Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes is on the brink of his 150th regular season win since taking the helm of Sporting Kansas City in 2009. The team's next victory will see him become the fifth head coach in MLS history to reach that mark, following in the footsteps of Sigi Schmid (240), Bruce Arena (213), Dominic Kinnear (169) and Bob Bradley (165).
Asked about the milestone on Friday during a press conference (video above), Vermes joked "I can't wait to go tell the guys that they have to win one for the gipper" before quickly shifting the attention to the real importance in tomorrow's match against FC Dallas at Children's Mercy Park.
"I just want to get three points for the fact that we've got a home game and we'll be in front of our fans. That's the biggest thing for me. The rest of it, I don't care about. It's truly about getting the three points. That's where the focus is. I really enjoy it when you get three points because the next day, the coffee tastes great no matter who's making it."
Vermes, the eighth longest tenured manager in the world in CIES Football Observatory's study of coaches from 1,646 teams across 110 leagues in 79 countries, also joined Sports Radio 810 WHB on Friday afternoon to chat with Soren Petro on The Program.
The 21-minute interview recapped Sporting's 1-0 win over Minnesota United FC last weekend that vaulted Sporting back atop the Western Conference standings thanks to Johnny Russell's late 80th-minute goal.
“We had so much control of the game, it just felt like something was going to drop our way. It just felt like it was going to happen," Vermes said. "The goal was really well timed - it’s a situation that we rehearse quite often in training. It was really nice to see it unfold in the game and be the game winner.”
Vermes also gave an update on the status of striker Alan Pulido before praising the performances of Gianluca Busio as a holding midfielder and the versatility of Graham Zusi to play on all three lines of the field.
“For (Busio's) age, the maturity is always impressive. It’s one thing just to get opportunities. It’s another thing to play consistently over a number of games," Vermes said. "He’s adapted to (the speed of play) so well. Now it’s the actual position and the requirements for it. He’s making it his own. He’s done a really, really good job to improve game after game and on both sides of the ball. I have a lot of confidence in Busio.
"I would say that (Gianluca) is similar to Graham in this regard and that is they have very good attitudes. At the end of the day, they're good soccer players and they just want to play. For them to then have to play another position is nothing to them because their attitude rules the day. They want to be on the field so they make it work. Graham is the same way. He helps us in a lot of situations....We've been able to plug him in because he has experience in those situations. And the one thing I can always say about Graham is he's very conscientious on the field."
Listen to the full podcast below and tune into Sports Radio 810 WHB at 2:30 p.m. CT tomorrow for live coverage of SKCvDAL, as well as The Final Whistle Sporting KC Postgame Show with hosts Aly Trost, Dave Borchardt and Chad Reynolds.