Sporting Kansas City is of course looking to get a good result on the road in the first leg of the playoff series with New England tonight. "We're familiar with the away atmosphere; we're familiar with the pressure of the playoffs. It's one of those games where you just have to grind out victories. Playoffs are always a little more physical, a little more intense and that is something that experience helps," Sporting KC defender Seth Sinovic stated. "It's all about getting a positive result in this first leg, whether it's a draw or a win. Last year we got into a two goal hole and that is tough to come back from."
"We are not taking this one for granted. Every time you get into the playoffs it's a big deal." - Mat Besler
Throughout the season Manager Peter Vermes preaches that the team needs to focus on themselves, play their game. That carries over into the post season as well.
"We had a talk earlier this week about how we wanted to approach the playoffs and what our mentality was going to be," Besler explained. "We pretty much decided we are just going to focus on ourselves. I think that we've been consistent enough over this year that we can gain a lot of confidence from that. Every guy in there believes that if we play our best, we can beat anybody."
Oddly enough the players seem to be more relaxed than in past years when they had all the confidence in the world with being the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Throw in the added experience that the core players have now and the team has been calm and lighthearted in practice this week.
Besler calmly laid it out in the press conference. "We've been asked what have we learned the last two years. It's a tough question to answer but the way we are approaching it is that we don't have pressure, because we don't. New York is the team with the top seed this year so the pressure is on them. The pressure is on LA to repeat. The pressure is on Seattle because they have all the new DP's. It's almost refreshing to take that approach for us."
"I want to win a championship." - Matt Besler
More relaxed and less pressure does not mean they are not serious about trying to win MLS Cup. "It's what we play for, it's why I stayed here, why I signed an extension," Besler declatred. "It's not because I am from here and I wanted to stay in my home town and live in my home town. I love that but the main reason I stayed here is I want to win a championship. I want to win a championship with Sporting KC and I feel that we have the group to do it."