As I was waiting to talk to Peter Vermes, I was able to watch Sporting Kansas City practice for the first time since landing in Montreal, earlier on Thursday. It was a quiet, relaxed mood as the Eastern Conference leaders were going through a few intense, high quality scrimmages.
Giving a few instructions in what was a quiet but intense practice, Peter Vermes was in the ''Head Coach'' bubble but I wondered how much of the technical director was present at that moment.
About the positive momentum after the game against Real Salt Lake
It's good but if you look at the table, in the East and the West, everything is very congested. As much as it was a good win for us , I have a lot of respect for the other teams in the league.
I think that every team, on any day in MLS , can beat the other team. You should never take any team lightly so its extremely important that every game that we play, we move on from the last one and get ready for the next one.
Transitioning to Montreal
I think that our concentration is here in Montreal. I think it's a team that has done very well. Their best quality is that they have a lot of experience in the team. We have to always be respectful and attentive to those aspects of the team.
About the Impact's biggest strength, what does he fear the most
I still think that it's experience.
They know how to manage the different moments of the game. They are good at that, very very good at that [managing different moments of the game] and I think that it's a big strength of theirs.
Because of the experience, they have brought some of the younger players along and they helped them play to another level.
As I said to my team, you have to be attentive, to be concentrated for 90+ minutes against a team like this.
At any moment, they can kill you and you can look at how well Di Vaio has done. He finds moments and he can just like that : turn around, score a goal and they [The Impact] can close up shop.
How to handle Marco Di Vaio without his best 2 defenders
What I would say is that I have a lot of confidence in the guys that will play. As much as we train to make sure the 11 guys are prepared for the game, we are making sure ,all the time, that we are developing the rest of the players.
It's all about making sure that when they have their opportunity, they are prepared. They need to have confidence because we have confidence in them. I think the biggest thing [for them] is that they have to be alert.Against a player like this [Di Vaio] ,they cannot almost become a spectator,a fan when we have the ball.
They have to be always watching what he is doing. That is the biggest thing.
Rivarly between Montreal and KC
It's funny, everybody is asking me the same question every week. Right now, all the teams are so close. Every game means so much for every team in the league. Sports are physical, emotional and everybody wants to compete and win.
You are going to have instances or occasions in a game that could be controversial , important to a match and everybody has to deal with those situations.
What I do think is that when any two teams are playing against each other, ultimately, there is a level of respect between both opponents and everyone wants to win.
There is no doubt that 2 teams will come to fight and battle on Saturday.
About his role as both coach and director
As a coach, I need to be focused on the next game. My personal philosophy is that I can never sacrifice the long term vision for the short term goal. If I constantly make decisions this way, I stay within the way we are managing and moving forward.
We dont want a team that is one year really good then the next three years really bad. We want to be a team that is good all the time and once in a while great .
We don't want to have a big drop-off. We need to always be looking for the long-term. And if we are doing that. it means that we are spending the time with the younger players to develop them and giving them the chances at the right moment. You stick somebody in the game because they have a chance to be successful .
Believe me, I dont make all the right decisions all the time, I make many mistakes. But as long as between myself , the rest of my staff and my players , that as we make those mistakes, we continously self-evaluate and try to be better. We have a chance to be better the next day.
How to handle a game like the All-Star Game
I think that you have to enjoy the experience. The group of players that are assembled are all great players. For me, it's a great privileged honor to be coaching them. At the same time, how much impact can I have in 2 days of training.
I want to make sure that it's a memorable moment [for the players] but at the same time they realize that it's a game. We are representing MLS and we have to have a level of seriousness to make sure we compete. Then at the same time, we make sure we entertain for the fans as well.
The great thing is that they are all highly leveled professionals. For themselves, they dont want to be embarassed. Now its about making them feel good about we are going to do and go play.
About potential relation and exchange of ideas with AS Roma and Rudi Garcia
There will be is a technical committee meeeting on Tuesday. We will have a chance to discuss [different topics]. Hopefully, we share a drink [after the game ] and have a nice little moment together.
As per exchange of soccer culture and how it is affecting MLS
Because of the fast growth in the last 10 years, with so many teams that have come to play exhibition games in MLS, what has transpired is that there is more exchange.
This is not just some retirement league for players but it's a true league and it's competitive. They [European clubs] see that the future is here. Its been a great collaboration between countries, clubs and leagues.