With the 2020 MLS season currently on hold after just two games, Sporting Kansas City are holding pole position in the Supporters' Shield race.
Hey, someone has to be first.
Now, as the club plot how to keep hold of that momentum after two emphatic wins over the Houston Dynamo and Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sporting have submitted a proposal to the league for how they may responsibly return to the training facility with individual workouts with requisite social distancing.
“It’s something we’ve been talking about, our staff put together a protocol for what individual workouts would look like provided field access in areas that aren’t as restricted as others," head coach Peter Vermes told reporters on a conference call. "We even provided a video with an electronic diagram. It’s something they’re reviewing.
“Whether or not it’s going to be something where everybody has to be able to participate, we haven’t gotten that [decision] yet," he continued. "But it’s something we’ve asked and we’re waiting for a response.”
Whenever clubs are allowed to return to training, Vermes agrees that there will have to be a mini-preseason of sorts, depending on how many weeks clubs have before resuming competitive play. He said the club are working on training models for multiple scenarios.
Vermes also hopes the league is able to retain the entire 34-game schedule, but obviously that is dependent on whenever clubs are able to resume training.
“So much depends on when we return, but I think everybody would love to see us play all of the games," Vermes said. "If that means we have to play Saturday-Wednesday-Saturday, I think most of us would say we’d do it. We want to uphold the integrity of competition as best we can, but it’s all going to depend on when we return.”
In the interim, Sporting are conducting workouts over the video conference service called Zoom to help with camaraderie, on top of fitness. He also added that most of the team are still in the Kansas City area, with only 17-year-old Gianluca Busio back with his family, as they requested that and he was able to drive, rather than fly.
“The number one thing for me was how physically ready we were at the start of the season," Vermes said. "We physically dominated both games, that was good. And an obvious one, Alan and Gadi scoring in their first two games is excellent. The interpretation there for us was a credit to the team and staff, getting those guys indoctrinated to the team.”