Sporting Kansas City announced on Tuesday the extension of Peter Vermes’ contract as manager and technical director of the club through the 2019 MLS season.
“I have been extremely fortunate and I am incredibly appreciative for not only being a part of the vision of this ownership group and organization over the last 10-plus years, but also for the opportunity to continue to be a steward for the club,” Vermes said. “I have been involved with this project from ground zero and am exceptionally proud to be able to build on the foundation that has been created here.
"We have a tremendous staff, an amazing fan base with a fantastic stadium environment, and players who are committed and dedicated to our club culture. All of these factors made the process extremely easy. I personally want to thank the ownership group so we can continue to do what we have done for this great organization. In particular, I appreciate the effort from Mike Illig, with whom I spent significant time finalizing this deal. I look forward to the job ahead and preparing for the 2017 season.”
Vermes has served as Sporting Kansas City’s manager since 2009, becoming the team’s all-time winningest coach and the eighth winningest coach in MLS regular season history. Over the last eight years, he has amassed 103 regular season wins (103-82-61) and 128 victories in all competitions (128-96-70). He has also hoisted three major trophies — the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012 and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cups.
Vermes, 50, has led Sporting Kansas City to a club-record six straight playoff appearances since 2011. During this time period, he has become the third coach in league history to win at least 13 games in six consecutive regular seasons.
“Peter has consistently proven to be one of the most successful managers in Major League Soccer, and extending his contract was an important initiative for us this offseason,” said Cliff Illig, principal owner of Sporting KC along with fellow Cerner co-founder Neal Patterson. “We are very proud of the work that Peter has done for the organization, as well as turning Sporting KC into a perennial contender with six straight playoff appearances and three trophies in the past five years. The energy, focus and emphasis on detail as a manager and technical director that he puts into the first team, the Swope Park Rangers and our academy are second-to-none in our league, and we look forward to continuing our pursuit of championships with him.”
Currently the longest tenured manager in MLS, Vermes took his position in August 2009 and helped Sporting Kansas City finish atop the Eastern Conference regular season standings in 2011 and 2012. Under his guidance, Sporting Kansas City won the 2012 U.S. Open Cup title and the 2013 MLS Cup championship, making Vermes the only person to win MLS Cup as a player and coach with the same team. He previously captained Kansas City to its first league title in 2000 as a central defender.
After leading his team to another playoff berth in 2014, Vermes won the 2015 Open Cup title as Sporting Kansas City collected its third major trophy over a four-year span. He is the third-winningest active MLS coach (regular season) heading into the 2017 campaign.
“As an organization, we are ecstatic that we were able to extend Peter’s contract through the 2019 season,” Sporting KC President Jake Reid said. “Peter Vermes is synonymous with Sporting Kansas City and has been integral to this club’s accomplishments for the past decade. I’m confident that he will continue to bring success to our team and to this city, and we appreciate his contributions to all facets of our soccer operations on and off the field.”
Vermes was named Kansas City’s technical director in 2006 and oversees all soccer operations at the club, including scouting, roster management and development of the Sporting Kansas City Academy.
A native of Delran Township, New Jersey, Vermes enjoyed a highly successful playing career between 1988-2002. He earned 67 caps for the United States Men’s National Team, representing his country at the 1988 Olympics and 1990 FIFA World Cup. He was the first American to compete in the top divisions of Hungary and the Netherlands, then spent four seasons in Spain’s second division before returning to the U.S. for Major League Soccer’s inaugural 1996 season. He started 208 of 209 MLS appearances over seven seasons, recording 11 goals and 19 assists while reaching the playoffs every year.
Vermes joined Kansas City ahead of the club’s historic 2000 season, winning the Supporters’ Shield and MLS Cup double while landing MLS All-Star, Best XI and Defender of the Year accolades. He retired following the 2002 campaign, his third in Kansas City, and was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame in 2013.