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Sporting KC's Vermes expects MLS will need 'mini-preseason' if and when season resumes

Peter Vermes
Posted at 10:45 PM, Apr 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-02 23:46:31-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes, a people person, this quarantine doesn't exactly fit.

"I'm a face-to-face type of person," Vermes said Thursday via conference call. "So, the fact that you have to do everything by phone or Zoom conference calls, that part is a little difficult."

It's the reality, though, for MLS teams across North America, which were forced to shut down only a couple weeks into the season.

For Sporting KC, all of the team's players remain at their homes in Kansas City with the exception of Gianluca Busio, a minor, who is back home in North Carolina with his family.

"And it's part of our job as a staff to continue to give them ideas to continue to stay fit," Vermes said.

That's a challenge — not only finding areas to work out, but to also stay as close as possible to game shape for if and when the season resumes.

"They're not gonna stay game-fit," Vermes said. "There's just no way. They have to play games, so that's not going to happen."

That's why Vermes can't picture MLS resuming play without several weeks of training.

"A lot is going to depend when we do return," Vermes said. "I believe there is probably going to be a mini-preseason, maybe three or four weeks of training, prior to the opening game that we play."

The season's suspension came only two games into the season, but Sporting KC is one of four unbeaten and untied teams remaining already. Vermes' club also led the Western Conference and leading all of MLS with a plus-six goal differential.

"Probably the No. 1 thing for me was that physically we were in a really good place, and I thought we physically dominated both games," Vermes said.

Sporting KC was supposed to be preparing for its sixth match of the season Saturday at the Los Angeles Galaxy.

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