Sporting KC opens 2021 season under ongoing COVID-19 guidelines

Peter Vermes
Posted at 6:05 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-02 19:06:00-05

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Sporting Kansas City kicked off preseason training this week at Compass Minerals National Performance Center, but not before a series of COVID-19 tests for players and staff along with a mandatory quarantine period.

For Sporting KC, it's old hat by now after the 2020 season was interrupted after only a few games and the campaign resumed months later in an MLS-wide bubble in Orlando, Florida.

"Having the experience that we had last year has made it much easier for all the people on the staff to be locked and loaded from day one," SKC Manager and Sporting Director Peter Vermes said Tuesday during a virtual news conference.

Vermes took the reins last year in helping the MLS get up and running during the pandemic. He was instrumental in establishing the protocols the league followed during its delayed and shortened season.

"We really vetted through all those things last year," Vermes said, "and now everybody's just kind of moving through it."

The Sporting KC bubble hits the road on Sunday with a charter flight to Arizona to continue preseason training.

"We'll still maintain a cadence of testing down there," Vermes said. "Any opponents that we play also have to do the same. The fact that we've been way out in front of it has helped us immensely."