Recently our own Thad Bell caught up with Peter Vermes and also PV sat down with Carter Augustine for a Q&A (or what marketing people will call What’s on Tap presented by Bud Light). You can watch both interviews for yourself below but if you are a reader, then here is what jumped out at us.
Not Just Playing a 4-3-3
“There is no doubt with this group we could play other formations. Specifically one that I have in my mind and we will at times. Just because of the quality of players and the versatility we have in a lot of different players as well in regards to what positions they can play and the attributes they bring to those positions.”
Put me firmly in the “I’ll believe it when I see it camp.” The 4-3-3 already has some diversity to it where the fullbacks are so far up the field they are essentially wingbacks (probably more so with Loboto) and they leave the center backs and Ilie to cover everything. Plus in preseason both more forward midfielders (Roger Espinoza and Felipe Gutierrez) were getting way up into the 18-yard-box.
But Vermes may mean a full on different formation. Plus his reference to Croizet as a false nine (see below) opens up almost a diamond formation where the #9 is the top of a midfield diamond and the wingers pinch in. All that said, the lineup sheet will probably always be released in a 4-3-3 and you’ll have to watch how they are playing to know that’s not really the formation.
On the Possibility of Adding that DP #9
“Our window is open to May 3rd. Things can still happen, absolutely. We are not restricted in any way, shape, or form. We have spots [and] international spots.” When pressed harder on the #9 he responded that they have added a player at every position and he believes they’ve added quality and they will be competitive and win. He ended it essentially with they are always looking to add players at every position and when the primary window closes (May 3rd) then they’ll look to the secondary window over the summer.
On Goals and Lionel Messi
When Vermes was question more about not getting a #9 and asked to talk about the guys they did add, he got a bit serious.
“I want to emphasis this point. It’s extremely disrespectful to the current guys we have on the roster to not understand that we have guys that can stick the ball in the goal. Sometimes it takes time to develop certain aspects of the game.” He later went on to add that both attacking and defending are by the team. “You score goals because everyone is committed to that. We cannot rely just on one guy. I’ve never built this team on one player and it will never be built on one player. It takes a team to win in this sport.”
Vermes added, “it would be great if we could go out and get Messi and bring him in here and everyone would be happy. As long as I’m here, I’ll never ever be irresponsible with the responsibility that I have in finding players that fit this team. We are not going to settle for a player and we aren’t going to frivolously go out and spend a player” to just say “we’ve signed a guy” and “we committed to him for three or for years and he’s not the right guy.”
Then, humorously, when talking about players by name, he called Felipe Gutierrez, Felipe Hernandez. I bet the younger Felipe is very excited to hear about his first team contract up from the Swope Park Rangers.
Zendejas is the Backup Keeper
When Vermes was asked who would be the backup goalkeeper behind 2017 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Tim Melia, between Adrian Zendejas and rookie Eric Dick, PV didn’t hesitate to say Zendejas. He even said had he been on the bench against Minnesota United, in the game Melia got hurt, he would “have had no problem sticking him in there.” Not exactly saying he would have played him over recently traded Andrew Dykstra (which many were calling for — including myself — when Melia was out). But regardless the trade of Dykstra shows confidence in Adrian.
Non-committal at Left Back
When asked who would start, or “has the edge” at left back, he simply listed all three players who could play and didn’t answer the question. Jimmy Medranda, Seth Sinovic and Cristian Lobato. Listed in that order. He did say there is “more depth” and the depth is “of more quality” and that the team has added a player at every position.
Daniel Salloi’s Position
When asked if Salloi could be played at striker, Vermes responded that he can play anywhere across the front line but that, “my belief is that his best place is as a left wing because he comes in well on his right.” He added, “there is no doubt he can play center forward as well.”
Croizet — Winger of Midfielder?
Vermes said, “he’s another guy that can play all five positions.” Both the forward midfield spots and all three spots across the front line. When saying center forward he said, “he can play as a false nine if we needed him to.” Then he continued that flexibility is something he admires. He sure has a roster full of guys who play all over.
Here is the video Thad got at the media day on Friday.
And here is SKC’s new sideline reporter Carter Augustine with PV.