countdown to home opener

As Sporting Kansas City’s 2022 MLS regular season home opener looms, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 15-day countdown until MLS is back at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting begins its 2022 campaign with a visit to Mercedes-Benz Stadium on Feb. 27 for a matchup with Atlanta United FC at 2 p.m. CT. Sporting will then host longtime rival Houston Dynamo FC at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, March 5 at Children's Mercy Park.

The 2022 Preseason Countdown will provide fans with key storylines to keep an eye on as we approach Sporting’s home opener. From player highlights and coaching spotlights to new features at Children’s Mercy Park, the 2022 Preseason Countdown will highlight the many reasons to be excited for what’s ahead.

We have now looked at the entire Sporting KC roster heading into the 2022 season. Now we will look at the man in charge, Sporting’s head coach and sporting director, Peter Vermes.

Vermes has become a household name in Kansas City as he enters his 14th year in charge of Sporting. He ranks sixth in terms of the longest active serving managers at one club among the top 51 leagues in the world denoted by the CIES Football observatory. He is also the longest-tenured, active head coach in MLS by five years.

Longest-Tenured Head Coaches in MLS
Coach
Club
Year Started
Peter Vermes
Sporting Kansas City
2009
Jim Curtin
Philadelphia Union
2014
Brian Schmetzer
Seattle Sounders FC
2016

PV’s accolades are not just about coaching duration as he is one of the most successful managers in MLS history. He has led Sporting to three Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Titles (2012, 2015, 2017) and one MLS Cup Title (2013). Under his guidance, Sporting has finished in the top five of their conference in 10 of the last 12 seasons.

Vermes’ winning ways did not start when he took control of the team in 2009. During his playing career, he played an integral role in the U.S. Men’s National Team qualification for the 1990 World Cup in Italy. He captained the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in 1996 before finding his way to Kansas City ahead of the 2000 season. That year Vermes won defender of the year en route to the Kansas City Wizards' first MLS Cup title in club history.

This season is set to be a record-setting season for Vermes. He has been involved in 634 MLS matches as a player or head coach, the second most behind Jason Kreis (662). He is just 22 matches away from becoming the first coach to coach one club for 500 matches. This past season he surpassed 400 MLS regular season matches coached.

Simply put, Vermes is a winner. You can never count out a Peter Vermes-led Sporting side. Last year the team earned 19 points from a losing position, the second-most in the league. He has missed the playoffs just twice as a coach. He has hoisted four trophies and owns the best single-season turnaround in MLS history when Sporting jumped from 22nd in Supporters’ Shield standings to third. He is also the only person to win MLS Cup as a player and coach. Vermes comes into 2022 ready to add more accolades to an already impressive resume.