MLS Cup 2013: Sporting Kansas City press conference highlights

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Legacy, what it means to win MLS Cup, contemplating retirement, and a whole lot more were discussed Thursday at the official MLS Cup press conference in Kansas City.

Sporting Kansas City had the chance to take the podium first in Kansas City Thursday at the MLS Cup press conference to field questions from the media.

Manager Peter Vermes, goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen, and midfielder Graham Zusi represented Sporting Kansas City at the press conference surrounding MLS Cup 2013. Here are a few highlights from the event:

On the importance of creating a legacy with a MLS Cup victory...

Vermes: "I don't know personally if I think of it that way. I look at as the group of guys that I'm sitting with now and the other 28 guys on the roster, then our entire staff and our organization and the city, and how the commitment to the season has been different than all the other ones that we've gone through.

"Now we're here, and like I said before, it's really about finishing off something that we started. Yeah, I guess we could go back three or four years if you wanted to and think of it from that perspective. I agree that there's been consistent play from this group over the last three/four years to get here, but ultimately it comes now down to this game, but I don't necessarily think that one game sums up the overall play of this group for those many years.

"But don't get me wrong, these guys and our organization and the community, I think want it, so we're going to give it our best effort. And I think we're prepared."

On what a MLS Cup would mean to Jimmy Nielsen...

Nielsen: "15 years ago I won my first championship, and I was sure that it would be one out of many, but here 15 years later I'm still standing with one real championship — I know I won the [Lamar Hunt] U.S. Open Cup. I'm sure Saturday that I will appreciate the championship a lot more than I did 15 years ago now that I know how hard it is to win a championship. My age is not with me. It's going towards the end of the career as well. I will be extremely proud and happy."

On the possibility of Nielsen contemplating retirement if Sporting Kansas City wins the MLS Cup...

Nielsen: "Well, all the focus is on the big final on Saturday. We will talk future after that game."

On whether or not Graham Zusi feels that he is pressing in the playoffs with no shots on goal...

Zusi: "I thought that was a funny stat myself [no shots on goal in the playoffs]. I heard it for the first time two days ago, I think. I mean, there's so much more that goes on to a game than those kind of stats that I'm not worried about it. I'm happy to let other people get the shots on frame and score goals. As long as we're ahead at the end of the game, I don't care if I score or get a shot on frame."

On what Nielsen has meant to Sporting Kansas City as a captain...

Vermes: "What I can tell you is that I've played with a lot of teams, been in a lot of places, played for a lot teams that had captains and so on and so forth — I will say to you, and I'm not saying it because he's [Nielsen] sitting here, he's the best captain that I've been around on and off the field. Sometimes you get lucky, and I know that I got lucky on that one being that I went based off of a gut feeling on a conversation."

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