Tuesday’s momentous announcement that St. Louis will join Major League Soccer as an expansion team was met with plenty of fanfare.
Count Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes among those excited and pleased by the news.
“From my perspective, this is great for the league,” Vermes said during a radio appearance with 101 ESPN in St. Louis. “Building rivalries is hugely important. I’ve always been a big proponent of increasing the number of MLS teams in the middle of the country.
Vermes is well familiar with the unique soccer culture that St. Louis boasts, having competed there in numerous matches for the U.S. Men’s National Team throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
“The fact that St. Louis wasn’t a founding member of MLS—just because of the history the city has with soccer—was something that was missed,” Vermes said. “Their addition is tremendous for the game and for St. Louis because they have such a rich soccer history. It only makes sense for them to be involved.”
In addition to praising the city for its deep soccer roots, Vermes pointed out that St. Louis’ jump to MLS will only strengthen the region’s attraction to the sport.
“I’m not a Midwest guy. I’m from the East Coast, but I’ve been living in Kansas City for 19 years. I’d have a hard time moving back because I’ve found a great life here with my family,” Vermes said. “From a soccer perspective in this region and for all of MLS, this is a great move.”
Listen to the full podcast below.