Peter Vermes

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Peter Vermes
Personal information
Full name Peter Joseph Vermes
Date of birth (1966-11-21) November 21, 1966 (age 50)
Place of birth Willingboro, New Jersey, United States
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Defender
Club information
Current team
Sporting Kansas City (head coach)
Youth career
1984 Loyola Greyhounds
1985–1987 Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1988 New Jersey Eagles (2)
1989 Győr 9 (0)
1990 Volendam 28 (5)
1991 Tampa Bay Rowdies 3 (1)
1991–1995 Figueres 28 (4)
1995 New York Fever (loan) 25 (16)
1996 MetroStars 33 (1)
1997–1999 Colorado Rapids 98 (8)
2000–2002 Kansas City Wizards 78 (2)
Total 302 (39)
National team
1988–1997 United States 66 (11)
Teams managed
2009– Sporting Kansas City[1]
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

Peter Joseph Vermes (born November 21, 1966) is an American former professional soccer player. He is currently the head coach of Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer.

As a player, Vermes spent several seasons playing in Hungary, the Netherlands, before establishing himself as one of the best defenders in Major League Soccer, enjoying successful stints with MetroStars, Colorado Rapids and the Kansas City Wizards. Vermes was also a regular member of the United States national team throughout the 1990s, and represented his country at the 1988 Summer Olympics, the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

On April 4, 2013, Vermes was elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame.[2]

Playing career[edit]

High school and college[edit]

Vermes was born in Willingboro, New Jersey. He grew up in Delran Township, New Jersey and played high school soccer at Delran High School. He graduated in 1984, having scored 109 goals. In 1999, he was named by The Star-Ledger as one of the top ten New Jersey high school soccer players of the 1980s.[3]

Vermes played his first year in college on the men's soccer team at Loyola College in Maryland under head coach Bill Sento. Vermes then transferred and played three years of college soccer at Rutgers University, from 1985 to 1987, where he elevated the status of the program to that of a national power. In his final season, Vermes scored 21 goals and 10 assists for the team, finishing a first team All-American, as well as runner-up for the National Player of the Year Award. During that season, Vermes led Rutgers to their first victory in the NCAA Tournament in 26 years, scoring the winning goal in a contest against Seton Hall University.


After graduating, Vermes would go to Europe, where he played with Rába ETO FC of Hungary in 1989, Volendam of the Dutch Eredivisie in 1990. In May 1991, Vermes returned to the United States and played three games, scoring a single goal against with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the American Professional Soccer League. He then moved to Spain where he played for Spanish Second Division club Figueres from 1991-1995.

Like many of the best American players, Vermes returned to the United States to join the recently founded MLS. In January 1995, he signed with the new league which would not begin league play until 1996. Therefore, MLS loaned Vermes to the New York Fever of the USISL where he played 25 games, scoring 16 goals in the 1995 season. In 1996, Vermes was drafted by the New York/New Jersey MetroStars in the third round of the MLS Inaugural Draft (29th overall) and captained the team in its first season. Although he played the most minutes of any MetroStar that year, the MetroStars traded Vermes on February 3, 1997 to the Colorado Rapids for Kerry Zavagnin. Vermes would play three years for the Rapids before being traded again, this time to the Kansas City Wizards with Matt McKeon for Scott Vermillion and a player allocation.

With the Wizards, Vermes had his best year in MLS in 2000, anchoring what may have been the best defense in MLS history. That Wizards team finished the season first in the league with a 16-7-9 record, having allowed only 29 goals in 32 games, and continued its defensive dominance in the playoffs, eventually winning the MLS Cup. Vermes was recognized as the MLS Defender of the Year, while his teammate Tony Meola won both the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and MLS MVP awards. Vermes played two more seasons with the Wizards, struggling with injuries but playing every game he was healthy for, before announcing his retirement at the end of the 2002 season.


Vermes was never a star for the US national team, but he was a significant contributor for an extended period of time. Vermes received his first cap May 14, 1988 against Colombia, and would in all receive 66 caps for the team, playing in the 1988 Olympics, the 1990 World Cup and the 1991 CONCACAF Gold Cup. In the 1990 World Cup, he nearly bagged a goal against Italy with a scorching shot which Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga barely stopped. After seeing his playing time wane with the team in late 1993 and early 1994, Vermes was one of the final cuts from the 1994 U.S. World Cup team.[4] He later said he thought that his outspoken comments had doomed him politically.[5] A forward early in his career, his excellent performance in defense in MLS led to his comeback to the National team in that position after years of absence, but he was cut again from the U.S. roster in January 1998.[6]

Vermes was named the 1988 U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year and U.S. Olympic Player of the Year.

In 1989, he scored six goals for the U.S. Futsal team, which took third place, at the FIFA Futsal World Championship in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. He ended his futsal career with 11 caps and 7 goals.

International Goals[edit]

# Date Venue Opponent Score Result Competition
1 March 28, 1990 Berlin, Germany  East Germany 2–1 3–2 Friendly
2 May 9, 1990 Hershey, Pennsylvania  Poland 2–1 3–1 Friendly
3 May 30, 1990 Eschen, Liechtenstein  Liechtenstein 1–0 4–1 Friendly
4 September 15, 1990 High Point, North Carolina  Trinidad and Tobago 1–0 3–0 Friendly
5 October 10, 1990 Warsaw, Poland  Poland 1–1 3–2 Friendly
6 2–1
7 May 5, 1991 Denver, Colorado  Uruguay 1–0 1–0 Friendly
8 July 3, 1991 Los Angeles, California  Costa Rica 1–0 3–2 1991 Gold Cup
9 July 5, 1991 Los Angeles, California  Mexico 2–0 2–0 1991 Gold Cup
10 September 3, 1992 St. Johns, Canada  Canada 2–0 2–0 Friendly
11 April 17, 1993 Costa Mesa, California  Iceland 1–1 1–1 Friendly

Coaching career[edit]

Kansas City[edit]

Vermes was appointed as the technical Director for the Kansas City Wizards of Major League Soccer in November 2006.

He was named interim manager of the Wizards in August 2009, one day after predecessor Curt Onalfo was fired by the team. The team was in sixth place in MLS' Eastern Conference with a 5–6–7 record.[7] Vermes would lead to the Wizards to a 3-7-2 record down the stretch. Following the season, the Wizards removed the interim tag from his title.[8]

In 2012, Vermes won his first piece of silverware as a head coach, leading the renamed Sporting Kansas City (changed from the Kansas City Wizards in 2010) to a penalty shootout win over three-time defending champions Seattle Sounders FC to win the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. The following year, Vermes led club to the MLS Cup, where they beat Real Salt Lake, also in a penalty shoot-out. This makes him the only person to ever win the MLS Cup as both a player and a coach with the same team.[9]

Other coaching[edit]

Vermes worked as a broadcaster for the San Jose Earthquakes. Vermes serves as the technical Director of Coaching for the Blue Valley Soccer Club in Overland Park, Kansas, and was an assistant coach for the US Under-20 national team.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]