NYCFC got the job done despite missing nine first teamers on a rainy Wednesday night at Yankee Stadium, dispatching Sporting KC by a scoreline of 1-0 with a dominant performance and some key contributions from players filling the gaps.
Here are all the key soundbites from the locker rooms:
Patrick Vieira on Tommy Mac and Andrea Pirlo...
“I think that both of them played really well and worked really hard. They’ve been really smart with the way they’ve been defending and I want to give them a lot of credit because it’s not easy when you don’t play and you come in the game like that and you perform the way they did today.
"In the end, I’m not surprised because you have to see how those players work during the week. They just play the way they’ve been working this week and that’s what makes me so proud as a coach.”
Tommy Mac on his more defensive role...
“Yeah, I’ll do whatever the coaching staff wants and needs me to do. And I thought that in the middle in midfield, the three of us worked well together.
"We were solid defensively as a team and we really limited the chances defensively for Sporting Kansas City to pretty much long-distance strikes and we know that Sean [Johnson] is going to save the majority of those shots.”
Tommy on filling in as Captain...
“It’s a special honor to represent this football club as the captain. Without a doubt David [Villa] is our captain but unfortunately, he was hurt tonight. And we have a lot of leaders on the field and on the team.
"This is the second time this season that I’ve served as the captain’s role and I take a huge amount of pride in that. Being from this area. Being at the club from its inception. It’s an honor.”
Jack Harrison on stepping up under pressure...
“Yeah, I think these last couple of weeks I’ve been putting too much pressure on myself trying to create goals and assists for myself. It kind of got to me a little bit so I took this break to reset myself and take a step back and it took a lot of weight off my shoulders.
"Going into tonight a lot of the guys realized that we had to step up because we were missing a few stars. I think everyone did well and we didn’t put too much pressure on ourselves and everyone remained calm and tonight was an accumulation of everything we have been working on.
"I think it says a lot about the club actually, and the way we want to play and the philosophy, and I think it shows that the whole team understands it. We know what Patrick wants from us and we are willing to do anything to do that and the depth we have is good.”
Jack on having his father there to watch him play...
“Yeah definitely, that was his first time watching me play [for NYCFC]. He came out last year but I was injured so he missed out. This was his first time so I was glad he was here to see it.”
Khiry Shelton on tactics and the team's collective effort...
"The tactics today, that's what we've been working on, working as a solid eight from the back four to the midfield line. In midfield, we've got to stay collective so nobody can break through us.
"Today, I think we did a really good job with that. They didn't create a lot of chances, and if they did create chances, they were taking shots from 20 or more yards away. That's what we want and I think we did a really good job today.
"As the game went on, I noticed it was probably the 80th minute... the team is working so hard defensively, the minute I try to attack and I lose it, then everybody is running back again, so that was my thought process when I got the ball later in the game. Earlier in the game, when I got the ball, I would run at them and distribute to Tommy or Jack, so it's just a matter of time management."
PHOTOS: Winning in the Rain
Sean Johnson on the playoff push...
“We are not looking too far ahead. We know that there are seven games left in the year. Every game matters. Everybody knows that we have a strong group. Now we are getting to see the depth and what guys are all about.
"We are not really honestly too focused about the supporters shield race. If we take care of business and do what we have to do for the next seven games it will put ourselves in a good position come the end of the year."
Sporting KC Head Coach Peter Vermes on loss...
"I'm not going to say that we played poorly, we just weren't on today. I think we did the right things over the break, with having the game cancelled and everything. We played two scrimmages, we just didn't come to play today, the way we should have competition-wise. That was the difference in the game.
"They competed at a different level than we did."