Tonight at Sporting KC's Takeoff event, Vermes will reveal who the new captain will be. The Captaincy became vacant when Jimmy Nielsen retired shortly after winning the 2013 MLS Cup.
So who are the likely (and unlikely) candidates?
Here is the short list.
Paulo Nagamura - Naga is a Vermes type of guy, hard-nosed, willing to do what it takes to win. He has a warrior spirit and a winner mentality and clearly has the respect of his teammates. In a MLS Cup Final or taking PK's, there is not many I would want on the field more than Naga. The problem is a history of injuries makes it very possible that he would not be on the field for a significant part of the season.
Erik Kronberg - Kroney is stepping into a natural leadership position but following in Nielsen's footsteps in goal should enough of a challenge for now. I am not really a fan of keepers being the captain but that last guy did turn out rather well.
Benny Feilhaber - Benny is not often mentioned as a candidate but with his experience overseas, with the national team and his becoming "Sporting Fit" last year at least makes him a candidate.
Aurelien Collin - Plays with his heart on his sleeve in every way and loves to play physical. Truly refuses to lose but the Frenchman would be more likely to discuss his own yellow cards with the ref than anyone else on the team.
Graham Zusi - Hard working, hard playing, does whatever is needed to help the team, a great leader by example. Possible captain candidate but Zeus may be too quiet for the position.
Matt Besler - The consensus first choice of most pundits but will he be Vermes' choice? Last season in the home playoff game against New England when Sporting KC was not playing at their best in the first half, Besler took charge at halftime. This is how Vermes described it, "he did something at halftime that I won't speak about which was fantastic, but he was good in a lot of other ways just outside of being good in the game and he led very well coming into this game. That's a huge step for him and this team because we need his leadership and the way that he sort of took charge over the team these last few days. And that's a big thing and a big reason we got the result we got today. So I'm very happy for him and for the team because we need field generals on the field and he's starting to come into his own and it's in a very quiet way."
That seems to have been a big endorsement last season for Besler's leadership capabilities.
Like a good leader, Besler downplayed those actions after the game but when asked eventually just said, "I wanted to make the point that I was going to leave everything on the field and I wanted to make sure that my team mates and everybody in the stadium could see that."
Whatever was said, it seemed to work.
Besler filled in as Captain during some CCL matches so he has that going for him as well.
Everybody else: I don't see anyone else being on the short list but it is possible that Vermes could choose Bieler or one of the other players.
My vote: Besler has the experience, the mentality and Kansas City first attitude to make a good captain. Throw in the well-spoken good looks and he is a natural face for the team. He has been around long enough but is still young enough that he could be the captain for several years if he does not head to Europe after the World Cup.
What better story than a local kid growing up to be Captain Kansas City?
Who would you name Sporting KC Captain?