Postgame Quotes: Revolution 3, Sporting KC 1

New England Revolution Head Coach Jay Heaps
I thought it was a hard-fought match all the way around and I was really, really pleased with the way we handled the game, coming back. You know, going down a goal on a throw in, something we worked on and it was just kind of a fluke goal and just working our way back into the game and never giving up and scoring the goal before half and then coming out with a lot of fire in the second half.

I wasn’t concerned at all (about Jermaine Jones). I was excited to start him. I thought that we were working on a plan here and his plan was 45 minutes tonight. The way we looked at it, working with our strength coaches was that we wanted to give him a proper warm up so he got a full warm up before the game; possession, moving the ball and so that he could go into the game and attack the game that way. We really thought that we wanted to attack the game from the beginning, put our foot forward knowing that he was coming out at halftime and it was a game plan. And (Steve) Neumann knew he was going in and the entire thing was set up to get Jermaine that 45 minutes, but, I thought he was really good. It’s a little bit different because they were pressing him so he didn’t get a ton of the ball, but, when he was able to make a play he made the goal, basically, for Teal (Bunbury).

I’ve loved [Jermaine Jones] for a while in terms of how he plays, what he brings, just his competitiveness. But, until you actually get a player of that kind within your group, within what you’re trying to do, he’s such a team guy. I mean he’s literally in the locker room with the guys, in the trenches with the guys and then on the sideline tonight he lived and died every play. That’s what you love about a player like him because he brings so much to the field but, at the same time he’s showing these professionals that caring about every little play matters. And that’s what’s been really something special that we didn’t know we were going to get so much. It was more than we were expecting.

I think Lee (Nguyen) is showing you what he can do. We’ve seen it for a while and you guys see it game in and out. But, we see it every day and he’s really special. He’s got the quickest feet in the league and if you give him a little bit of space, he can hit a ball … as good as anyone.

When [Lee Nguyen is] working really hard, when he’s on both sides of the ball and he’s picking off loose balls or stepping in and tackling people, he’s almost a double threat. And then he gets more offense that way because teams can put a man on him when we’re building the play up to him and the possession they mark him off pretty well. He finds the ball a lot but when he (gets a) turn over and you can’t get a guy to him and he has a little bit of space, he lights up the field. He has abilities to attack, he can set someone up, he can pass. So, he’s playing really well right now, we need to keep going. 

I think Kansas City’s a very dangerous team. But one of the things, I don’t know if you guys go in (the locker room and see it), but our entire game plan was not to give up a long throw-in goal. They were getting a lot of their offense from that. So it was a little deflating, but that was what I think we rallied around. Teal (Bunbury) in particular. I think Teal was really disappointed on letting Soony Saad get inside and goal side on him. I thought Teal – from that moment on, from the seventh minute on, when the goals went in – he was a different player and he just literally went up and down that flank and had his way on that right side.

It was a team performance and we talked about Lee (Nguyen) and Jermaine (Jones) and a little bit of Teal (Bunbury) but we talk about our back line. I thought they were really solid. A.J. (Soares) in particular along with (Andrew) Farrell, Jose (Goncalves) and Darrius (Barnes). All of them battled. But, I think A.J. (Soares) showed just his ability to read the game and then he showed how quick and how fast he is. He had some great close down speed there to kill that play at the end there.      

New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones
Firstly, I want to say that I am happy. I was able to play again and the coach gave me 45 minutes. For a long time I thought it we played ok. The first goal – I touched it and the ball went to the back, and they scored. You can tell that our team is in good shape because we came back and won the game.

We talked a lot about that (goal-scoring) play in training. I told [Teal Bunbury] that I was going to play the ball over the top, and it was funny that it actually worked out today during the game. We practiced that play a lot, and I am happy to see that it worked out.

I think that Kansas did not have that many chances and I think that the first half we controlled the game. They had that one throw-in when I flicked it and they scored. When you watch the whole game – I thought that we played better soccer. At the end of the day I think we deserved to win.

[MLS] is completely different than in Europe. It is good for me though; it was the first time I played on turf since I was 16. I thought I played well given that it was the first time I played on turf in a while. We have a good group of guys that make me feel at home. It’s a young group and we have a lot of fun in training and after. I think you can see it on the pitch, as well. We are a good group and we can win again and go a long way.

The coach told me I was going to play 45 minutes. At half, I was asking him to play more minutes but he said that he didn’t want to take the risk. It was perfect though because the team came back and won the game. Now we look for the next game and I hope that I can play 90 minutes.

I’ve already said that it’s not important that I’m the only the leader. We have to be good team overall. This was obvious today when I went out; the team still won. I try to help the young players by giving them advice, and it’s good to see that they take what I say. We’re not finished though; we want to do everything to make playoffs.

I’m not really sure why everyone keeps saying that (I am from Chicago), I am not from Chicago. A lot of people say I am from Chicago, and that is not true. It’s a special game because it was one of the teams that wanted me. Now I am a player for New England and I will try to win for us.

I live in a hotel and they didn’t have the channel (to watch the U.S. game). I saw on Twitter though, and I was happy to see that they won and my team won in New England. All around, it was a good day.

New England Revolution midfielder Lee Nguyen
It feels great. We’re in a good position right now but we’ve just got to keep pushing. We just saw the results: Philly won. So you know, we’ve got teams nipping at the heel right now. We did great to get a win with Toronto and now here. Now we’ve just got to get one on Sunday.

I think we did well. I think we were able to hold off the pressure for most of the first half; unfortunately not on the set-piece throw-in there. But for the most part, I don’t think they had anything really clear cut. I think we did well in that aspect. Second half, we put the pressure on a little bit more because we needed to chase the game, so I think we did well to get an early goal to tie it up and then we were able to play our game after that.

We knew KC – they’re a team that can play direct and they’re very good at it. So I think our backline and our midfield did very well matching up. Second half, we did better winning the second balls so we were able to control the game a bit more in the second half.

Confidence. I think our team was on that losing streak, you can kind of get deflated. But we knew we had the quality and I think the past three games we’ve done really well to lift up the intensity. Now we’ve just got to keep pushing.

Kelyn (Rowe) has done great. He’s flourishing out wide right now. He can affect the game one-on-one out there and at the same time he can bring it in and be dangerous when he picks up his head and he can look for the open guy. I think his game’s just gotten better and better.

I think right now I’m playing a little bit higher but the guys are doing great. They put me in great positions to put the ball in the back of the net so I got to reward them. Kelyn (Rowe) played me a great ball there in the first one and (Patrick) Mullins did a great job to get it through (Matt) Besler. You know, when your team has put you in a good position, you’ve just got to reward them.

We’ve got a lot of weapons on our team. That’s what’s great about it. If they’re closing me down, we can find the open guy and we know we can trust him to do the job. When the game starts to open up, I think that’s when our players are at their best.

New England Revolution midfielder Teal Bunbury
That (Kansas City goal) was my bad. I lost my marker. That shouldn’t happen. I just wanted to make it right, start playing well and try to contribute for the team.

It was an unbelievable ball (from Jermaine Jones). We’ve actually been talking about it in training that he likes to hit that ball over the top, for me to stay wide. Seth (Sinovic) came out, got in behind him, wanted to try to just hit it low, took a deflection; it went in.

Seth (Sinovic) and I are great friends. He’s a great player. It was a joy to play against him and against Sporting (Kansas City). They’re a great team, but we definitely competed and deserved the win tonight.

It’s just another game. Yeah, I was playing there and everything but I have great friends there. I have all the respect in the world for that organization, their fans. Nothing is ever more when I’m playing against them. Every win feels great.

It didn’t affect it too much. I feel like we dealt with it well. Our backs were beasts back there. They were in the right spots at the right time. I feel as a whole we were pressing them well. You know, Charlie (Davies) up top, relentless running—a lot of that, just hard working guys. That really helped us and made it easier for us behind the ball to know where it was going.

(Jermaine Jones) is a great guy, a great teammate, already coming in here and trying to push the guys to be better players, to be better on the field. You can just tell his presence when he’s on the field in the games. He’s always pushing you. He’s a great leader and he has great experience.

Getting wins is always great. We’ve always had confidence; just little mental lapses that we’ve had. But it’s definitely great to be getting wins, getting points right now.

(Lee Nguyen) is doing outstanding. He should have been at the All-Star game. He’s been playing very well every game. It’s not just the goals that he’s been getting—but getting on the ball, creating.

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes
I think everything was good, actually. In the first half, I thought we were actually in a good position, I thought we played well. I thought we did well in getting behind them quite a bit – especially with their high line. Obviously we scored a goal off a set piece, which doesn’t hurt especially because we did it early in the 7th minute, or whatever it was, I can’t remember. The biggest thing I would say is that again, when you give up three goals that are soft, as we did, there’s no chance of winning. So credit to them, they were hungry. They fought and they deserve the three points.

I don’t think the game was really any different than any game we play in regularly, I really don’t. I don’t think it was physical, I really think it was just a normal game. They’re men, and there are going to be crashes on the field and it’s part of it. I actually thought that both teams competed from that perspective fairly.

Well I think the difference is, when you give up the goals like we did, late in the half, and then start the second half, what you do is give confidence to the other team to push forward a little bit more and now they’re anticipating stuff. I thought we found some stuff over the top, but we never really broke through. We actually never really gave anything away except for a few silly mistakes and credit to them, they capitalized on them.

When you don’t play with the kind of intensity that you need in this league, you’re always going to come up on the losing side. If there’s any lesson to be learned, it’s going to be that for our team.

Sporting Kansas City forward Sal Zizzo
I think it’s exactly what you said, a playoff push right now. Right now we are struggling as a group defending. We’ve let up way too many goals in the last three, four, five games, whatever it’s been. We were in a good position before, but teams are starting to catch up on us now. We are aware of this and as a group need to gain confidence in ourselves. If we give up a goal, we can’t be one of that team that fall into that trap, of giving up and are done for the game. I think we need to be the type of team that response and gets a result.

I think going in to the locker 1-0 or 1-1 completely changes the entire game. It puts the momentum with them but at that time we need to realize we’re in a good position and we can’t let the second and the third to happen. Right now we need to work really hard towards the next game against New York and get ourselves out of this rut.
That’s pretty much the normal; teams try to play that way against us. We’re a top team in the league for a number of years now, and I think teams realize that. They always try to bring their A game against us, which requires them to be physical. It’s always going to be like that and we need to step up our game.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Soony Saad
(Matt Besler) threw it in and it took a deflection, I’m not sure off who, but I finished my run and was able to get my head on it.

We had some chances to go for it, but we just had a couple lapses. Things kind of fell through, but we’re ready to bounce back in New York.

We’re just going to keep playing the way we’ve been playing all season. We’re not going to change the way that we played just because of the last couple results. We’re ready to get the taste out of our mouths.