Immediately following the full time whistle after Sporting KC's 2-1 loss to the Chicago Fire over the weekend SKC's head coach Peter Vermes made several controversial comments about the debuting MLS referee Jose Carlos Rivero on KSMO's post-game show. Not only did Vermes not even attempt to side-step directly accusing the referee for the loss - but blamed the referee of "changing the game" and that he had "been part of the show".
A red card to Roger Espinoza and a penalty kick following a miss-timed tackle from Aurelien Collin is what spurned these comments. It's tough to say the penalty kick wasn't deserved but at first glance the red card to Roger didn't really appear to be much.
It's easy to underestand Vermes' frustration, especially from a fan's perspective. It was the third loss in a row for Sporting following what had been a record breaking start to the campaign. One could argue the calls made by the referee had directly impacted the results of two of those three games and Vermes was surely starting to feel the pressure of a season starting to turn southward.
The thing is though, Vermes didn't stop his disparaging comments following the post game show. I mean, I bet if you put a camera and a mic in front of about every single top division coach in the world following an embarrassing defeat to your club's "rivals" they're bound to be disgruntled and say things they would regret later on. However, those coaches know when to stop. Vermes didn't stop there with the touchline report after the game, he had further opinions he wanted to express in the post-game press conference after having been allotted plenty of time to cool down.
"Two years now here, in a row, we come here and we have two red cards which aren't red cards, which completely changes the outcome of the game," said Vermes after the game. "So now we don't only lose the player for this game, but we lose him for the next game."
"The referee is there to ref the game, not to be part of the show. And today, that's what he made himself. He made himself part of the show. And that's disappointing, because players, they work hard, they are the ones who are the entertainers on the field, not him, and unfortunately that's what the game was like today. He changed the game."
(Quotes courtesy of James Coston and Hot Time In Old Town)
This isn't the first time we've seen a less-than-professional side of Vermes. Sure we've seen him talk menacingly about the ref before but in August of 2010 few will have forgotten Vermes' arrest by a Gardner Police officer following suspicion of being under the influence of alcohol while driving.
Little has been said since then about Vermes and that night in August but it's been nearly two years since that arrest, surely Vermes will have had time to gain lessons learned from the incident right?
The fact of the matter is - Vermes has an extreme desire to win. However along with that passion and desire comes a hot-tempered and disruptive personality. It's just the way the man is. So the question now becomes does the league see it in the same light as those of us that watch him week in and week out?
Vermes' Fine Could Be Upwards of $2,000
Probably not. When it comes to MLS and fining coaches the league really does crack down. Not too long ago Portland Timber's manager John Spencer was fined $2,500 dollars($500 was from initial ejection from match) for his comments about the officiating. Just last month Peter Nowak and Robin Fraser were fined $5,000 and $500 dollars respectively for their role in the now infamous Chivas USA - Philadelphia Union scuffle.
We will obviously have to wait for the results of Vermes' comments. There is a possibility that it could be just between him and the league or maybe the details would be made public as in John Spencer's case. Either way, Vermes should have handled the situation a lot better.