- Match: Atlanta United vs Sporting Kansas City
- Location: Children's Mercy Park, Kansas City, Kansas
- Date: August 6, 2017
- Final Score: ATL 1-1 SKC (Recap | Highlights)
Atlanta United FC head coach Gerardo Martino
On stealing a point on the road for the second straight match
“They are two completely different circumstances. Last week, I think we deserved to win and tonight I think we should have lost.”
On what Kansas City did well tonight
“Kansas City is an even better version of Columbus. They are a team that elaborates and plays very well out of the back. They have a very good holding midfielder who elaborates and starts the play for them. They have two inside midfielders who are very good technically. Maybe they don’t create as many chances as they could, but they are a very sound team.”
On Jacob Peterson’s return
“It’s not only good to have him back, but it was good that he was able to score tonight. He gives us a lot of motivation, a lot of will and sometimes in games like tonight, that is what a team needs.
Atlanta United FC forward Jacob Peterson
On scoring against former team...
"I think most important for us it’s coming to a difficult place. I was here for a while and I know how good they are at home. So it’s important for us to get a point and I think it’s something that we can draw on later in the year, ya know, going away from home and getting a big point in a hostile environment.”
On the emotion when the ball went in...
“It was late in the game. It was a moment that fell to me. Ya know if I missed that, these guys in here would have given me a hard time. It’s something that I have a lot of respect for this club. I really enjoyed my time here and I think just out of respect for the club and the fans it wasn’t appropriate for me to celebrate.”
On the result tonight...
“I think we’ve definitely played better games. I haven’t really seen the penalty yet. Live of course, we probably all think it’s the wrong call and they probably all think it was the right call. I think it was a pretty even game. I don’t know if either team really stood out so it was probably a fair result.”
On after being out for four months and then returning to score a goal in injury time...
“It was a very frustrating injury. It was a very frustrating time for me personally and especially with a new team that’s not something that you want to go through. Hopefully I’ve turned the corner. I have to give a lot of credit to the athletic trainers and the doctors here, Mario Cruz and Jordan Serrano-Dennis and their staff did a great job and I’m really indebted to them for helping me get back.”
On the team scoring goals in stoppage time in back-to-back weeks...
“It’s a long season. We know that we’re not going to be at our best every single game, but it’s something that we are going to strive to be. If anything, it just shows the resiliency that we have in this locker room and we have a lot of home games at the end of the season and hopefully we can put together some good performances back-to-back and make sure that we can secure our playoff spot.”
On Brandon Vazquez’s involvement on the goal...
“He did a great job. Battled physically in there and like I said, it just kind of fell to my feet right there. He did really all the work, it was just a simple finish for me.”
On the referee’s choice not to go to the monitor on that penalty kick...
“The whole system is so new, I didn’t really know what to expect. I haven’t seen a replay of it and I’m not sure if there was contact or not, but ultimately I do think that the system is something that is good for the League and ultimately we do want to get the right calls. I’m sure they took a look at it and they thought that it was a valid call.”
On if having played with Sporting KC for as long as he did allowed him to have more looks...
“I don’t think that affected me too much. I think at that point in the game we were pushing numbers forward and trying to create a little bit more. The game was a little bit more open. Sporting Kansas City for me has been the best team defensively the way that they’re organized. Peter I know drills it into those guys and that back four plus Tim [Melia] in goal, I’m still shocked that there weren’t more All Stars in that group. They’re a really tough team to break down and fortunately we were able to get a point tonight.”
Atlanta United FC defender Mikey Ambrose
On his first start...
“It was a great experience. I’m thankful for the coaches for giving me the chance. It was a great result for the team."
On his performance...
“I think I did alright. I worked really hard defensively and then offensively I tried to find the ball. I think I’m improving. I thought it was a decent performance.”
On Sporting Kansas City’s front line...
“Their two wingers were very quick; very agile so the coaches informed us of that going in so we were prepared for that, but it was a good team effort.”
On number one thing he wants to work on before D.C. United...
“Overall confidence going forward and continuing to build chemistry with the guys around me.”
Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes
On changes to his team’s lineup and if they were related to having a game on Wednesday
“Whenever I put a lineup together, my expectation is centered around winning the game that we’re currently playing. It has nothing to do with the next game. I felt the guys that were on the field could do the business. As I tell the guys when we start every year, I tell them that everybody at some point is going to have to make a contribution at some point or another. There’s no doubt that you have to look at the season as a whole and games that are coming, but at the same time, right now our focus was tonight and we had a very good chance to get the result that we wanted and unfortunately we didn’t. We gave it away at the end there.”
On the frustration of not getting the result
“The frustration is that I thought we played very well against I think a very good team. Being a first-year expansion team, I think they’re organized, I think they move the ball well, they’ve got some very dangerous individual players. I love the fact that they tried to come in here and play, it was an entertaining match for everybody who came to watch it. I thought that we had the game under control, for sure. The fact that we gave up a goal like that at the end of the game, which all your doing is lumping a ball into the box and you’re hoping that it falls down just like it did, there’s a little bit of commotion, somebody pops out, the ball comes around and somebody sticks it in the back of the net. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what happened and we weren’t ready for it. At the end we weren’t good enough to close the game out tonight, that’s the frustration.”
On holding the league’s best offense to two shots on goal
“I would say that the team played well, we kept the ball, we didn’t lose it except for a few times in the first half in critical areas in the middle of the field which then led to a few counters. We were able to close those out and not give anything away. Second half, we were much better in regards to keeping the ball and moving it from side-to-side and they lost their ability to press us because they had wasted a lot of energy in the first half. So now we start getting in on them quite a bit, we score the goal, at that point we’ve got to stick the second one away. We had a few little chances here and there, we’ve got to close the game out. You can still win 1-0, and we should’ve.”
On if continuing the home unbeaten streak and getting a point made the draw bittersweet
“It’s not bittersweet, it’s freaking bitter. We lost two points tonight, we had the game in hand. We gave away a ridiculous goal at the end and we didn’t close the game out. It’s simple, it’s not a good feeling. But as I said, I give them a lot of credit, they’re a good team. I think they play well, they’ve got an identity, their players fight till the end and look, it’s simple, they wanted to score at the end, we weren’t up for the challenge.”
On his opinions about the introduction of Video Review
“I think it’s great. I think VAR is great and I think having instant replay is tremendous and it’s great for the growth of the league. This was about time from FIFA to make this decision, we’ve got to get up with today. We have all kinds of technology and we should be using it. You’ve got owners, you’ve got clubs, you’ve got teams, you’ve got players, you’ve got staffs – they’re putting so much time, money and everything into this, so much is on the line. To not use the resources around you to get things right doesn’t make sense to me. This is a way to help get things right, obviously there’s going to be growing pains in the beginning but we’re all just going to have to deal with that, but I do think overall it’s going to be a huge help as time goes forward.”
On if he was expecting VAR to be used on an Atlanta handball in the box in the first half
“I’m sure they did – they check every play, so I’m assuming they thought that it wasn’t (a) clear and obvious (error). I’m assuming they had to have reviewed it.”
On if he had any interaction with Jacob Peterson after the game
“I actually talked to him before the game a little bit, talked to him after, I told him that I wasn’t happy that it was him who scored. He’s a good man, he put a lot of good years in for us and helped us with a lot of success and I just wished him all the best.”
On if introducing Benny Feilhaber at halftime was always part of the game plan
“It was planned. Cristian (Lobato) - I wasn’t sure if he could do more than 45, (we’re) trying to build him up a little bit, he was able to get 45 tonight but he started to get a little tired. So it was just a good time to insert Benny, but we felt that it was going to be hard for him to go past 45, we knew that going into the game.”
Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber
Thoughts on the match
I thought it was a pretty tight game, actually. I thought its as going to be more open. We worked hard and tirelessly for 90 minutes and we were able to get the goal. We should have put the game away with at least one more, but unfortunately we didn’t do that and we weren’t able to preserve the shutout. it’s disappointing at the end to give up a goal like that. it’s obviously a soft goal to some extent unlucky with the way it bounced around and fell to Jacob. That’s what happens when you allow a team to stay in the game at 1-0 and that’s a possibility that can always happen at the end of the game.
On his postgame interaction with Jacob Peterson
I didn’t talk to him about the game. I talked to him about his kids and he asked me about mine.
On the introduction of VAR into MLS
I think it’s good. The more calls we get right, the better. I think that gives us abetter chance to get the calls right more often than not. it’s not going to be perfect, but I think it’s a step forward.
Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia
On if he takes any positives away from tonight
“I think this game feels like a loss, but we were organized defensively. We took a team that is very aggressive and connects very well in their front three or four and we shut them down the whole game. We didn’t give them a lot of opportunities. I think it is something that has kind of been nagging at us all season. Maybe we have dropped our guard at the last second and gotten a little bit unlucky. We are not where we should be in the standings because of some points we have given up and we need to correct that now. This game is over with and we need to correct that now.”
On how the team turns around quickly to the Open Cup game on Wednesday
“At this point this game is over, it’s behind us. We can’t change the result as much as we would like to. We have a big opportunity with a semifinal at home with the potential to move on to a final at home. We need to focus on playing our best game at home on Wednesday and getting through to the next round."