Fan Appreciation Week, presented by Ivy Funds, continued on Tuesday when Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes sat down for a Reddit "Ask Me Anything". The fifth-year manager answered questions on a variety of topics from his playing days to his coaching tactics to his favorite off-field activites. Read excerpts from the Vermes AMA below and click here for the complete transcript.
On the 4-3-3 formation
We play the 4-3-3 the majority of the time but sometimes we invert the triangle in the midfield, depending on the opponent, personnel and if we are home/away. Changing formations is not the easiest thing to do within a team.
For me, the 4-3-3 is extremely balanced in its attack and defending. That's why you see us have the least amount of goals against and we are near the top in the goals scored category. Also, the formation is not the focus. It's continuing to evolve your players and your style of play in the formation.
On which players have made the biggest improvement this season
There are few players for me that have made great strides. Ike Opara and Seth Sinovic are two players that have really established themselves consistently from game-to-game.
Soony Saad is a player whose consistency on both sides of the ball is an area that he has had great improvement in. It's one of the reasons he has seen so much time in the second half of the season. Dom Dwyer has acquired a hungriness to score and is a handful for other teams to play against.
On the search for a Designated Player
We are always looking at bettering our roster. We obviously have a salary cap that we have to abide by, which means we have to be intelligent around our DP spending as well. A big name is not something we have ever searched for. We are more concerned with how the player fits in with the team and how he helps us get positive results on the field.
On areas of improvement heading into the playoffs
It's two-fold for me. On the offensive side, we create a lot of chances but need to be more clinical. Defensively, we can be a very difficult team to play against when we maintain our discipline.
On rotating lineups throughout the season
At one point in the season, I was forced to manage three competitions and international call-ups. It is always imperative that we take into account the amount of travel, number of games in a short period of time, injuries and if a player is in form or out of form. We never want to over train/play a player when making decisions about future games.
This is one of the most difficult responsibilities of a manager because not only are you looking at the next game, but more importantly, you are trying to keep your players consistent in their performance over the course of a season. We also want to reward players who are working hard in training.