SKCvHOU Quotes: “That’s not Sporting Kansas City mentality”

Sporting Kansas City Director Peter Vermes

On Houston taking advantage of their chances…

There’s a little bit of that, but I’d like to take a step back. I would like to say firstly, the two goals we missed were terrible in my opinion. I’m the head coach so I have to take responsibility for that. But the organization is always based on set balls. It’s a simple case. For us to give up on that goal the way we did is amateurish at best. The second goal is zero effort. And it’s really easy to figure out who these people are. Lack of effort to get back there because their player ran close to our players. That’s not the Sporting Kansas City mentality. it’s not. I have a real problem with that aspect of it. I will deal with this very quickly because this is unacceptable to me. If there’s one thing I can’t stand, it’s the lack of effort in gameplay. The other thing is that we have a responsibility to our fans when they come to this place to leave your heart on the field and leave your blood, sweat and tears on the field. I think some people do, and I think some people don’t. If I have to make changes within the starting lineup, I will do so. it’s a pity. Now, I will return to your question. In the first half, we had some great chances as we turned them over in their own half but our decision-making was very poor. We shoot from 35 yards when we can dribble straight at goal. We stole one and shot and Willie (Agada) is wide open. If you give it to him, he goes 1v1 with the goalkeeper. Decision making, that part of it always has to improve. This is something you are always working on. But you also have to be able to take advantage of the things you’ve created for yourself. That’s why I return to those positions. We won the ball. We turned them around in the first half. We should have easily scored two goals, if not three, based on some of the chances we converted for them. Did they finish their chance? Sure, but they were both very bad, and poor defending on our part.

I don’t want to go into what I plan to do with them. I won’t go into that, but it will certainly be addressed.

About the play by Memo Rodriguez…

Him and (Nemanja) Raduja, those two guys worked hard. That’s the easiest way to say it. They’re not the people I’m talking about when I say lack of effort. These two men, killing themselves on the field. When they left, they left everything there. Two of them are enormous. I think there might be, sometimes, some decisions that are a little bit better, but that’s maybe sometimes asking too much because everyone’s making mistakes with the ball, or making mistakes with the ball, whatever. But these two men are doing their best.

On what will turn the momentum…

Change the mindset. Change the mindset. Change the mindset. That’s it. That’s it. Sports are about desire and passion. That’s what it’s about. In sports you suffer. You suffer in different ways. Sometimes you suffer as a result. Sometimes you struggle because of the amount of effort you have to put into the game. This is all part of it. I don’t think every man on this field struggled like that tonight. Mind and heart, you must have them. If you don’t have it, you might as well forget it. You can’t get on the field and you can’t get on the field and you’re missing the most important element. It’s effortless. If you don’t have that and if you’re not willing to outplay your opponent – because I know football is 11 v 11 – but at the end of the day, especially the players, they are 1 v 1. There are 10 guys. They are 1 vs 1. They play against the same person a lot in the game. Sometimes you play against someone else, sure. But you have a one-on-one duel with the guy you really see in the game. We all do not control those environments. And you have to do it. You have to do it physically, you have to do it mentally, and then you have to do it technically and tactically as well. You have to do this. This is not done by quite a few men. Again, it’s the mindset.

In the time it takes to build a mindset…

No no. no. No no. really no. Because this is a very similar group to what we had last year. This is very similar. There are only a few additions to this team at the moment. This team, from a mental perspective, has come out of doing what they did last year, which was, in my opinion, very impressive once we got our guys back. It’s a mentality now. It’s not that they don’t have it, it’s that it doesn’t happen. And as I told you, I’m the first person to say I’m going to take responsibility but when I have to do it, but when I was talking about suffering, there’s going to be some suffering there, some real suffering.

Like I said, not all men. However, there are quite a few men. And when they get out there, they don’t set aside 90 minutes, 70 minutes, 60 minutes, whatever their time is. They’re not after that. They’re not helping the team, as I said, look at the second goal. The second goal, their guy ran past a couple of our guys who were at the back and one of them basically stopped in his tracks. If he’s a running back, the guy passes him the ball and he takes it up the field if he wants. So it’s more about mindset and effort than it is.

How long has mentality been a problem…

I definitely don’t like the fact that we got points here at home and we had a lead where we gave up those leads. This goes back to mentality. Now the attitudes were that we were shooting the other way and now there is a lack of aggression even in some people who are going in that direction as well. Will it all come to a head tonight? No, I don’t think so. I’m just not going to let it get out of hand because I don’t like where he is right now.

Sporting Kansas City striker Daniel Saloi

I felt relieved. Unfortunately, it didn’t give us the win, but that was nice.

On the goal that gave him confidence…

Yes, of course, any goal increases confidence, so I’m very happy about that.

On team mentality…

If there are players who don’t have the mentality, get rid of them and move on.

In treating mental…

We play professional sports. If you don’t have the mindset, what do we do? If it’s me, get rid of me. If others, get rid of others. Every year we have this problem, then change it.

We’ve got ourselves into a bad situation, a bad way to go. It’s hard to get out. But the bottom line is always the mindset, I think. If you lack that, you have a bigger problem.

Sporting Kansas City midfielder Memo Rodriguez

The team’s confidence in the first half – trying to win high balls – we knew we could turn it around. Obviously the last ball or the last shot wasn’t there and we didn’t have that killer instinct. Obviously in the second half, we took our foot off the gas a little bit for whatever reason. Now we focus on the next match.

On his clearance on the goal line..

For the first goal, it was a bit difficult because obviously Hector (Herrera) was outside the 18. I had to get out. I don’t think I would have gotten there regardless. But I just had to make sure I stayed in position and helped Tim (Melia) on that side to try to get the ball out. Fortunately, I did.

About his playing with his former team..

I’m just trying to be the best version of myself and trying to help the team in any way I can. Obviously I have a history with the club. I’ve spent my whole career there, basically. But I’m just self-motivated and I just try to help the team as much as I can. That’s what I tried to do tonight.

And about the team mentality…

Obviously it comes as a collective set. I mean we have to change something. It’s a matter of everyone coming together and getting that self-motivation and trying to be a team that’s hard to beat. The culture here, at home, is always hard to beat. Sometimes you have to win ugly. Sometimes you don’t have to play pretty football all the time. If we have to do it this way, we’ll continue like this and try to be a tough team to beat. It takes all 28 players on our list.

I think it’s just a little bit of everything. There are 11 players on the field and two players on the bench. If we see the team down, including myself, we should try to lift the team up. It doesn’t just come from the captain sometimes. Obviously everyone has to be self-motivated and just try to be a tough team to beat. Tonight in the second half, we tried to press. We didn’t score the equalizer or the winning goal, but we move on to the next match. We have to focus on being better on the field. Obviously there is a greater desire to win, and we will see what happens.

First, I was at the back. The ball comes outside the 18 and I have to advance. I don’t think if I stayed there, I don’t think I would get what I want. It was beautiful in the corner. It was clearly a great goal for him. There’s not much you can do about it. I think for the second goal, we either finish the game before it starts to pick up speed or we defend better as a group, without specifying any player. Collectively as a group, we just have to defend the opposition better. We know that if we are pressing for a goal, an equalizer or a winner, we will sometimes expose our back line. You just have to finish the play in order to defend better.

You can’t worry about the reference too much. Obviously I was just trying to be aggressive. They play in the middle with one touch and passes to the wall. It’s just part of the game. I’m just trying to be aggressive to try to win the ball and try to turn them over.

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