Peter Vermes

Peter Joseph Vermes (/ˈvɜːrmz/; born November 21, 1966) is an American professional soccer coach and former player. He is currently the head coach of Sporting Kansas City in Major League Soccer. As of 2018, Vermes is currently the longest tenured head coach in MLS and has won four major trophies as a manager, the second most of all active coaches in MLS.

Peter Vermes
Personal information
Full name Peter Joseph Vermes
Date of birth (1966-11-21) November 21, 1966
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)
1995New 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

As a player, Vermes spent several seasons playing in Hungary, the Netherlands, before establishing himself as a defender in Major League Soccer, playing for 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

High school and college

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. 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 and 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 American players, Vermes returned to the United States to join the recently founded domestic league Major League Soccer. In January 1995, he signed with the new league that 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 helped the Wizards finish the season first in the league with a 16–7–9 record, having allowed only 29 goals in 32 games, and 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 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 shot against Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga. 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 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

1March 28, 1990Berlin, Germany East Germany2–13–2Friendly
2May 9, 1990Hershey, Pennsylvania Poland2–13–1Friendly
3May 30, 1990Eschen, Liechtenstein Liechtenstein1–04–1Friendly
4September 15, 1990High Point, North Carolina Trinidad and Tobago1–03–0Friendly
5October 10, 1990Warsaw, Poland Poland1–13–2Friendly
7May 5, 1991Denver, Colorado Uruguay1–01–0Friendly
8July 3, 1991Los Angeles, California Costa Rica1–03–21991 Gold Cup
9July 5, 1991Los Angeles, California Mexico2–02–01991 Gold Cup
10September 3, 1992St. Johns, Canada Canada2–02–0Friendly
11April 17, 1993Costa Mesa, California Iceland1–11–1Friendly

Coaching career

Kansas City

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 on August 4, 2009, one day after predecessor Curt Onalfo was fired by the team. The team was in sixth place in the 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] As of 2019, Vermes is currently the longest tenured manager/head coach in the MLS.

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 the 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]

Vermes won his third trophy as Sporting KC manager when his side won the 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup by defeating the Philadelphia Union on penalties at Talen Energy Stadium. Two years later, Vermes added the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup to his trophy haul when Sporting KC beat the New York Red Bulls 2–1 at Children's Mercy Park.

On August 4, 2018, Vermes coached his 302nd regular-season match – a 1–0 victory over the Houston Dynamo – becoming the all-time leader in games coached with one club in MLS history.

Other coaching and activities

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.

Personal life

Vermes's parents immigrated to the United States from Hungary as refugees during the 1956 revolution. His father, Michael, was a professional footballer for Budapest Honvéd FC and operated an indoor soccer training center in New Jersey after immigrating. Peter has two brothers and one sister.[10]

Peter married his wife Susan, who he met in high school, in 1990. The couple has two children.[11]

Vermes was arrested for a suspected DUI on August 24, 2010, by police in Gardner, Kansas.[12] He accepted one year of probation and the charge was dropped.[13] The incident was mocked by Philadelphia Union supporters during a match in September 2010, with the Sons of Ben singing the entire folk song "99 Bottles of Beer" during the team's match against Kansas City.[14]

Coaching Statistics

As of 20 March 2019
Team From To Record
Sporting Kansas City August 4, 2009 Present
GP W L T Win%
MLS Regular Season 317 134 100 83 55.4%
MLS Cup Playoffs 18 6 7 5 47.2%
U.S. Open Cup 29 20 6 3 74.1%
International 18 9 5 4 61.1%
TOTAL 382 169 118 95 56.7%



Sporting Kansas City


Sporting Kansas City


See also


  1. team was known as Kansas City Wizards 2009–2010
  2. "Delran native Peter Vermes elected to U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame". The Inquirer. April 4, 2012. Retrieved April 4, 2013.
  3. Jandoli, Ron. "The Century's Best – Boys Soccer: Top 10 Players of each decade", The Star-Ledger, November 7, 1999, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 10, 2003. Accessed September 11, 2008.
  4. "Vermes Cut by U.S. Team," Los Angeles Times, April 28, 1994.
  5. "Stunned Armstrong Released by U.S. Team : World Cup: Veteran defender thought he was competing for a starting job before being cut with three others," Los Angeles Times, May 11, 1994.
  6. "U.S. Team Makes First Cuts," Orlando Sentinel, January 17, 1998.
  7. "Vermes named Wizards interim coach," Kansas City Wizards Media Relations, Tuesday, August 4, 2009.
  8. "Kansas City Wizards to name Peter Vermes head coach," Soccer by Ives, Tuesday, November 10, 2009.
  9. Brisendine, Steve. "MLS Cup: Sporting Kansas City's Peter Vermes happy to reward hard-luck fans". Major League Soccer. Retrieved December 9, 2013.
  10. Palmer, Tod (April 6, 2012). "Sporting KC's Vermes learned his work ethic from father". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  11. Mellinger, Sam (November 3, 2012). "Soccer always special to Sporting KC's Vermes". The Kansas City Star. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  12. Benson, Lisa (August 31, 2010). "Wizards head coach arrested for DUI suspicion". NBC Action News. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  13. Clegg, Mark (November 10, 2010). "Wizards head coach Peter Vermes gets probation for DUI case". NBC Action News. Archived from the original on November 14, 2010. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
  14. Peck, Brooks (September 7, 2010). "Philly fans mock coach's DUI with '99 Bottles of Beer' in its entirety". Yahoo Sports. Retrieved March 10, 2019.
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