In addition to catching reporters up on how Sporting Kansas City is progressing through voluntary individual workouts at the team's training facility, Sporting Manager Peter Vermes also gave his thoughts on watching Germany's Bundesliga return to play without fans this past weekend.
"I’ve watched games in that country," Vermes said of the first matches since the coronavirus pandemic halted play. "When you go to their games, they are full stadiums, so it’s completely different watching them with nobody in the stands. It changes the environment for sure. Fans make the ambience. And that’s the beauty of sports. It misses that aspect.
"But it was good to see the game. And I think one of the things you did see is you could tell that teams were off for a little while, the rhythm of the game was off a little bit. But all in all I think it’s great to get started."
Vermes recognizes that however MLS resumes play, it is almost certain to do so without fans attending at first. To that end, he thought in the weekend of Bundesliga action, it was apparent that home field advantage meant a lot less without supporters singing, cheering and yelling. And that might make it less important — in terms of the outcome of games — wherever they resume
"The fans I think, they apply the pressure for the opposition," Verme said. "At least watching through the TV, it just didn’t seem like anybody was, it didn’t seem like the opponents had too much pressure on them if you know what I mean. It just seemed like a game for them to play."
Without dwelling on specifics of how MLS might return, Vermes said seeing the Bundesliga games was at least a hopeful reminder that he and his players will eventually get back to the business of trying to win games.
"We’re going to have to start somewhere, and it’s not going to be perfect," Vermes said. "We all know what perfect is. It’s full stadiums, and playing in front of your crowd and all that kind of stuff. But right now we’re not even close to that. So as soon as we can get close to playing games in that environment, for me it’s going to be a big step forward."