Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes hailed “relentless” Monterrey in their first-leg semifinal victory over his side in the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday.
Vermes’ men were thrashed 5-0 at the Estadio BBVA Bancomer, which all-but eliminated their hopes of becoming the first MLS team to reach the competition’s final since 2011.
“We gave it up in critical areas, and the difference is they took advantage of each of the opportunities where we coughed the ball up in bad places, or were not good with the ball, and then [they] ran and scored, they were relentless at it,” Vermes said after the match.
The result tied the biggest margin of victory in a match in the CCL era along with Santos’ 6-1 win against the Seattle Sounders in 2012 and a 2009 Cruz Azul 5-0 win over the Columbus Crew.
The lopsided loss also came days after SKC dismantled the Montreal Impact 7-1 in league play.
Vermes credited Monterrey’s “desire” and his own team’s mistakes for Thursday’s result.
“They had an incredible desire and intensity to do that and if you had to ask me for one reason, that in itself,” he said.
“Positionally we were poor, we left ourselves exposed, and then when you don’t keep the ball in those moments and you’re not going to because you’re not positioned well, a team like that will crush you, and they did.”
The return leg will be played April 11 in Kansas City, Kansas. But before that, SKC will visit FC Cincinnati on Sunday (3 p.m. ET | ESPN) which leaves little time for Vermes to reflect.
“There’s not much time here to think about a lot of thoughts other than to get back to playing, because you’ve got another game coming up,” he said.
“And then you have obviously another Champions League game coming up as well on Thursday. So there’s not a lot of time to sit back and think about it, that’s for sure.”