Quotes: Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes reflects on 3-3 preseason draw with Portland

Sporting Kansas City battled the Portland Timbers to an exciting 3-3 draw on Wednesday in the third match of the club’s 2021 preseason, presented by Children’s Mercy. Khiry Shelton, Wilson Harris and Roger Espinoza all found the back of the net at Kino North Complex in Tucson, Arizona. Post-match remarks from Manager Peter Vermes are below.


On relinquishing a 3-1 lead…

We gifted them their first two goals, but it’s better to get those things out now and work from there. Outside of that, there was a lot of good stuff today. We made two very poor decisions on two balls that are routine plays. It had nothing to do with (Portland).

On forward Daniel Salloi’s performance…

He was very active with good movement up front and defending well. He was very solid in the game all around and he was in good spots. The goalkeeper actually made a really good save on one of them. There was one play where he passed and he probably should have shot, but he was being unselfish. He’s getting himself in really, really good spots at the moment.

On forward Wilson Harris’ performance…

We have a lot of preseason left but he’s doing well. As I said when we signed him, he’s proven that he can score goals and he’s continuing to do that.

On defender Kaveh Rad’s performance…

He’s performing well. It’s important to see different guys and see what they do at this level. He’s had solid performances game after game, which is good to see. He’s got good instincts for the game and the position.

On midfielder Roger Espinoza’s performance…

He scored a great goal, but more importantly he brought leadership. He got good minutes today, too, which was great. Him getting 45 minutes today was really good.

On the acclimation of Felipe Hernandez in the holding midfield position…

He’s been really good—he brings good bite there. He finds good spots to win balls back and he’s a little pit bull. He’s constantly getting better at where he needs to be for us to build out. He also has a good feel to move the ball around without losing possession. He’s continuing to grow in that position.

On how Sporting can improve…

We’re trying to get stronger physically. We’re also trying to get better at parts of our game, and it’s all parts of the game. We’ve got some time left here before the first game and we’ve got a lot of work to do.

On the status of defender Nicolas Isimat-Mirin

He’s in quarantine and he’s close to being out and training with us here in Arizona. He’s doing some individual workouts and he’ll be joining the team shortly. It’s good to have him here. All of the players that we’ve signed are here now and it’ll be nice to start adding him to the team.

On Sporting’s 2021 MLS regular season schedule release…

I understand that a lot of decisions are based around COVID-19, so it’s hard for me to comment because I don’t know all of the variables that went into making the schedule. It’s very heavily weighted schedule to the West. We’re only playing three teams from the East, so that’s a little different, I guess. It’s good that we’re trying to get back to normal somewhat with 34 games.

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