The soccer-crazed country of Hungary has produced more than its fair share of stars over the last century, namely Ferenc Puskas, Sandor Kocsis and Laszlo Kubala—each of whom helped the Magyars reach the 1954 World Cup Final during the nation's golden generation in the sport.
Far more recently, Hungarians such as Krisztian Nemeth, Botond Barath and Academy product Daniel Salloi have become mainstays at Sporting Kansas City. The club's longtime manager, Peter Vermes, also has indelible ties to the Central European country, as his parents immigrated to the United States before he was born.
Given Vermes' connection to the Magyars, Hungarian Football Podcast hosts Chris Barrett and Tom Mortimer were eager to catch up with the 12th-year head coach of Sporting in a recent interview that fans can catch below.
In addition to reflecting on his storied playing days with the United States Men's National Team and multiple clubs across the United States, Hungary, Spain and the Netherlands, Vermes shared managerial insight on the process of talent identification and recanted his own memorable story involving Puskas. He also touched on the philosophical underpinnings that drive him to achieve success on a daily basis.
"At the end of the day, I've always been about one thing in my professional life, and that's winning," Vermes said. "That is the most important thing at this level. You play to win, and if you're not, I think you're coming up short always."
- 4:42 - Vermes recalls almost scoring against Italy in the 1990 World Cup
- 11:15 - Vermes tells the story of how he took his playing career overseas in the late 1980s
- 17:16 - Vermes shares how he met Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas during one of his tours in the U.S.
- 22:38 - Vermes explains why MLS is poised to become a league for generating elite talent and pinpoints areas needed for improvement in youth development
- 27:00 - Vermes describes his process of identifying prospective signings in Europe and elsewhere
- 36:58 - Vermes discusses the possibility of one day coaching at the national team level
- 46:50 - Vermes talks about Major League Soccer's return to action and the number of games he'd like to play in 2020