Peter Vermes at the first day of Sporting Kansas City practice
Andrew Wiebe of MLS.com and I interviewed Coach Vermes at the first day of practice. Here are the notes from the interview (not exact quotes). The videos are included below and contain a little more info than I transcribed.
Part 1 - Coach Vermes
I am very excited for two reasons, we are way ahead of schedule of where we were last year. Last year we just tried to bring a number of really good players, based on last year and especially the second half of the season. Our style is starting to become very evident. The roles and responsibilities of the players we have on the team became very evident. Now we have a strong core returning to the team. Those guys have set the standard. In the off season we could go select guys that were for very specific positions on the field as opposed to just going and getting a bunch of good players and seeing who could make the team.
Our draft picks, all 6 showed very well, not only athletically but technically and tactically on the field, that was really good to see. Very impressed with that. A few guys that we selected to bring in on trial, they have proven right away that they have the quality that we are looking for. We are going to find out over the next few days and early into next week if they are going to stick around for sure.
Targeted positions for trialists - We've been searching for a couple central defenders to add to our roster, another midfielder a couple more attacking players on the outside, we obtained one in Sapong.
Julio Cesar Santos - just go wikipedia him and you will see his illustrious career.
We have an agreement with him, it is a trial period for both the team and Santos so he can see if he wants to be here, they have already talked financials and come to an understanding. Now that he is 31 he probably has the full package, when he was younger he was probably the athletic guy.
Mike Jones - late in the supplemental draft, very good on the ball, good career ahead of him, especially with the reserve league where we can spend some time and bring him along
Schedule for this week - This week is the acclimation phase, testing tomorrow beep test and agility test, this week is light, next week the volume and intensity jumps up, then we play a bunch few games and that is really our evaluation phase. We will spend time in practice playing a certain way so we can evaluate players. By the time we come home for our regeneration phase which is 5 days and go back to Arizona, from that point forward it will really be about the team. We are going to get focused on it very quickly because we already feel we are a step ahead because of that foundation we have.
Invitational combine, some of them may make it and move up to the main group and go to Arizona. They are college players, foreign guys, USL, a guy that's played in MLS.
Omar Colley is held up and will show up in a couple days, the two Trinidad players had a Visa problem that has been sorted out they will join in Arizona. They have a few more players that will join them in Arizona as well.
Part 1 of Vermes interview video
Sunil Chhetri - we have a couple options on him to do some things with him to keep him on our roster, we are working through those, another week or two before a decision is made. We may bring him back and loan him out and he would not take up roster spot, cap room or international spot. It would be difficult to have him here taking up a foreign slot based on some of the other things we are looking for.
Omar Bravo - He's here to prove something. he's not here to just say he played in MLS. He's here to actually play and be successful. You can see his play already fits into the way we do things. He scored a very nice goal in training today, very good combination play with him and Roger Espinoza.
Teal Bunbury - He's in good form (and a bunch of other stuff)
Zoltan - We still have an issue with his club, it's between us and the league together , we have an issue with his club, his club he is currently with. He was on loan with us. Until that gets rectified he will not be coming back here. If that gets rectified there is a chance he could. It's a timing issue, if ti goes to far we will probably have already made a decision on other players. But is a guy we really do like, have liked.
Calum Butcher - A player that has been at Tottenham. He's wanted to come here, we have been talking with him for a year now. He's here now, he's basically training and trying out like a lot of other players. Interesting kid, great presence, size for the position. Coming from Tottenham school, he plays out of the back. He does not just lump the ball forward.
Adda Djeziri - very interesting, he's Van Persi if you look at him, he's tall, left footed, he can do some damage. Very good talent, he was a big talent coming out but didn't work for some reason.
Connor Knoll - A Wizards Junior training with the Invitational combine
Kevin Ellis - played in the Wizards Juniors and with Barton Community College
Part 2 of Vermes interview video
Vermes coaching one of the new players