Sporting KC Show: Peter Vermes talks return to play, MLS youth platform, Tiger King and more

Running throughout the season on Sports Radio 810 WHB, the Sporting Kansas City Show is available on several podcast hubs including Spotify and iTunes as well as With Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.

Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes was front and center in the newest episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show, which debuted Tuesday on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost.

After hearing from midfielder Wan Kuzain, who will compete in the inaugural eMLS Tournament Special at 6 p.m. CT Sunday on FS1, the hosts dove into a wide-ranging discussion with Vermes amidst the suspension of Major League Soccer’s 25th season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

While matches may not be taking place, Vermes has remained as busy as ever. Because “there are so many pieces that are playing out right now,” the 12th-year head coach will sometimes be on Zoom or phone calls from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.

So what’s on his agenda? At the forefront, Vermes and the Sporting technical staff have played a leading role in developing return-to-play protocols that MLS clubs may use in the not-so-distant future. The progression, he describes, would follow something like this: individual workouts at team training facilities with entrance and exit procedures strictly monitored, followed by small group trainings of two to four players at a time, followed by the return to full-sided practice. Vermes also indicated that when MLS matches do resume, competition formats could be significantly altered and games could be televised without fans in attendance.

Another component on Vermes’ radar is the development of Major League Soccer’s new youth competition platform. MLS announced it would develop a new youth league for academy teams last week after U.S. Soccer shut down the Development Academy. Vermes believes the new platform will give the Sporting KC Academy an even better environment for player development moving forward.

To round out the episode, Vermes saved praise for the popular Netflix series Tiger King, which has captivated and engrossed viewers across the country. As he puts it, “You can’t even dream up that script.”

Vermes will join Bukaty for a Michelob Ultra Happy Hour exclusively on Sporting's Facebook page at 4:30 p.m. CT on Thursday. Viewers can submit their questions instantaneously through the Facebook Live platform as Vermes addresses a wide variety of topics, including Sporting's philanthropic efforts in the community, the suspension of MLS matches, return-to-play scenarios, quarantine life and more.