Coaching openings in Major League Soccer will soon be filled at Chivas USA, Vancouver, Dallas and (after last night’s big news) Real Salt Lake. We assume they will be, at least. I mean, tick-tock…tick-tock, guys! What are you waiting for?
But where domestic soccer coaching is concerned, let’s introduce one more element into the ongoing conversation:
Shouldn’t Peter Vermes name be mentioned when we start talking about successor to U.S. national team boss Jurgen Klinsmann?
(No, Klinsmann isn’t going anywhere for now. But history reminds us that so many international coaches last just one World Cup cycle, even if U.S. coaching longevity has owned a little more staying power. Either way, talking about the “next” U.S. manager, regardless of standing for the current top man, has always been a wonderful U.S. Soccer supporter pastime.)
For a few years now, two names have come up repeatedly, and deservedly so. If we assumed the next guy is will be as “born in the U.S.A.” as Bruce Springsteen – not saying he will be, but let’s assume for this particular exercise – then Jason Kreis and Dominc Kinnear are the always warming up in the bullpen of discussion.
Kinnear has always managed to get the most from the least in Houston. Not saying the Dynamo doesn’t have any talent; but this is a small budget operation, one that refuses to rely on pricey stars, so Kinnear gets it done through chemistry, drive, accountability and old-fashioned, common horse sense.
Kreis’ recent results speak for themselves; that’s why he’s the hand-picked choice of the league’s new glamour club, the Manchester City-owned New York City FC club.
But now we add Vermes’ name. Or we should.
Sporting KC’s record over the past three seasons: 48-26-28, a sterling mark considering the parity that generally rules MLS. Sporting’s placing in the Eastern Conference race over those seasons: 1st, 1st and 2nd.
Now he has an MLS Cup trophy to place as a cherry on that yummy sundae of a resume.
Vermes is a taskmaster and perfectionist, a hard worker, a demanding boss who is not afraid to put a star on the bench who isn’t pulling his weight (Benny Feilhaber and Claudio Bieler, most recently). Sounds like a solid platform for building a national team manager, eh?
Not saying he should be the choice … but he should definitely be in the conversation.