Postgame Quotes: Revolution 1, Sporting KC 1

Postgame quotes after the Revs and Sporting KC played to a 1-1 draw

New England Revolution Manager Steve Nicol

Thoughts on the game…

If you’re Kansas City, you probably deserve it in the second half. They definitely did. In the majority of the game, we defended well. 

On the red card to A.J. Soares…

We lost a guy we shouldn’t have. He got the ball and the man at the same time.

On conceding a late goal…

The goal wasn’t from them cutting us up, the ball ricocheted over the top. There were three or four guys calling for a hand ball. Three  guys don’t put their hands up unless something’s up. We’re disappointed, but they put a lot of pressure in the second half. They probably deserved a point.

On second half adjustments…

They’re down, they’re gonna push forward. If you follow the x’s and o’s, they got behind us twice in the second half. I thought we defended well.

On New England’s approach to Sporting Kansas City’s attack…

It’s a fight, be strong, stand your ground, make challenges. 

On going unbeaten in their three-game road trip…

Points. We’ve worked hard all season, we haven’t gotten the results that we’ve wanted but the effort has always been the same.

Thoughts on LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

I was very disappointed. What? I was joking, it’s fantastic. Great place to play the game, first class. Good crowd, good atmosphere. First class, it’s fantastic.

On Sporting Kansas City striker Omar Bravo…

Omar’s very experienced and he’s come a long way.

New England Revolution Forward Rajko Lekic

Thoughts on the game…

It’s disappointing when you get a goal scored that late against you in the game. But if you look at the game, they were pushing all second half, but we were letting them push, just standing there. We didn’t play well in the second half, but we also had a card against us, and three or four of the defenders were also calling for a hand ball on the goal, so I don’t know. In three or four days I think we’ll be okay with one point, but it’s tough now.

On scoring the game’s first goal…

He (Matt Reis) took a chance, so I took a chance…I got the ball and tried to take it with the first touch and put it in, and it went in. 

On three straight road games without a loss…

We just talked about it with Benny (Feilhaber), it’s disappointing now but we played three away games and haven’t lost in three games now. And we just played against Kansas City who hasn’t lost in 13 games now, so this is a good point. It’s good, but we need three points now. 

On the second half…

From the first or second minute, it went wrong and they pressured us and it was tough to play. We need work on all areas. We have to play like a team like we did in the first half. 

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

It’s beautiful. A beautiful crowd, nice pitch. It was just very nice to play here. 

New England Revolution Goalkeeper Matt Reis

Thoughts on the game…

We were in a pretty decent position entering the second half, and in the second half we just failed to possess the ball. We gave them chance after chance after chance and with all their good attacking players, their bound to get something on us. They got their goal and tied it up. 

On Sporting Kansas City’s goal…

(Omar) Bravo tried to play it in, it went into a couple of people, and somehow it popped out right to (Teal) Bunbury and he slotted it away. I think if you look at the replay, somehow the ball comes from the guy’s middle of his body and pops out to his right, right to Bunbury. Tough night for us, but hopefully we’ll get some luck down the line.

The mentality of the team…

We’ve struggled up to these last three games, getting points on the road. For us being down on the bottom of the Eastern Conference, we need to start playing better. We still aren’t where we need to be, and unfortunately for us, we’re losing players left and right, so it’s only going to get more difficult. 

On LIVESTRONG Sporting Park…

It’s nice…The atmosphere is great and it’s a lot better than playing in a baseball park. 

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

Thoughts on the game…

I thought in the first half we didn’t play very well. What I would say though is second half we dominated in every category. The amount of chances that took place and I keep saying that the character we have to get back into the game is fantastic, I’m just a little disappointed in the first half. I’m very, very happy, but more importantly, I’m happy for Teal (Bunbury) for getting the goal. The reason being, at times when you’re a player and you get out of form a bit, its all about how you work. He’s worked everyday, he works very hard. Putting him in the game at a moment like this when we needed to score, it’s not only great for him, it’s important for us to get the tie. For him to get the goal, with so much perseverance and work ethic, he deserved it and it was great for us.

On New England’s first-half goal…

I really need to go and see it. In my opinion, there’s a good chance when the ball was initially kicked in that he was offside. I mean, I was standing right there. Maybe I will see something different. I can’t remember so I can’t really talk about how spread out we were. I’ll have to see that on the tape.

On the team conceding first…

I say that I don’t think we played well in the first half. It doesn’t mean we should give away a soft goal so I have to look at it.

On the insertion of Omar Bravo in the second half…

I actually think all three subs had an impact on the game in a positive way.  What Omar does is makes those great plays from behind and he keeps the ball alive and makes crosses into the box. All around, he was very, very good.

On the team’s potent attack…

Obviously, Teal (Bunbury) getting the goal, he was pretty busy too keeping the ball alive for us. (Birahim) Diop has soft feet for a big guy. He wins balls back for us and he can really connect passes and serve the ball. I was wondering if he was going to take one of those long distance shots. But like I said, all three guys had a good impact.

On turning up the pressure in the second half…

At the end of the day, the team has character…We have to get stronger mentally, there’s no doubt we can play like that for 90 minutes…I don’t think we were aggressive enough all over the field, I think we gave them way too much time. We have to anticipate balls and we did that much better in the second half. We gave them way too much time with the ball. I don’t care what team it is, they’re going to get opportunities then and play more on the ball. We just weren’t aggressive enough. In the second half we turned it around. Somehow we found a way and made some great chances.

On working way up the standings…

We continue to climb the ladder. Philadelphia lost last night, and now we get another point.  If you look back where we were and where we are, it’s a big difference. We’re in the hunt right now. We’re going to  keep going after it. 

On the play of Daneil Cyrus…

One of my great coaches always said one player’s absence is another man’s opportunity. Now he’s got to step up and take advantage of the opportunity he has.

Sporting Kansas City striker Teal Bunbury

Thoughts on the team’s performance…

I thought for us, getting a tie after being down in the first half was important. In the first half there was some times we weren’t sharp, but as a team in the second half it was a different ball game. We were pressuring them and getting chances. It was just a matter of time. 

On his goal…

I was lucky to get a scrappy goal. It feels good. I haven’t scored in a while, so to get the goal to get my team back in was great… Before the game, I was thinking when I get into the game I should try to get a scrappy goal. Omar got the touch to it, it bounced off the defender and I was the first one to react. I just wanted to keep it on frame and keep it low. 

On the goal celebration…

I was planning it, I guess, with it being bobblehead night. Really, I was just trying to make it fun and entertaining. Fortunately for me, I was able to get the goal and celebrate like that.

On the frustration of not having scored lately…

It feels good to score. Like I said, a striker’s job is to score goals and I’m looking to score more and help contribute to my team. That’s what it comes down to. It’s not all about me and things like that. If I’m  scoring and we’re winning I’m happy, but if I’m scoring and we’re not winning, I’m not happy.

I feel like it’s only natural at times to get frustrated. I’m not doing my job when I’m capable of doing it. I’ve had support from the coaches, friends and family. Everyone’s being very positive with me.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi

Thoughts on the game…

During the past games we’ve put ourselves in a hole in the first half, and it’s taken us the rest of the game to dig out of it. If we can avoid that, we won’t be scrambling at the end of games. Teams get ahead, then kind of just pack it in, and that doesn’t let us play our game. We just need to try to avoid that at all costs. We can’t fall asleep in the first half like we have the past few times. That first goal was very important, so we just have to be stingy, especially in the first half. 

Tactical changes in the second half…

We realized that they were playing kind of a high line, and in the first half we weren’t threatening at all. We weren’t getting behind their defense. Second half we focused quite a bit on making runs and getting behind their backline. We just started to threaten them more and I think we did that and we were able to come away with a goal late. 

Comments on continuing the streak…

I think we need to come out extremely focused in the first half. It’s not a good habit to get into to go down a goal early. Honestly, it’s been an issue with us for a while now. We need to come out, realize we’re at home, and we need to take it to the opposing team, especially in the first half. We need to let them know it’s going to be a long game for them, so we can control the flow of the game.

Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler

Thoughts on the game…

First half we came out tentative, it wasn’t good enough. We gave them too much space and we just weren’t sharp. Second half we didn’t really have a choice. We had to step it up a little bit. So we came out more focused and just played better. 

Comments on the All-Star Game experience…

Overall it was a great experience. I really enjoyed meeting my peers on a personal level. It was kind of different for me to see a different side of everyone. It was a great couple days, but I’m glad to be back and to be able to focus on the regular season. 

Tactical changes in second half…

In the second half, we knew they were only going to have one guy up top. So, we didn’t need to have four defenders back on one guy. So, we pushed are two wide backs high, so we left our two center backs to cover the one guy. We just kind of pushed on them from there, so that was are main strategy.