Sporting Kansas City earned multiple honors on Thursday during Major League Soccer’s 2018 Executive Awards Ceremony in Chicago, held at Theater on the Lake in conjunction with the 2019 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas.
The year-end accolades recognize individuals and clubs for their outstanding contributions off the field. Sporting garnered the following awards for strong performance throughout the 2018 Major League Soccer season.
- Sporting Executive of the Year: Peter Vermes, Manager and Technical Director
- Corporate Sponsorships Executive of the Year: Justin Compton, Vice President, Corporate Sponsorships
- Academy of the Year
- Athletic Training Staff of the Year
In addition, members of Sporting’s ticket sales staff were recipients of the following awards:
- President’s Club for Full Season Ticket Sales
- President’s Club for Full Season Ticket Renewals
- Excellence in Service Award: Devan Dignan, Premium Services Executive
- Distinction in Service Award: Jason Cannito, Senior Client Services Executive
- Distinction in Service Award: Sam Lane, Senior Client Services Executive
- Distinction in Service Award: Wilson Temple, Senior Client Services Executive
Vermes’ 10th season as Manager and 13th season as Technical Director was highlighted by Sporting’s first-place finish in the Western Conference. Sporting set single-season team records for goals, assists and shots while amassing 18 wins and 62 points, both the second-most in club history. Vermes steered his side to their eighth straight appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs, the longest active streak by any MLS head coach, as Sporting reached the conference championship for the first time since 2013.
One of three finalists for 2018 MLS Coach of the Year, Vermes also continued his oversight of all soccer operations at Sporting, including roster management, scouting and the development of the Sporting KC Academy and the Swope Park Rangers.
Under Compton’s guidance, the Sporting KC Corporate Partnerships team enjoyed a standout 2018 season while elevating the fan experience at Children’s Mercy Park. Among their numerous accomplishments, the department designed and completed three new co-branded in-stadium entitlements — namely the Budweiser Brew House, Toyota Plaza and Audi Sport Club — and welcomed two new First Team Partners in Anheuser-Busch and Toyota. Compton’s team also used innovative sales strategies across several lines of the club’s enterprise business, including the launch of the Sporting Sustainability platform focused on food waste education and elimination that aligns with other companies throughout the Midwest.
Sporting won its first MLS Academy of the Year accolade for exemplary player development under Academy Director Jon Parry and a dedicated team of coaches and support staff at the U-12 through U-19 levels. Sporting has applied a holistic approach to player development at the youth level, cultivating a professional pathway from the Academy to Swope Park Rangers to the first team. With an exemplary coaching and leadership staff, outstanding player care, a large network of Academy Affiliates and a commitment to investing in first-class facilities, the Academy is devoted to fostering the growth and improvement of all players within its professional pathway.
Sporting’s athletic training staff harnessed the new Pinnacle National Development Center to provide the gold standard for player care. Pinnacle opened in early 2018 as a first-of-its-kind collaboration between a professional sports team (Sporting), a national sports federation (U.S. Soccer) and a sports medicine provider (Children’s Mercy).
Sporting KC Medical Staff
- Kurt Andrews: Director of Sports Medicine, Head Athletic Trainer
- Chris Wolbert: Rehab Coordinator/Team Physical Therapist
- Satoshi Iida: Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Khalid Jones: Team Massage Therapist
- Jacob Brownback: Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Monique Prebensen: Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Isaac Gomez: Assistant Athletic Trainer
- Mateus Manoel: Director of Performance
- Joey Harty: Assistant Fitness Coach
- James Collins: Assistant Fitness Coach
- Michael Steidle: Assistant Fitness Coach
- Chet North: Director, Performance Lab & Research
- Dr. Scott Luallin: Chief Medical Officer, Team Orthopedist
- Dr. Neal Erickson: Primary Care Physician
- Dr. Mike Khadavi: Team Orthopedist
- Dr. Kirk McCullough: Team Orthopedist
- Dr. David Black: Team Chiropractor
- CMH Physical Therapists and Physicians
On the ticketing side, Sporting welcomed 19 straight capacity crowds throughout the 2018 season, including two playoff matches, to extend the Children’s Mercy Park sellout streak to 123 MLS matches dating back to 2012.