Monday, September 26, 2016

Sporting Kansas secure playoffs berth – reactions

October 13, 2014 by  
Filed under MLS

Sporting Kansas 2-0 Chicago Fire

Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes

On Sporting KC’s 2-0 win over Chicago…
I thought we played well. I thought we were good tonight and I thought some things happened that needed to happen. Number one is even though Dom [Dwyer] missed the PK, I thought we still had a really good mentality. We kept playing, we kept going after it and created some good chances. I thought Andy Gruenebaum had three great saves that really kept us in the game, and we really needed that for a number of reasons. And at the same time, [Graham] Zusi scored a world-class goal, no doubt, and the same thing with the cross in the box. On that one Dom should be giving him a big kiss because he just had to stand there and jump up. It was the perfect ball. It was a good performance. We achieved our goal of getting where we needed to be and now we need to get ourselves healthy so when the playoffs start we are ready to go.

On Sporting KC getting into playoff form…
It’s not the way we wanted. We still have quite a few guys healthy and are trying to get them healthy. I told the guys before we went out that it is important for us to take advantage of what we can control. We had an opportunity to get into the playoffs now and resting ourselves going forward. That is something we will have to do because we have been through a very difficult time this year. The guys need to get a little break and make sure when we get to the playoffs we have as many healthy bodies as possible. It’s a very short progression to get there, but it’s very intense and we have to be ready for that.

On overcoming obstacles to get back into playoffs…
I know what it’s like as a player, but I’ve never experienced it as a manager until this year. When you win a championship, the next year is always a very difficult year for many reasons. And then you have all the injuries and international duty, and I always say, what never gets talked about is Chance Myers and Ike Opara. They are two very important players for our team that have been on season-ending injuries from the beginning of the year, and they came at a crucial time when guys were away for international duty. And then you take the fact that we lost Peterson Joseph for a career-ending injury. We have had a lot of things like that at very difficult times.

On overcoming several injuries throughout the year…
I always say the great thing is that a lot of guys that have had the opportunity to step in and play. In a lot of situations they have done a very good job, and more importantly, have always maintained the very close resemblance to the way and the style that we play, and that is not easy to do. I don’t think too many teams in MLS can do that. I’m very proud of the fact that our team can and is committed to our style of play. And then you add in to the fact that the a guy like Paulo Nagamura is out for two months comes back and plays 85 minutes his first game back, tonight Jake [Peterson] has been out for the last month and he comes in and plays 84 minutes in a position that normally I would never put him in. But I trust him enough to do it and he did a fantastic job in the game. A lot of guys have done a lot of things to help us get here and hopefully in the next couple weeks we can get enough bodies and enough guys strong enough that we can make the push that we need to at the end of the season.

On Kevin Ellis’s development…
What we do and what these guys do is not an easy job. You work and work and work and you try to get your opportunity. And when you get your opportunity, you have to be ready and play well. Sometimes, you are not sure if you are ready and you get thrown into the fire. He’s been thrown into a lot of situations this year and I have to say in a lot of stations he has done very well. He has come a long way.
 
Sporting KC winger Graham Zusi

On scoring an impressive game-winning goal…
I think it was a culmination of a lot of emotions after that ball went in. We had to give these fans what they deserved and play well and we were dead set on doing that tonight, not only to get into the playoffs, but to do that at home where we should win every game. That’s how we feel.

On overcoming obstacles to get back into playoffs…
We’ve gone on skids before. You can’t go to a season where we haven’t or where any team hasn’t. Where we pride ourselves is coming back from those skids. It took us a little longer this time, for whatever reason, but I think the past month has been very good from us. The two CONCACAF games were excellent at home. A couple of our games after that were good, but we were just a little unfortunate toward the end of games. We have quite a bit of confidence in where we are right now, as we should. We have been playing well and this one tonight is just a huge win for us. It gives us more confidence and momentum going into the playoffs, which has proven in the past to be huge. Teams that are playing well going into the playoffs typically go pretty far.

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