KANSAS CITY, Mo. — While the Major League Soccer season still remains on hold, Sporting Kansas City is back on the field. Voluntary individual workouts began on May 6 at the club's outdoor facilities.
“It’s good to be on the field everyday but I think all of our guys are ready to take the next step, you know? You want to start competing, and more importantly, you want to start playing games," said Peter Vermes, Sporting KC's Manager.
MLS has been on pause since March 12 due to the pandemic. For eight weeks, players weren’t allowed to use team facilities, conduct workouts together or receive any in-person coaching and training.
During their time apart , Vermes and his staff made great efforts, with the support of their training staff, to ensure players didn't miss a beat.
“We had individual workouts that we did on Zoom. We did that then obviously they gave us protocol that we needed to follow, some list of things that we need to do on our own," said Sporting forward Khiry Shelton.
“During quarantine we really never stopped," said Roger Espinoza, Sporting KC Midfielder. "Obviously it’s not the same as being in practice but we stayed in shaped a little bit so when we had to come back we just continued to improve.”
“I think the guys did everything they could to try to stay fit and have a good foundation of fitness but I think the difficulty is always when you’re by yourself and you know a lot of time doing things like the riding the bike or doing things like that it’s not the same as soccer. There’s so much cutting and moving," Vermes said.
The next goal for the club is to be able to train as a team again. Vermes said this will be essential is order to become game ready. Small group and team group sessions will be allowed after Monday, June 1.
Match play is next on the docket, starting back up June 8.
As for how quickly the team can get back into match shape, Vermes said, "For me it's always give me a date of a game, and then let me work backwards from there and then that's when I can tell you what I can put together but it's really going to come down to when we have a date and when our first game is."