The Full 90

Quotes on a satisfying result

You don't know how long I've wanted to give this weekly post a positive headline. Here's what the players and coaches had to say about the Kansas City Wizards 2-0 victory over the Philadelphia Union.

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MANAGER PETER VERMES On going into the break with a win

“My wife will be happy for a few days. I’m sure the guys will leave knowing that, and we talked about it today seeing that it’s our 11th game, that this was the second series of 10 games that we are going to play now. We came here knowing that it was our second series of 10 games, and we have to start with a win.”

On Jonathan Leathers’ play as a substitute center back


“Johnny was an absolute stud when he came in there. It was a very interesting look we got at him today. He was excellent in the air, reacted very well, made very good decisions defensively and didn’t mess around with the ball.”

On winning in front of the home crowd

“You’re rewarding the fans because they are standing behind us, and the guys realize that we’ve played good games, but we haven’t finished them off. We haven’t rewarded everyone who comes to watch us play.”

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER GRAHAM ZUSI
On his first career goal

“I’m happy to have that first goal but happier about the win. It’s a much needed win for us and going into the break with 4 points in our last 2 games is a good feat, so it was big.”

On scoring early

“Whenever you can get an early goal, the pressure is off a little, and you can start to settle down and play the game. I think that’s exactly what we did, which led to the second goal. That first one, Kei’s goal, was big for us, and momentum took us forward from there.”

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS STRIKER KEI KAMARA On the game and playing at home

“There’s something about this place, playing here, and the fans that we have here. When we are playing at home or anywhere we struggle to get that first goal but getting that first goal just gave us that life. We walked out there with knowing that we have a week off, but you can’t go into a week off without getting a victory.”

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS MIDFIELDER DAVY ARNAUD On the game

“We needed this big time. We felt like this was a game that could maybe define what direction the season might head because we are only 10 games in. It has been a while since we won a game, and everyone knew the importance of the game. It wasn’t the prettiest and it wasn’t our best game, but we will take the three points and move on.”

On playing in his 200th MLS game Thursday

“I guess it has been a long time, but it doesn’t feel like a long time. My first year I was just trying to make it to the next year, and for me to make it this long was my goal. For me to have been around this long and play my 200th game, I couldn’t be happier. I’ve seen this organization when it wasn’t what it is now, and I’m so pumped to be a part of it.”

KANSAS CITY WIZARDS GOALKEEPER JIMMY NIELSEN On recording back-to-back shutouts

“We did a nice job defending the last two games. We had let in some silly goals and we have been working really hard on that every week with the defense to get better and improve and the last two games have been outstanding for us.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION MANAGER PETER NOWAK On going down 2-0 in the first half

“The last two games has been the same thing. It's the same story over again with an early goal, which we can prevent. The shaping of the positions was good. They got a really great shot from Kei Kamara so you know, we've been chasing (the other team) many games (similar to) this. From the first game in Seattle to this game. The red card and another early goal, it just kills us. It was a good effort in the second-half, even being a man down. We had a couple good passes together and the flow of the game was pretty good. They saved a couple of good balls in the box; it was just missing the final touch and the execution.”

On their road stretch

“It was a tough stretch for us, with eight games on the road and only four games at home. We're going back home right now, and we're really happy about that. We just want to make sure we continue working the way we work. But also, cut down the mistakes and cut these cards and play from the beginning like we did in the second half.”

On allowing five goals in the first 15 minutes of games this season

“In some capacity, we don't recognize we're going to get hurt. Instead of just preventing that kind of stuff from the beginning, we try to manage that and try to recover and all of a sudden, the goals will start coming. This situation has got to stop because we're going home and it's going to be more difficult playing against because if they got the goals and we start chasing, then it's going to be difficult to manage the game. We have enough experience and quality in the locker room. These youngsters are learning on the job, I'd say and the most important thing is to believe and continue working like we have in the past three months.”

PHILADELPHIA UNION DEFENDER DANNY CALIFF On going down 2-0 in the first half

“It was tough. I think they had two shots in the first half, and they had two goals. We put ourselves behind the eight-ball. Then we get a red card, and we didn't come out in the first half with any kind of urgency. We didn't win any second balls. We were punished. Like I said: two shots and two goals. Then I think when we had 10 men in the second half, we controlled the play. But by that time, we were able to create things, but they were able to, especially with numbers in the back, to shut a lot of plays down.”

On their two-week break from action

“We're road weary. We're looking forward to this break and getting some home games. I think right now, there's a lot going on in our heads at this moment. I think it's going to be a good week, and we can leave a lot of that stuff at the door.”

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