Postgame Quotes: Revs 0, Sporting KC 0

Postgame quotes after the Revs' 0-0 draw with Sporting KC

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps

General thoughts on the match…

First of all, what a great place to play. We had a little bit of make up to do from the last time we were here. At least we didn’t get a red card within the first 20 minutes this time. Our first step was the make sure we made it through with 11 guys. When you’re playing, in my opinion, the most high powered offensive team in the league, it’s important to go out and defend well.

On Matt Reis’ head injury…

He’s getting looked at right now. We have two guys with stitches so the doctor doesn’t know who to look at first. But Matt [Reis] was gallant tonight. He came out big and we asked him to be big on crosses, and I think that he had a really great game.

On Kei Kamara’s performance…

He is, quite frankly, one of the best plays in the league right now. I think he makes a team go and he is a good guy all the way around.

On being the importance of being the aggressive team…

It’s huge. They have a great momentum here. I think they scored on us in the 24th or 25th minute [in the last game] and when you get scored on here, you can feel it. You definitely know that you got scored on, so it was important for us to have a counterpunch ready to go. That is why we put Nguyen where he was and we had Feilhaber more on the attacking side. We staggered our midfield to try to break on Sporting. We had to defend first and foremost, but also look for those quick opportunities.”

On how the temperature and packed schedule affected performance…

Both teams played on the previous Wednesday, but it was a little more than sheer soccer out there. The guys really had to play mentally, physically, and with heart. I think both teams showed it tonight. We are happy with the result because guys seemed to be going down left and right. It’s difficult, but both teams had to deal with the heat out there. It’s hot.

On shifting players to different positions…

Because we were so leg-weary, we had to make some tactical moves to put guys in. For instance, Ryan Guy started out up top, went to left midfield, and then even did a spell in the back. He was huge for us. If Matt Reis wasn’t able to get up, then Ryan Guy was going in goal. I think he would have set the record for number of different positions in one game.

New England Revolution midfielder Benny Feilhaber

General thoughts on the match…

I’m pleased with the effort the guys put it. It was a tough game, Kansas City is obviously one of the top teams in the Eastern Conference and we had a tough loss in the midweek. It was good for everybody to stand up for themselves and put the responsibilities on each others’ shoulders. Unfortunately we couldn’t capitalize on one of our counter attacks. But, we will take a 0-0 draw.

On the team’s third game in the week…

Three games in a week is never easy. Two of them were on the road, so we have been on the road since Tuesday. It is good to get this point after the two losses in the beginning of the week but we need to obviously get more points at home and away to make the playoffs. It is a good steppingstone but we have to make something out of it.

On goal-scoring opportunities…

We didn’t have too many but we created some good counterattack opportunities. I remember one I had in the first half where I didn’t hit the target. Ryan Guy had one where he hit it on top of the goalie. We had a couple in the second half. I think Ryan had one in the second half. So we created a couple of chances on the breaks, obviously they had more in the game, but playing away from home, that is what we were trying to do, play hard defense and counter. So, we were able to do that, we just weren’t able to sneak a goal in.

On how the heat affected the game…

It slows it down a little bit. But, both teams are tired because of the heat. I think they also had a midweek game, so we all played three games in seven days or eight days. So, it catches up with you. I think we were pretty tired at the end of the game but we were able to hold the shutout, which was important for us. All in all, it is a good result for us.

New England Revolution defender Shalrie Joseph:

On their determination to grind out a result of the road…

We tried to put on a defensive performance and stick together as a team. We were desperate to get a result on the road. For parts of the game, we were the more aggressive team. I think Ryan Guy’s header went over the line; I’d have to look at that again though. We just have to keep playing well and pushing ourselves and try to pick up points here or there. We have the ability every time we go out there.

On the second half…

They were pushing a lot of numbers forward and we were just sitting back and defending and making sure we didn’t give up any chances. They are a good team going forward and we did well to get a 0-0 result. We will take it and try to get better next week.

On returning to the starting lineup…

I feel great. My luck hasn’t been going this way for the last two weeks; I’ve had back injuries. I feel good tonight, coming in and playing 90 minutes with the team and I look forward to being out there next week practicing and helping this team get three points every time we step out there.

On the result…

We needed that. We’ve been giving up too many goals weather it be Montreal last week or Toronto the week before. Tonight to get the 0-0 result against a team like Kansas City with so many offensive weapons feels good. It is going to be huge for our confidence to take that point and try to do better next week against Philly.

New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Reis

On the draw…

I thought it was good for us. We didn’t play our best game but we got a valuable point. It was a solid team effort. We really put a lot of work out there, top to bottom, everybody.

On the shutout…

It was something that we talked about before the game. We knew that we had to defend first, and that’s what we did.

On playing Sporting KC in their next home game…

They are a good team. We have to rest up from this game and get all the stiches out of everybody and hopefully we can be a little more offensive but keep the strong defensive effort.

Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes

General thoughts on the match…

I thought the first half was not a very exciting on both teams parts. I think New England sat back and we really didn’t push the game well enough. Coming into the second half I thought our energy was completely different. Our ball circulation was better and our movement off the ball was much better. I think it changed the game in the second half we were all over them. They couldn’t come out and physically I think they were hanging on. We had a lot of chances around the goal but at the end it winded up being a 0-0 draw. If we had come out with maybe the same energy in the first half it would have been a different game.

On Jacob Peterson’s emergence as dominant player…

It has to do with the fact that he moves off the ball so well. He just makes runs and when you make runs you make people make decisions and a lot of times they’ll make bad decisions. He got on the end of a lot of stuff and I think a lot of players on our team need to take note of his movement. If they were to follow his lead, it would be hard for teams to stop us. His work ethic and his movement off the ball are fantastic.”

On playing new players in new positions…

I think Michael Thomas has done an excellent job in regards to his work ethic. His number one quality is work ethic. I’m not taking away from the other guys but the difference is that Jacob [Peterson] has an unbelievable movement off the ball and like I said it puts teams under pressure because they have to make decisions. They have to decide “do I follow him do I drop what do I do, do I stay?” When that happens, he may not get the ball but there’s space for someone else.

On the team playing off the ball…

When the ball is being played it doesn’t mean that it has to be from one guy to you. You can be the third or fourth man getting the ball but you have to make a run. Again as those guys made runs in the second half it opened up a lot of things up and we got a lot more chances but we should have had more in the first half based on the way that we were actually playing in the first half. Again no movement off the ball results in disconnecting dots. You’re not getting superior numbers and getting in the channels and getting through one-on-ones. When we’re going past them and they’re chasing us, they don’t have the energy to go the other way, and that’s how we kept them on their end as much as we did.”

On Bobby Convey’s performance and first start since May 19…

I’ve said this a million times that he’s a very good player. What he brings to the game is a real intelligence and great service. He had some very good service in the game, maybe a little off on one or two- but he’s a dangerous player for us. I have to be careful with him because I really wanted him to go more because he was dangerous but I had to take him out at 55-60 minutes because I don’t want to overdo it with him because he hasn’t played in two months.

On second straight scoreless draw at home…

I think we had 29 crosses during the game, but we have to connect on the end of those. There were too many balls that went in front of the goal and also past the goal and almost out the other side for a throw in and that means that we’re not getting enough guys in the box. It’s something that we have to take responsibility for and do a lot better with because we’re right around it we just need the final touch.”

Conference standings…

“It’s tight at the moment with a couple teams but that’s the way it goes sometimes. I’d like to think we’re in a pretty good position at the moment. We’re right there at the top of the table and we’re playing for the Open Cup final in a couple weeks. We have not had any real training in probably a month now. We’re looking forward to getting a week in of training because we’ll have a different team on the field come Tuesday night. Then we’ll do the same thing next week and I think it will be a big help to us.

On all of the chances on goal…

We had the numbers at times but we just didn’t have them allocated properly in the box. It’s one thing if you’re not creating chances but it’s another if you’re not finishing it. We need to get better with the finishing.”

On New England’s performance…

I think they did a good job. They got out of here with what they wanted. Almost every team we play it’s the same thing- they try to pack it in. I think Chelsea showed Barcelona it’s not the easiest thing to break down when the team is packed in. It’s a tough thing to break down in the game. Obviously it’s something that we need to get better at. I think we’re going to see it more and more because teams don’t want to open themselves up.

Sporting Kansas City goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen

On Sporting KC’s 0-0 draw with the New England Revolution…

The first half definitely wasn’t our best half. We played too slow and gave them too much space. New England was having it too easy. Luckily we came out with a better attitude in the second half. We completely dominated the second half and created a couple good chances—Matt Reis made an amazing save on a header. We had a lot of possession, but it was just not our night. It was a great second half effort, but overall I’m unsatisfied.

On Sporting KC failing to score a goal in three straight MLS matches at home…

I don’t see that being much of a problem. We scored some great goals during our road trip. We didn’t have problems scoring any goals then. So I don’t think we should worry about not scoring at home.

On Sporting KC’s defensive performance…

We’ve been pretty strong in that area for some time now. In the second half we were completely dominating the game. We were well organized and pretty much did all the right things as the game went on.

On Sporting KC’s first half performance…

In the first half, things were not nearly good enough from our side—we gave up a few chances and didn’t create a lot ourselves. Our approach was slow and we didn’t really challenge them in the first 45 minutes. And that’s unacceptable. We step into this amazing stadium full of 20,000 people. That should give you energy. At least in the second half we got energy and played with some tempo.

On his save off the goal line from Ryan Guy’s header in the first half…

It was a corner that came to the back post and (Guy) came from nowhere with a diving header. Luckily I got to it before the ball crossed the line.

On playing in the MLS All-Star Game Wednesday night in Philadelphia…

It’s going to be a lot of fun. I’ve tried not to put too much focus on the All-Star game because we’ve played so many matches recently ourselves. Starting tomorrow, I can start looking forward to that game. Playing the European champions (Chelsea FC) is going to be a lot of fun for me, Zusi and Collin.

Sporting KC defender Matt Besler

On Sporting KC’s 0-0 draw with the New England Revolution…

It was a pretty competitive match. New England did a good job coming out and competing. We didn’t get off to the best start, but credit to them for not allowing us to score once we finally got going in the second half.

On Sporting KC failing to score a goal in three straight MLS matches at home…

I don’t think there’s too much concern about not scoring. But we are upset that we aren’t winning home games. I think it took too long for us to get into the game tonight. Coming off a three-game road trip, we came out tonight like a team that was on the road, instead of being back at home. But we talked about it at halftime and improved as the game went on. Overall, it was a frustrating game.

On making a last-ditch sliding block deep into stoppage time…

The ball popped out to one of their guys at the far post, and as a defender you try to just do everything you can to get your body in front of the ball. Luckily it worked out for me.

On Sporting KC’s frustrations after the draw…

We expect to win all home games, and we haven’t been doing that recently. So that’s the only real frustration we have. We’ll have to look at the tape from this game and get back out onto our training ground next week. We haven’t had a normal training session for a long time because we’ve been on the road. This week will be nice for us to work a little harder in practice on the finishing and crossing.

On playing in intense heat after returning from a three-game road trip…

We don’t think traveling or the heat should affect us. We’re a really fit team—one of the fitter teams in the league—so we can’t use traveling or the heat as an excuse for us not playing well.