Vermes Talks Sporting KC
by Neal P. Sayatovich
Feb 15, 2014 1:38 PM EST
Recently I got the opportunity to sit down with head coach Peter Vermes of Sporting KC. A few days ago, the club returned from their first preseason phase in Tuscon, Ariz. During this mini break before the team heads to Orlando for their second phase, I decided now would be a time to take a state of the club.
I started out with one simple question, how was preseason going? Of course we could look at the numbers and the fact that Sporting won their first preseason match, then again the coach would have a perspective.
“The first phase went good, but it's hard to make a lot of decisions because of the potential roster moves and paperwork along with it,” Vermes said. “Going into the second phase we have about 95% of our roster in place.”
When I asked how confident he was in repeating his MLS cup championship, he was more wary than optimistic.
“It will be difficult for a number of reasons. The league gets better every year and we have the (CONCACAF) Champions League again this year. Also, we have the U.S. Cup and the World Cup in between all of that.”
With all of those fixtures I asked what challenges him and his squad faced and how he planned on handling this daunting schedule.
“A heavy importance is placed on the health of our roster. We are keeping an eye on everyone and ensuring that they aren't over-training or being over traveled.”
One question I have been dying to know about was who his new captain and goalkeeper would be. In one of my earlier articles, I mentioned that incumbent Eric Kronberg and newly acquired Andy Grunebaum were battling to replace the retired Jimmy Nielson. Vermes put the question to rest, at least half of it.
“I have not yet decided on a captain, that is something I will do the week before the season starts. As for our goalkeeper... I'm going with Eric Kronberg, he is our number one.”
Sporting KC has a strong defensive back four between Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Seth Sinovic and Matt Besler and a goal threat in C.J. Sapong. With Vermes at the wheel I see no reason why SKC can't repeat their MLS cup victory. I think that with the amount of transfers the club has done, including the recent signing of Colombian midfielder Jimmy Medranda, will help this team shut down the East and set up some great matches with teams in the west like Seattle and Real Salt Lake.