Postgame quotes: Sporting Kansas City 3-2 Philadelphia Union

Note: Jim Curtin’s quotes below have been updated from those originally provided by Sporting Kansas City.

Philadelphia Union postgame quotes

Jim Curtin

Overall thoughts on the match

This is a tough place to come. We talked a lot about restarts being a big part of this game and sure enough for both teams they were. Attacking wise, I thought we did well on them. Defending, we were not good enough closing out the game. Guys are disappointed. I thought they put in a great effort but it comes up short and we leave here with nothing.

On limiting Sporting KC’s chances until stoppage time

In the run of play, I don’t think they created much. I don’t think they had many shots in the actual run of play. Everything was throw-ins and free kicks. That was the only time we were really tested on the day. I thought we were organized but we came up very short in the competing side, in the 1 v 1 battles in the box, whether it’s grabbing a hold of your guy, getting a little push, whatever it might be, we obviously gave up three goals on restarts today. So I’m not happy on that.

On Philadelphia’s performance

We’re banged up. We went pretty deep to our bench. Fabinho came up, I think he got kicked in bottom of the foot, had to come out of the game, Raymond Lee stepped in for him, into a tough spot for a rookie to go into. Did an OK job but in the end, again, we leave here with nothing so we’re not happy.

Brian Carroll

On the final minutes of the game

It was just a scramble. We were trying to keep it out of the box and try to keep them from set pieces. That is what they are good at and that is what they were able to achieve. We just weren’t able to keep them out of the net on set pieces. It’s a big part of the game.

On second half adjustments

We wanted to try and do the same thing. Obviously, they are going to push a little more and create a few more advantages, whether wide or on set pieces. We just weren’t able to get the third goal and put them away.

On Philadelphia’s mindset heading into next week

We are frustrated that we haven’t won yet because a lot of us feel like we should have been able to get one. The fact is we haven’t won yet. There is still a good belief and backing among everyone in the group that we will push forward and get this first win and move on from there.

On new players in the lineup today

It’s the next man up mentality. You have to step up and do the role. [Erik] Ayuk played a big part in tonight’s match. When called up, everyone did their role. We just didn’t have enough all the way through stoppage time.

Sebastien Le Toux

Thoughts on the match

It’s just set pieces. We are too weak to win our battles. They wanted it more than us and they scored. It’s the same story in the last few games. We can’t keep a result when we are up. It’s just the same story for us.

On second half adjustments

I think we played the same half as the first half. Of course the second half we dropped a bit more because they were putting more into the box and playing a lot of long balls. But I thought we did pretty well with them during the game. It’s just the last ten minutes of the game on the set pieces. We were not ready for it and they wanted to win the game more than us. If we don’t want it as much as them, then we can’t expect to win the game.

Looking ahead to the next match

I think if we are better on set pieces, we can maybe win a game. But as of now, every time a team gets a set piece against us, we are too weak. We have to fix that, work on it and get better.

Sporting Kansas City postgame quotes

Peter Vermes

Overall thoughts on the match

We made a mistake on the two set piece goals. The good thing with the guys is we got ourselves back in the game. At halftime I said, “I think if we get one, we will get two.” I think there should have been more than six minutes of injury time. There was no doubt in my mind that those guys were milking everything they could all the way to the end. At the end, I believe that we deserved the three points in this game. The goal that Dom scored, I have no idea how you can take that goal back and it changes the game. I love the perseverance and determination of the team. I think you could sense it in the stadium that we were going to come back and that is a great thing. It (gives) great confidence to our team. They should know that they have the ability to do what they did. At this stadium, I think anything is possible. We have won championships here, and late comebacks like what we had here was a special moment.

On Sporting KC’s late comeback

I was never looking at a 2-1 loss. I was always looking at a 3-2 win. I don´t think about that while the game is going on. I really felt that we would get at least a goal at some point. I felt that we should have had more than six minutes of injury time. At the end we went out 3-2. It is a good game for us in a lot of respects. The biggest thing for me is the fact that guys believed in each other and did a lot of things, and at the end of the game you sort of have to “add lib,” and we were pretty smart. I thought we were very smart in the second half.

On Dom Dwyer’s disallowed goal in the second half

The thing that I was concerned about during the game was that we had the goal against Dallas where not one guy but five guys were offside. And Zusi in New York was onside; he wasn’t offside. Now we are sitting here in this game in which Dom scores that goal which, again, changes the game. I´m thinking to myself: three situations in five games. I´m a very happy guy. I´m still not happy about that situation, but I´m very happy that our guys did not spend their time thinking about that. What they did was they were concentrated on getting us back in the game. They had the determination to win, which was huge.

If Dom´s goal, that he scores which gets taken back, we´re in a much different situation if we are talking that about that now. I will be talking about that come tomorrow morning with the league because I just don´t understand it. There are things like that. It is the game. One of the hardest things to do in this game is to score goals.  To not see those situations when a guy does an incredible thing like that and to think that every one of our guys that runs into our box is getting held in some way. It says in the rulebook that if you hold somebody it is a foul. To think that now him getting called for an offensive foul just blows me away.

On Jalil Anibaba providing a set piece threat

He should have had [a goal] here at home against Portland. He had a great one that sort of went by the back post. I think we are a very dangerous team on set pieces. I think tonight we were a little susceptible on the defensive side. That is something we will clean up very quickly, but in regards to the offensive side we are money and we have to continue using that going forward.

On conceding two goals from set pieces

That is something we will deal with at training. I´m not so worried about that. I think it is something that we have been pretty darn good in the last five or six years in that area.

On Sporting KC’s improvement over the last few weeks

I think we are finding ourselves in a lot of different pieces of our game. I still think we have a long way to go. A lot of the new guys have acclimated very quickly and I think that their contribution in our model of play has been very good thus far. Every game I think we keep creeping closer toward who we can be. That is a good thing. It is all positive. There is always a thing here and there that you need to keep working on. Like I said earlier, the two set pieces are something we are usually very good at. Credit to them, they did a pretty good job as well. We are moving in the right direction for sure.

On the team’s outlook going forward

I think we are really dangerous team. I think we create a lot of stuff going forward. Obviously, we are really dangerous on set pieces. We are on the cusp of being that much more dangerous in through the run of play with the chances that we are creating in and around the other team’s box. The other thing is, if you look at the game in its entirety, other than the fact that we were pushing a lot forward and they countered a few times had a few situations, like the one they hit the post on, that is not the norm. When I look at that, I look at it as us trying to get back into the game.

On Krisztian Nemeth returning to the squad and scoring the game-winner

He had already been out two weeks and he wasn´t 90 minutes fit. So we weren’t going to run a risk in that situation. He was good for us. I have always said he is a special player and I think he is going to add a lot to us, especially as he gets more used to not only our team but the way the league is.

Krisztian Nemeth

On Sporting KC’s 3-2 comeback victory

I was very disappointed about my injury, but we did a great job with the staff [to get healthy]. I have to say thank you to them. It was a crazy game and it turned out well in the end. This shows how the team is strong. I think this is good for the future of the team.

On his game-winning goal in the 94th minute

I tried to get to the ball before the defender. I got a touch on it and it was good enough for us.

On the new players continuing to integrate into the team

I think we still need time to play how we are [fully capable]. But this is still the beginning of the season and we have won tonight. I think the new guys will continue to do better. You can see [progress].

Dom Dwyer

On scoring his first goal of the season

I obviously want to score goals to help the team get points, so I’m very happy tonight. We got the result and I’m very happy for the guys. It was very hard-fought and we kept going right until the end. We came up big at the end, which was awesome.

On first-year players Jalil Anibaba and Krisztian Nemeth scoring in stoppage time

It was great to see that. I’m very happy for both of them to get their first goals for the club. Both of those guys have been working hard to get themselves into the team. To see them playing very well is a positive for us. It was a fantastic team performance and we got the job done.

On the spirit Sporting KC showed to come back and win

It’s massive. The guys are going to stick [together] and battle. It came down to the end and we never gave up. Luis [Marin] made two massive saves and then we came down on the other end and scored two goals.

On playing against former teammate C.J. Sapong

It was awesome to see him. He was obviously a close friend of mine, and I haven’t seen him since he left. It was a special experience playing against one of my really good friends. He’s someone I look up to as a player and a person. He was a fantastic member of the club, and you could tell that today with the fans—everyone still loves him.

Jalil Anibaba

On scoring the game-tying goal in the 91st minute

It is just about doing anything and everything I can to help the team get three points.
Obviously my emotions got the best of me there. I kind of lost sight of the fact that we were still tied 2-2. The guys pulled me out of the corner and we got refocused and luckily we got the third.

On what sparked the late comeback

I think it is the fans that give us the lift. Playing in the atmosphere and playing behind these fans anything is possible. I think we showed that tonight for sure.

Matt Besler

On Sporting KC’s 3-2 comeback victory

I don’t know what this win says about the quality of the team, but it says a lot about the heart. I can’t say enough about the way we didn’t give up. It was one of the most exciting games I’ve been a part of in a long time.

On Sporting KC’s level of play throughout the match

It was a night where we weren’t our best in certain parts of the game, but we managed a way to win the game. And that’s all that matters.

On Sporting KC’s current form

I think there are a lot of positive signs. In the last three matches, we’ve gotten seven points. And we’ve done it in different ways. We’ve got clean sheets in two out of three, we’ve gone on the road and won with a set piece, and then we were able to come back and win. So I think that’s very positive moving forward. We just got to keep getting better at this stage in the season.

On beating a Philadelphia team that is last place in the Eastern Conference

There are no teams that you’re supposed to beat in this league. It’s all even. On any given night, anybody can beat anybody.


  1. I would like to add a post game quote to the post game quote- and I quote, ‘Situation Normal All Fucked Up.’
    A fan
    Thank you.

  2. I wonder what M’bolhi would say if he was forced to do an interview?

    • “why does my career always go like this?” “I wish my defenders were good, like on the algerian team.” “do I still get paid if I sulk?”

  3. Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

    I hate Vermes so much. The Dwyer goal was clearly offside, not even debatable. He had his side ill prepared to play a much, much inferior Union team and he wants to cry about the refs. If he has played even a slightly below average MLS side, his team would have lost.

    Is that the nadir, Joel? Striving to be slightly below average?

    • Agree on the first sentence. But he’s clearly whining about the other disallowed Dwyer goal, which was called back because of a foul (I never did see that foul, FWIW). And funny how Vermes whines about his players being held in the box. Aristeguieta scored that header despite Besler practically having him in a rear naked chokehold.

    • It is impossible to over-emphasize how impressive Nando’s goal was considering how Besler was engaged in a UFC grapple with him at the time. You can’t coach that.
      I thought Dwyer clearly used Ray as leverage – hands were on his shoulder.

      • +1. that’s the goal Vermes is referring to and Dwyers’ hands were on Ray’s shoulders to push himself up.

    • Well the nadir for me is the lowest point of an organization- but we can bend the language however we like- that is what makes it great.

  4. “We wanted to try and do the same thing.” That was the Union’s second half strategy? I think Vermes is a whiny little goat, but he (and every other MLS coach except ours) makes halftime adjustments; swapping in Sinovic was a brilliant move. And the Union didn’t even think of a countermove.

    • Old Soccer Coach says:

      What move did he have available? Two of his seven were hurt, one badly enough that as a normal starter he wasn’t available at all. The other five were debutantes.
      He will have in the back of his mind that he has to have enough players to get through three games in the next eight days. He adds one for the eleventh and a second for the sixteenth.
      We can all be Egyptians about reality (in de Nile), but our so being doesn’t change the reality.

      • The change could have been tactical, rather than personnel. SKC found a counter to Ayuk’s speed, but the Union kept trying to play their ‘wild card’ over and over.
        But, if you want a personnel change, I hoping for Hoppenot for Aristeguieta at around the 88th minute.

      • Bschmidt10 says:

        Two problems with the game. M’Bholi doesn’t want to be here, and that stands out like a sore thumb with a goalie.
        Second, putting sapong in at right mid was an awful decision. If you are going to put sapong in put him in up top and move letoux out wide. They attacked his side of the field as soon as he subbed in. Have those 2 running around up top holding the ball, and then sub hoppenot in to get you speed up top or wide as a winger to just keep that threat at bay.

  5. Damn. My quote predictions were off.

  6. This team needs to be sold. Sugarman and Sakeiwicz aren’t interested in how this team performs. They don’t care that they are running this franchise like a 3rd rate out post. They don’t care that this is a top sports and media market. Then don’t care that the Philadelphia Union are the laughing stock of MLS and the soccer community at large. Even the media is finally beginning to call this organization and the coaching staff out for the BS. But the reprehensible ownership and F/O don’t care. Their biggest accomplishment (other than scamming this fan base)was to not add quality depth, not bring in a GM but to sign an overpriced pathetic excuse for a goaltender and a part time adviser.


  7. Is there room for two in the rocket to the sun? Can we strap M’Bolhi in with Fabinho?

  8. Benjaminho says:

    FO from top to bottom is gloriously incompetent, to borrow the Guardian’s headline. New FO is needed now, this roster which has been constructed over last 6 months is inadequate to compete in this league. Sak needs to resign today as CEO operating partner, and his staff along with him.

    • That’s not even taking into account the INCREDIBLY short-sighted and self-defeating move to eliminate the communications department and roll their responsibilities into marketing. That’s the sort of structure PDL teams have, but at least they have the excuse of only employing 3-5 people in their FO.
      Nick is great with money, he knows how to talk the language of the corporate sponsors and can run the whole thing on a shoestring budget. Unfortunately for him, that only matters if the team is worth going to see. He hoped Nowak would do the same for him that Bradley did in East Rutherford, but ever since that arrangement soured he’s been flailing at air like his hand-picked GK attempting to deal with a cross.

  9. m’Bholi was always going to be in a difficult spot, replacing MacMath. But he’s done himself no favors here. This experiment has failed. Bring back Mac.

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