Sporting Kansas City Manager and Technical Director Peter Vermes was named the MLS Sporting Executive of the Year on Thursday at Major League Soccer’s 2018 Club Executive Awards Ceremony in Chicago.
Held at Theater on the Lake in conjunction with Friday’s 2019 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas, the 2018 MLS Club Executive Awards Ceremony recognized individuals and clubs for their outstanding contributions off the field. Vermes becomes the inaugural MLS Sporting Executive of the Year recipient, earning the award for his exemplary leadership, dedication and strategic vision in guiding Sporting KC to success.
In his 10th season as manager and 13th season as technical director, Vermes propelled Sporting to a first-place finish in the Western Conference and oversaw one of the best regular seasons in club history. Sporting set team records in goals, assists, goal differential and shots while amassing 18 wins and 62 points, both of which are second-most for the club all-time. Vermes was one of three finalists for 2018 MLS Coach of the Year.
As the league’s longest tenured manager, Vermes leads all active MLS coaches with eight straight playoff appearances and ranks fifth in MLS history with 133 regular-season coaching wins. He thrived as an in-game manager throughout 2018 — Sporting led MLS with 12 goals from substitutes — while facilitating the breakthroughs of Sporting KC Academy products Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal and Daniel Salloi, who led the team with 16 goals in all competitions.
The 2018 season saw Vermes continue 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. Sporting received 2018 MLS Academy of the Year accolades for exemplary player development, while the Rangers rode the performances of several young players to a third straight appearance in the USL Cup Playoffs.
Vermes also played a lead role in the opening of the $75 million Pinnacle National Development Center. Inaugurated in February, Pinnacle — the new, state-of-the-art training home of Sporting — is a first-of-its-kind collaboration that unites a professional sports team, a national sports federation (U.S. Soccer) and a sports medicine provider (Children’s Mercy).
Vermes, who became Sporting KC’s technical director in 2006 and manager in 2009, has won four major championships at the helm: the 2013 MLS Cup and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup titles in 2012, 2015 and 2017. Under his leadership, Sporting has become the only American club in MLS to win four major trophies since 2012. He is also one of two MLS coaches to spend 10 consecutive seasons with the same club, and his 10-year head coaching tenure with Sporting is the second-longest all-time among Kansas City’s major professional sports franchises behind Hank Stram of the Kansas City Chiefs (1963-1974).
Sporting garnered numerous honors at Thursday’s Club Executive Awards Ceremony, including MLS Academy of the Year and Athletic Training Staff of the Year. Justin Compton, Sporting KC Vice President of Corporate Sponsorships, was named the Corporate Sponsorships Executive of the Year, while members of Sporting’s ticket sales staff collectively reeled in six awards.