HOUvSKC Quotes: "We came here for one thing and that was to get three points"

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

On the play of Alan Pulido…

He’s a deadly assassin around the goal. He’s a special player. Two unbelievable goals – the first one was an individual action, just him carving them up and finishing it off. The second one: so many players hit that ball right at the goalkeeper. For him to just slide the way he did and finish it off the way he did, he’s a world-class player. His play between the lines was tremendous for us today. It’s a big thing we talked about in this game and playing against this team and how we were going to find opportunities against them. And we did. It was huge.

On the connection between Alan Pulido and Gianluca Busio…

When Busio is in that advanced position, he finds really good balls in between the lines but more importantly he knows how to eliminate players and he can give a final pass. Busio is very good like that. I think the difficulty for Busio tonight was a little bit in that he has been playing the number six for as much as he did, it’s a different fitness than playing as a number ten or a number eight like he did. He put a lot of work in tonight. I could tell he was getting tired there the last 5 or 10 minutes. But he found a way to bang out the result and grind it out. He did a really good job.

On Busio’s role as a playmaker…

He’s got good creativity in his head. He’s got good improvisation depending on what’s in front of him. He’s just very good in and around the box. Obviously, you’ve seen he can score but he also can make those final passes like he did tonight. He’s got good timing with that. I think those relationships will get stronger with him playing more and more.

On the central defense…

I thought we were really good defensively. I think we were hard for them to break down. We were behind the ball and we were organized. I also think that we were really good with the intentions of the opponent. When the opponent had the ball, we dropped off well. We stepped up at the right time. We made good tackles. We were good in the box with service. I thought both central defenders did really well. Robbie did well. He made a great clearance there at the end of the game inside the box. Winston is a beast. He played really big for us tonight. We needed that presence and it was great.

On the team closing out the game…

Obviously we did a really good job because we got the three points. I don’t like the fact that we gave up the goal on the set piece. I would have really liked to walk away with a shutout. Roger (Espinoza) brought us another level of experience in the middle of the midfield which helped us tremendously. He also brought us a little bite and I think the other guys they feed off of that. Roger has that ability as he has a strong presence within the team. It’s definitely something that we’ve missed for quite some time with him being out as well. It’s good to get those guys back. It helps immensely when you have experienced players and they use that experience to help the team get a result.

On not winning the possession battle..

We didn’t expect to come here and out-possess them. We came here for one thing and that was to get a result and three points. We wanted to be efficient in the way that we played. I thought that the guys did a great job. It happens to us all the time. Teams want to try to sit back and they want you to break down 10 or 11 guys with the goalkeeper. It’s not an easy task to do. Our guys did a really good job of defending and winning the ball and getting out on the attack. We scored two really, really good goals in those situations. We’ve got 10 games left. This was the start of the first of 10 so getting the three points is a very good start away from home for us. It was huge. Now we just have to continue to keep fighting and grinding away and trying to get these results.

Sporting Kansas City forward Alan Pulido (via interpreter)

On scoring two goals in his first start since August…

It felt really good to be out there. It felt good to get the two goals, but more importantly is the triumph of the team – what’s most important is how the team does so I’m really happy with the win.

On the two assists from Gianluca Busio…

Busio is a great player. Without a doubt, he has a lot of talent. He gets better as a footballer every time he plays. He learns as a footballer every time he plays. If he continues with this trajectory, he will go a long ways because he is a really talented footballer. The passes were incredible to put me in those positions.

On his first goal…

When the team recovered the ball, I saw the space that I could run into. Busio saw the space, as well. I made the run and Busio made an incredible pass into the space. From there, I was able to beat the defender and score the goal.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gianluca Busio

On being part of a youth movement for American soccer…

It’s pretty cool to be a part of that group that’s hoping to bring U.S. Soccer into their prime years. It’s obviously cool that I can do it with my friends especially Gio (Reyna) and many other guys. He’s one of the biggest ones right now because he’s doing it at the highest level and he’s playing well. I’m happy for him. It’s awesome that I can be a part of that group. Hopefully it’s a group that can compete in World Cups for the future. I think we have a really, really bright future ahead of us.

On playing as an attacking midfielder…

It comes with its pros and cons. I’m more of an attacking player. I like to be attacking.  It showed with the two assists. I think that’s the pros of it – I get to go forward more. But there are also things I like playing as the six also. I get to touch the ball more and help in possession. I’ll do whatever the team needs. If they need me to play the six, if they need me to play the ten, I’ll play wherever. I enjoyed playing the ten again so I can be more attacking, but it’s also a lot more up and down running then side to side so it’s different for your fitness level. Hopefully I can play wherever and keep on getting on the scoresheet.

On playing with Alan Pulido…

It makes it a lot easier when you’re playing with such a good player like him. He’s a finisher and he moves well. His movement is unreal. It makes it a lot easier for me just to make a simple pass and he’ll do a lot with it. With a lot of the good players, it makes everything a lot easier. We think the same and we can play off each other and it showed. He’s such a good player, I think any midfielder could look pretty good with him playing in front of them. Hopefully I can give him more assists and maybe he can return the favor to me.

On getting a road win…

These next couple weeks are going to be really congested with all the games. Each game matters. It feels good getting a win on the road -- we’re going to need a lot more of those with these future games -- especially against a team that has beaten us a couple times since the restart, so this one felt good. But it’s time to put it in the past and we move on to Wednesday.

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