Celebration vs SKC 0812
Gary Rohman

Quote Sheet: Sporting Kansas City 3-1 Real Salt Lake

Quote Sheet
Sporting Kansas City 3-1 Real Salt Lake
August 12, 2015; Sporting Park

Real Salt Lake
Head Coach Jeff Cassar

On the differences in Real Salt Lake’s play between the two halves...
I think if we get through to the half at 1-0, it’d be a different second half. Where we are at right now, that goal put our heads down a bit. And against a team like Kansas City, you can’t do that because they’ll start to impose their will. It was never going to be an easy night and I think the fort held down for a long time. We had a few opportunities, some individual mistakes that led to some goals but giving up that set play goal really put our heads down.

On the effect of the team’s travel...
I think we’ve had some odd results. The D.C. game was 6-4, against Vancouver 4-0 and we need to keep the lead longer than we did. Seemed like we were a little frazzled and the travel doesn’t help, but credit to Kansas City for applying pressure and staying alert.

On Nick Rimando...
I thought he did a great job. I don’t think they had a lot of shots on goal per se and at the end of the day I think we gifted them three goals, and we can’t do that.

On the Salt Lake’s play in the first half...
When you have aggressive outside backs like Kansas City, you want to look to get into those channels that they leave and I thought we did a good job of that. We problably needed to do more of that and move up the field and put pressure on them, but we weren’t particularly good with the ball tonight. Sometimes you have to take the steam out of the game so that Kansas City’s not pressing so hard.

On the pace of the game...
It’s a semifinal with two teams that were sniffing the final. I thought our energy was good and I think that us giving up that goal right before halftime really took a lot out of us, and it shouldn’t but we’ve had some really tough games before that haven’t gone our way and I think our confidence dipped a bit.

On the importance of Benny Feilhaber...
He’s a player that a lot of things are coming off his foot, whether it’s free kicks, corner kicks, final balls, whatever. He seems to be all over for them and showing up in different spots. And we talked about his play and not one person dealing with him, but the whole team. He’s playing well right now.

Defender Tony Beltran

On Real Salt Lake's 3-1 loss to Sporting KC...
The first 15 minutes, I thought we did a good job handling their pressure. They pushed their outside backs up so high and it's tough to get out of their half sometimes. But after getting past that wave of attack, I thought we did pretty well to dictate the first half. It was a great finish by Olmes (Garcia) to get that goal.

The second half was a different story. We didn't have the composure to play out of the back and credit to them: they did a good job pressuring us. We weren't good enough on the ball and that gave them opportunities offensively.

On if there was a swing in momentum after Sporting KC's equalizer...
There shouldn't be. Maybe there was, maybe there wasn't. At the end of the first half and coming into the second, it's a tie game. There's everything to play for, so it's disappointing from that aspect.

On his goal-line clearance to deny Krisztian Nemeth in the second half...
To be honest, I let my man get in behind. I'm glad there was an opportunity for me to make up for that play. We were in a position to try and not give them anything to keep ourselves in the game. It's unfortunate we gave up those two in the second half.

On the difficulty of playing at Sporting Park...
I feel like every time we play here, there's always a couple waves of maybe 15 or 20 minutes where we're really under (pressure). They push numbers very high and serve a lot of balls in, and that puts you under pressure. With the crowd behind them, it can be tough. With that spell in the first half we did a good job not giving them anything, but obviously the second half is a different story.

 

Sporting Kansas City
Head Coach Peter Vermes

On the work rate of Sporting KC throughout the game...
Every time we’ve played this team, we have been on a short rest period. We’ve always had multiple games prior, too. This week was no different. We played a majority of the same guys that we played this past weekend in Toronto and like I said before, it shows the character and culture we have in our group. One thing we have made a big deal about since I have been apart of this club is the idea of being Sporting fit. Sporting fit is we have to be able to apply the pressure, not only for 90 minutes, but in crucial parts of the game as well.

Most of their guys didn’t play this past weekend but one thing our guys sensed is that they were breathing pretty heavy going into the locker room at halftime. Our whole objective was to come out in the second half and get in behind and pressure them. We wanted to be in their end the entire half and I think it paid off.

On the performance of Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando...
When we got even at half, I knew that the second half was going to be full of opportunities. Nick is a great goalkeeper and it’s not just against us -- it’s on a consistent basis over the years in this league. He’s been a big part in the good performances Salt Lake has had over time. He’s a very good goalkeeper and he’s not easy to beat.

But on that goal Benny (Feilhaber) scores Dom (Dwyer) did an incredible job to run onto goal -- I can’t tell you how many players would have dove, or stopped, but he just kept trucking to goal. The guy is allowed to catch up to him after holding him, he cuts across the grain and hits a great shot. One of the things that we have been talking about is getting numbers in the box. We wanted to make sure we were on the front foot in this game and Benny was in a great position to finish it. That’s not an easy finish. There are a lot of guys that blow that ball wide or over the net because they are thinking about it too much. He hit it with a lot of confidence and he stuck it in the back of the net as hard as he could. It shows a lot about who we are that we don’t dive.

On the importance of Soni Mustivar's first-half equalizer...
There is no doubt that getting in even at halftime was a big thing for us. They could’ve gone in ahead and came back out and packed it in for the second half. Us getting that goal back was huge for us. We did a really good job in the second half of not exposing ourselves and also putting ourselves in dangerous situations which eventually created some opportunities and led to some goals.

On becoming the winningest coach in team history...
I really don’t really pay too much attention to those things. The thing I care about is winning, and winning championships. The best thing about tonight was that we are now in the final of the U.S. Open Cup. That is one of the most important things to me and I know for the team as well. That’s why we won tonight, because it was a team effort. The guys have a commitment for each other, but it’s one thing to play for each other and it’s another to execute the gameplan.

On Feilhaber’s ability to play well in important games...
I’ve known Benny since I was the coach of the U-20 team. At that time, Benny was just making a name for himself. He was able to perform well in the bigger games that he played. That is something that is a part of his make-up. The majority of it is he is able to do consistently. One of the things I just told him walking in here was that his work ethic has been fantastic on both sides of the ball. That’s why he’s found opportunities and we have been successful. He seems to be much more in tune, and because he defends, he has more opportunities to get the ball. That is a credit to him. You need balls to be able to do that, and that’s not soccer balls I’m talking about.

Midielder Benny Feilhaber

On if he has ever been in better form during his career...
I feel good and confident. The team is performing at a high level right now and that makes it easier, but to answer your question I haven’t felt this good, this confident, this fit in my whole career.

On his thoughts on the game...
We played a pretty good game. Obviously, the goal we gave up was a little bit of a lapse, but we came back strong and I thought we had a good game for the 90 minutes. We created chances and obviously it’s a little worrying when you create chances and don’t put them away. You know how soccer is. Sometimes the other team gets one chance, puts it away, and they win the game. That’s something very far in the back of your head but we were able to keep creating chances and put some away in the second half.

On the excitement of playing against Real Salt Lake...
It’s always exciting to play against a rival and I think Salt Lake has been our biggest rival since I’ve been here. They always play us tough. Every single game against them has been a one goal game, or a draw, always with a lot of fouls. Both teams play each other real tough. The fact that we lost two games in Salt Lake made us want to get them back and prove to ourselves that we can beat them. It’s not so much revenge but we do want to beat every team in this league. So because we didn’t play very well it felt good to win.

On the intensity of the game...
This felt like a playoff game. From before the game, to during, and then celebrating after it all felt like a playoff game. It essentially is. Obviously it is not MLS, but it is Open Cup and that is a championship that we want to win. It’s a playoff game at home to get to the finals, and that’s how it felt.

 

Topics: