that.

On playing with five in the back...

We just wanted to get more pressure on their wingers outside late in the game. That was the big thing for us so that's why we went to five in the back. That was really it.

Sporting Kansas City forward Erik Hurtado

On his goal…

I saw the ball come into me and I connected with the midfield after we played a few good passes and then had a penetrating pass from Gadi (Kinda) to Khiry (Shelton). It’s what we work on in training. Khiry got a good shot off and I was just making a run to see if he was going to play me or not and the ball happened to come to me, and I just put it in.

On Graham Zusi playing at right wing…

Graham is an all-around great player. He can play multiple positions so wherever we put him, he’s going to do well. It’s good linking up and playing with him because he’s got experience out there. It’s always good playing with him.

On the team's pressure...

Houston wasn’t really attacking us. They were passing the ball back and forth between the center backs so we felt good keeping them up there. When they were passing the ball, they weren’t really a threat to us but when they came further up the line, we’d step up to them and they would either kick us the ball or kick it out of bounds and that’s what we were trying to do. I think we were good as a team positionally. We stayed together and were compact. When we won the ball, we went to goal and got a goal off that.

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