MLS Post-game Quote Sheet - Sporting KC 1 : 0 Real Salt Lake

Thoughts from the locker rooms after KC comes out on top

041412@SKC_Beltran-Espinoza (620x350)

Photo Credit: 
Getty Images
MLS Postgame Quote Sheet
Sporting KC 1 : 0 Real Salt Lake
Saturday, April 14, 2012

 

Real Salt Lake head coach Jason Kreis

On the loss…

It is disappointing. It's something that we really focus on and we know that Kansas City is very, very good on all deadball situations. We talked about it a lot, we trained it this week. We don't typically give up goals on dead balls, either, we're pretty good at defending them. 

On the Sporting KC goal…

The thing about giving the goal away was that now it turned our attention to 'How are we going to attack?', I think we were a little too content to defend for most of the night. Perhaps a goal before half, maybe then we spend 45 minutes trying to attack and get the game back and it's different. Soccer is a weird game that way. 

On Sporting Kansas City…

I think it comes down to how difficult they are to play against, they do such a tremendous job of battling and fighting, all of the players out there, and we have to figure out solutions to that. I still think that there's ways to play against them rather than just trying to get in behind them all the time, the next time we play them which I guess isn't until next year perhaps we'll talk and improve upon that. 

On Tony Beltran…

Tony's always going to give every ounce of his body. He commits himself fully to the team's effort and has made many many plays like that for us. And again, I think on the night, we had everybody doing that except for one play.

 

Real Salt Lake Midfielder Kyle Beckerman

On the loss…

It just wasn’t our night tonight. The team battled, but it was a little humid. We didn’t expect the weather to be as muggy as it was this early in the season. We’d love to play (Sporting) again. This will drive us to work even harder and come back and hopefully get another chance at them in the playoffs. But we’ve got another tough game next week against San Jose.

On the hype surrounding a match featuring the first-placed teams from both conferences…

(The media) made a big deal about it. Our team just came here ready to play a tough away game. That’s all it was to us. Win, lose, or draw, we still have a lot of games to play. Even if we had won tonight, it wasn’t going to crown league champion and it wasn’t going send anyone home for the season.

On defending for long periods against Sporting Kansas City…

We knew we would have to weather the storm. Sporting pressures hard, and they live for corner kicks and free kicks. Tonight they were able to come out with a win because we made one mistake.

 

Real Salt Lake Goalkeeper Nick Rimando

On the loss…

This is a tough place to play, but our team was confident. I thought we were ready, I thought we played well, but set pieces can decide a game. And tonight that’s what happened. They caught us on that corner kick. We had some chances toward the end, but now we have to turn our focus to the next game.

On the challenges posed by Sporting Kansas City…

They’re a physically big team. They’ve got great forwards, and their crowd was loud. We defended really well, but ultimately that doesn’t matter because we lost 1-0. We just have to keep our heads up. Overall, I thought we played tough.

 

Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes

Opening Comments

“This played out to be a big match. However, I think it was based on the fact that it was our next match to play. Real Salt Lake has been the best team we have faced so far. There were different aspects of their game that at times really caused us trouble. They sometimes broke the lines.  I thought for probably about 80 plus minutes we were very, very good in cutting out easy passes through the middle.  A few times here and there, they broke us down, but I thought our transition was very good. I thought our start of the second half was very good. Our tempo right from the start was good.”

“Defensively, our back line was very attentive and concentrated. Collin and Besler did a very good job against their two central strikers and didn’t give them anything. The header at the end was actually offsides, though the center official waved it off. They actually did not get a shot on goal.”

“At the end of the day, we found a way to get the goal in the second half. A fantastic three points for the guys. Now we are going on a week-long road trip. It won’t be easy but we have a good situation going right now and we have to keep it going.”

On missed corner kick opportunities

“The execution from the guys were good because we realized that there was an advantage for us at the back post so the delivery was very good. I think the corner kicks signal that we were trying to go at them and put the pressure on them. Credit to the guys for the goal. It was an excellent finish at the end from Collin and it was such great timing. It’s never an easy thing to score on a corner kick.”

On Julio Cesar’s injury

“I do not think it is a very serious pull. I think it is more of a strain. We will just evaluate him over the course of the next couple days and then we will make a decision but he’s a very important guy for the team. But at the same time, the biggest thing for me when we have muscle injuries is that we need to shut a guy and wait until he is 100% to bring him back. I don’t think he will be ready for Wednesday, because of traveling, so we will have to figure it out.”

On the significance of the 200th win in franchise history

“No, not really (a big deal). The biggest quality about our group of guys right now is that there are very hungry and they realize what is ahead of them. They know that the next game now is what they have to focus on and it takes a lot of energy. It’s a whole week of preparation. It’s trying to get recovered from a physical perspective and making that turn around.  Those other things don’t really matter at the point. What matters is focusing on our next game.”

 

Sporting Kansas City defender Aurelian Collin

Opening Comments

“I’m blessed to score that goal. Ninety percent of the credit goes to Zusi. I was just in the right spot at the right time. Congratulations to him. We were fighting the whole game and were very focused in defense.”

is this your best season so far?

“We are just six games into the season so this may not last long.”

Was this the most important game?

“It was the most important game because it was the next game. Now, the most important game is the next game. We are very happy that we won and we may celebrate a little bit tonight, but tomorrow, we are going to be focused on the next game.”

 

Sporting Kansas City Forward C.J. Sapong

On playing Real Salt Lake, the first place team in the Western Conference…

They are a really good team. They do a good job keeping the ball and controlling the tempo. We wanted to play faster than they did, but they did a good job controlling the pace in the first half. We knew they probably couldn’t keep that up the whole game, and our pressure for a full 90 minutes made us deserving of a win.

On his defensive responsibilities as a forward…

I have to keep the play in front of me and try not to give their defenders any time on the ball, especially in a game like today where everything was played through the midfield. It’s all about trying to cut off angles and making sure they don’t get any easy passes into the midfield. It’s hard work, but I love doing it for the team.

 

Sporting Kansas City Defender Matt Besler

On Sporting Kansas City’s MLS-record 335 minutes without allowing a shot on goal…

There are a lot of things that go into that record: all 11 of us defending as a whole, applying pressure, even a little luck. The most important thing for us is the shutout streak. Shutting teams out gives us a chance to win every week.

On his centerback partnership with Aurelien Collin…

I’ll put us two up against anyone in the league right now. Our team is very confident, especially our back four. He’s been great all season.

On overcoming an organized Real Salt Lake team…

Salt Lake’s a really good team. Their style of play is tough to play against. They have a lot of dangerous players who are capable of making plays. In a big game like this, it was nice that we were playing at home. Home field is a big deal in this league.

On the impact of Sporting Kansas City’s fans on the game…

The fans have been proving their worth week in and week out, just like we have. They give us a lot of energy, so hopefully they can keep it up. They’ve been great so far, and that translates onto the field.

 

Sporting Kansas City Goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen

On Sporting Kansas City’s MLS-record 335 minutes without allowing a shot on goal…

I don’t think that I’ve seen anything like that before in my life. That’s credit to the whole organization and the team. Our defense starts with C.J. (Sapong), and if he’s in good position, he’s making the midfielders’ job easy. And if the midfielders’ job is easy, that makes the defenders’ job easy. And if the defense is in good position, it makes my job very, very easy.

On the challenges posed by Real Salt Lake…

They’re a good, solid team with good possession on the ball. They should be one of the favorites to win the MLS Cup this year.

On Sporting Kansas City’s six-game winning streak…

We’re full of confidence. When you’re solid defensively and you create chances, you have a belief that you’re going to manage the game and you’re going to win.