Quote Sheet - Indy Eleven vs. Sporting KC
Head Coach Juergen Sommer and midfielder Don Smart give their thoughts to IndyEleven.com following Indy Eleven's 2-4 defeat in their preseason rematch against the defending MLS Cup champion, Sporting Kansas City.
Indy Eleven Head Coach Juergen Sommer
Overall thoughts on today result against Sporting Kansas City:
“Giving away a couple of penalty kicks is unfortunate, but we’re learning and moving forward and creating opportunities in front of goal and scoring some goals against quality competition. Even in the second half when we lost the lead there were some good signs, some long spells where we had a number of consecutive touches and were able to move it around the park effectively. I think this game – and the previous games – will really help our guys prepare mentally and physically for our challenge in the league starting in April.”
On what he hopes to get out of the Florida training camp:
“Getting a game in today after flying in yesterday was not ideal, but we wanted to try and take advantage of the [Major League Soccer] clubs while they are down here because these are opportunities to play against quality opposition. The tempo, the physicality of the games is exactly what we’re looking for to get our guys ready for the season ahead.
“We do have a slimmer squad at the moment as we wait for a few more players to arrive over the next 24 hours, but today was a great opportunity for our guys to get in 90 minutes, or close to it. We’re wanting to push the guys harder this camp to get more real game minutes under their belt, and today was a great opportunity to do just that.”
On Indy Eleven’s ability on the offensive side of the field:
“I think the partnerships are starting to show themselves a bit more now. We’re starting to see the combination play and the understanding between the guys shine through, and we’re also getting some good service from both sides of the field. Chris Estridge put a number of good crosses into the box, one of which resulted in a goal, and Kyle [Hyland] and Walter [Ramirez] were very dangerous on the left too. We’re pleased with how things are coming in the attack.”
Indy Eleven Midfielder Don Smart
On his ability to connect with Pedro Mendes effectively:
“The chemistry is naturally there. A striker knows where a striker needs to be, so when I get the ball I already have a sense of where he’s going to go and I just try to play him into position. It happened again today in the first half for us and Pedro finished it off well.”
On how the team is gelling as the preseason progresses:
“The team chemistry is coming together pretty well, and everybody is getting to know each other better and get our feeling together on the field. We’re miles from where we were during the first game in Arizona.
“There are still some little things that need to get done, but everyone is in here working hard, getting fit and getting towards having our footing under us for 90 full minutes. For Saturday’s game we’ll keep improving on those small things just as we have these first four games, and if those keep getting better we’ll be fine by the start of the season.”