Leg 1 – Houston Dynamo 0-0 Sporting Kansas City

The winner of leg 2 will go to MLS Cup 2013 – Managers speak to the press after the scoreless draw:

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

What did you think of the game?
It was definitely not a pretty game for either team. It was an absolute battle. It’s good to get out with no goals scored against. We know what the return match will be. It’ll be the final because it’s the last game for both teams. What I really credit my guys for is keeping their composure, battling every single roll of the ball, and getting a clean sheet here which is not an easy thing to do here against this team. As I’ve said quite a few times already, this is a very good team and we have a lot of respect for them. I have a lot of respect for Dom and we go back a long way. I think they do a great job and their guys are always prepared so it’s never an easy place to play.

Credit to Houston for limiting your chances?
I don’t think either team had many chances to be honest with you. There was a lot of balls in the box but nothing really clean and clear. It wasn’t like anybody said ‘Holy cow, how did we miss that?’ I don’t think there was much in and around the box that was any real clear chance.

Did the turnaround affect the game?
I think for both teams it was difficult. I think the biggest thing is both teams had to travel so I think there’s no doubt that both teams were tired. There is no momentum anymore. The good thing is that we get a good rest. It may be too long but we’ll have to manage it.

How were your guys tonight?
Those guys were good. I can’t really admonish anyone for not giving all they had. I don’t think they were necessarily all that dangerous, but I don’t think we were either. It was a game played between the boxes and it was a battle.

Houston Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear 

Thoughts on the match…
I’m really proud of the guys, the effort they put into today knowing what we’ve gone through in the last two weeks we easily could have taken the easy way out and complained but they didn’t say nothing. They’re enjoying the competition, tough game today probably the toughest of the six that we have played and it was jus a very physical game on both sides and we couldn’t get a goal, so it’s going to be another tough game in Kansas City.

What are you planning for the week with the rest that you have?
We’re going to prepare for Kansas City in the best way we know how. These guys have earned some rest. We’re going to give these guys a good amount of rest and then obviously we’ll gear ourselves up. They deserve a break, usually you get like six games in a month and even that’s more than one game a week so six games in less than three weeks is something incredible. We knew it was going to come down to the game in Kansas City anyways, being how competitive and how close these teams are. These guys deserve a break, not only physically but mentally they need to get away and recharge for a little bit so that what they’re doing.

What do you think about veterans like Chabala and how important it is for them to step up in these big games?
I think it’s everybody, when Jermaine [Taylor] was down obviously it could have created a little bit of a shuffle in the back line and with Corey [Ashe]’s suspension but Mike is ready and probably works harder than anybody here in practice, so it’s never going to be a fitness problem. Like Eric Brunner, he’s stepped into play these playoffs, Cam Weaver comes on, Andrew Driver comes on in I think the 30th minute. Unfortunately we kind of had to hold on to that last sub for the last 15, 20 minutes because we’ve done so much. These guys are ready. We tell them in preseason, during the season a couple of times, ‘you’re going to get a chance to play, just make sure you’re ready,’ and these guys are professional enough that they are.