MLS Sporting KC comeback victory is one of the greatest ones
MLS: Sporting Kansas 4-3 vancouver Whitecaps
VAN — Kekuta Manneh 9
VAN — Kekuta Manneh 41
SKC — Kevin Ellis 53
VAN — Pedro Morales 75
SKC — Dom Dwyer 81
SKC — Paulo Nagamura 87
SKC — Paulo Nagamura 94+
Post game reactions:
Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes
On Sporting KC’s 4-3 comeback victory over Vancouver…
There’s no doubt that the third and fourth goal are all because of the crowd. The crowd is what pushed the guys on. They kept the faith and the way they brought the energy, I think there’s no doubt that it spilled on to the guys on the field. The 12th man was unbelievable tonight. That’s what really got us the 3 points. There’s no doubt about it in my mind.
On Paulo Nagamura’s late heroics…
I told him, with all the vacation days I’d given him this year, that he owed something back to me. Those two goals were great payback. When we went out to get him a few years back, when I was the technical director, I remember watching him play with Chivas and I saw him prior to that when he was with LA. The best description I can give is he’s like a pit-bull. He’s got a winning mentality. The guy never stops, never gives up. He’s dealt with quite a few injuries this year. A lot of stuff is bad luck, but it’s amazing that he can come in and play 90 minutes basically two games in a row here like he has in such a short period of time. He’s a team-first guy and he’s got a winning mentality. He’s a really good player, all those things are givens. He’s just a winner.
On Sporting KC’s performance early in the match…
I thought we were very poor in the first half, in possession and we gave the ball away in very dangerous areas of the field. We just played right into what they wanted and what they like to do. They like to have an open game, they like to catch you on the counter, and they like to have space to run into. We played right into that by giving up a goal in very dangerous areas. Some of that was because defensively we were in between, we weren’t really high and we weren’t really dropped off. We were too spread out at that time, we lose the ball in a dangerous area and now we’re open. They have one of the best front fours in the league and when they want to go, they can go. But if you give them that, that’s when they’re dangerous. Credit to our guys in the second half, we made a few little adjustments. And other thing that was very evident in the second half was our fitness level. Sporting fit took over at the end. It was harder for them to come out. Maybe two or three guys would counter, but the rest would have a hard time defensively getting out of back. It allowed us to win the ball and get back on the attack.
On a number of different players contributing to win…
This team has definitely taken goal scoring by committee, if you will. A lot of guys have stepped up at the right moments and found good opportunities. Naga’s second goal is great goal, but his first goal was tremendous. What you really have to look at is the ball Chance (Myers) plays him. That’s the experience that Chance brings and that’s the reason we brought him in at the end of the game. We needed more in the attack and he’s very good in the final third. A lot of different guys helped us win the game, no doubt.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC head coach Carl Robinson
On his disappointment at the end of the match…
It’s about a number of decisions today. Great environment, great place to play, good fans here, unbeaten at home, fantastic. But it can and it needs to be managed and handled by the correct person. Tonight it wasn’t. There’s so many decisions I’m super frustrated about. But I’m proud of my team. You can’t fault any one of that young group I put out today. They are a good team, KC is. I love Peter to bits — top top coach. He gets them going. Big games need big people to handle them.
On Vancouver’s late missed chances to put away the game…
We were 3-1 up; they never let in. Peter’s got a team that’s drummed in to keep going. Credit to them. They got their result and they got their reward because they played great today. They beat us, and it’s not a case of how you play, it’s about results. Credit to them to keep going, but I’m so proud of my group. I’m speechless for them. I just want them to keep their heads up. We’re a good, young team but we’re going to have to do it against all the odds because no one’s going to help us.