Friday, November 17, 2017

Champion Sporting Kansas fell for MLS Opening – reactions

March 8, 2014 by  
Filed under MLS

Seattle 1-0 Sporting KC

Sporting Kansas City fell 1-0 at the Seattle Sounders on Saturday in the opening match of the 2014 Major League Soccer season. Second-half substitute Chad Barrett, acquired by Seattle in the Re-Entry Draft this offseason, scored in the game’s final minute to mark his Sounders debut in dramatic fashion in front of more than 39,000 fans at CenturyLink Field.

Peter Vermes – Sporting Kansas City Manager

(On the game …) “I thought we played very well. Coming in here, this is not an easy place to play being the first game of the season and their home opener. I thought we played very well for 93 minutes and 43 seconds. We did a really good job on both sides. Defensively we were very disciplined. We had one lapse in our defensive shape overall, and that was in the last 17 seconds. It’s unfortunate. We probably should’ve gotten a lot more coming out of this game because we had some really good chances as well, but that’s the way it goes. We’ve had this happen to us before. Four times. It is what it is. We always do a good job of rebounding and we’ll do the same thing again.”

(On what he saw develop on the last play …) “In midfield, we got ourselves out of shape. Two of our guys – out of the two of them, one of them should be at least holding. Both extended themselves and opened up the middle of the field. From that point on, it created a bit of a snowball effect. The ball goes out wide, everybody is trying to recover. It was good service into the box. The ball’s not cleared, bounces around and ends up in the back of the net. We almost had one very similar on their end earlier on in the game so it just fell to them.”

(On goalkeeper Eric Kronberg’s play …) “Played a great game. He has nothing to even be thinking about other than the fact that he played a very, very good game for us.”

(On roster choices going forward …) “We have five games in 15 days so we have to be able to use everybody at this time to get us something in all these games from a physical perspective. We’re trying to make sure we’re rotating our roster around.”

(On the message to the team to get ready for Wednesday’s Champions League game …) “We just go on to the next game. We have to learn from what happened.”

(On some No. 2s stepping in to play this early in the season …) “Like I said, the team played well. I don’t have any criticism for any of the guys, other than the fact that we had one lapse in the midfield late in the game. We should’ve been very smart and kept things compact, and at the end it fell apart, but outside of that, the team played really well.”

Sigi Schmid – Sounders FC Head Coach

(Opening Statement…) “Obviously I am happy we got the win. One of the things we talked about going into the season was we wanted to be a team that would fight, scratch, and do everything we could until the end of the game and today was a good snapshot of that. The guys continued to fight and battle-I am very pleased we got a shutout. Shutouts were a little harder to come by at the end of last year than they normally are for our team, so I was pleased with that. I was pleased we played them to zero and pleased we came out with the victory.”

(On Chad Barrett’s debut…) “It’s one of the reasons we brought him in-he is an experienced forward and he has shown he can score goals in this league. He ended up getting two shots in the limited minutes he played. Not just him-Sean, Clint (Dempsey), and Sean Okoli-were all subs that came in and had an impact on the game for us. Chad’s one of those players who should know what to do in front of goal and he was able to do it today.”

(On Sean Okoli’s debut…) “I thought Sean was good. I talked to Sean before he came and said, ‘Look, try to get behind their defense’… I think he did that, got in behind [the defense], and on the goal he was involved in that initial build up as well… He has been improving all preseason. We knew he had some speed that could give Gardner some problems, that’s why I wanted him on the right. He’s gotten better each preseason game. He played as a forward at Wake Forest, so he’s learning a little more how to play wide. You’re not old or young; you’re either a good player or a bad a player.”

(On Clint Dempsey’s performance…) “I thought he was alright. He hasn’t really trained with us, but I like that him and [Obafemi Martins] were definitely looking for each other, looking to combine with each other, and that is something that will continue to get better as well.”

(On the importance of a season-opening win…) “I think it helps everybody. We had a number of guys out there-Dylan Remick, it was his first big test here at home. For Stefean Frei it’s been a while since he’s been in goal so it was a big test for him. For (Marco) Pappa, (Chad) Marshall, it was their first test out there in front of our crowd. I thought they held up very well. Wins like this are always great-it helps build momentum, it helps build confidence.”

(On the difference between this team from previous seasons…) “We didn’t sometimes play intense enough, sometimes not direct enough at the end of games… When you play a team like Kansas City, when you look at the number of fouls they committed, the other team steps up and puts pressure on the spaces behind the defense, and we didn’t really do a good job of exploiting that until the last 10 or 15 minutes of the second half. That’s something it took us a while to figure out, but we eventually figured out that is a way to get to them. That’s something that is different from teams in the past, maybe we didn’t figure that out.”

(On the emotional impact of the win…) “It sets a great tone. Whenever you have a dramatic victory like this, it pumps everybody up. You saw the players’ reactions on the field, you saw how thrilled they were. It’s just an indication for all the hard work they did during the game.”

(On another stoppage time game-winner…) “It seems to happen for us a lot against them. It’s what Peter Vermes said to me after the game, ‘You guys do this to us every time.’ Again, it’s a reflection of how close the league is. These guys are the defending champions and they haven’t been able to beat us in a number of years. The game they did beat us in was in penalty kicks. The parity is very, very close, but it’s also very satisfying for us to win… We really didn’t talk about it in terms of before the game or anything like, ‘Hey, this is a team we’ve scored late goals against.'”

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