Sporting Kansas City Head Coach and Sporting Director, Peter Vermes, joined Soren Petro on The Program on 810 WHB from Arizona on Tuesday. In just a few minutes, lots of good information came out that you won’t want to miss.
Where Will Remi Walter Line Up?
Just after French midfielder Remi Walter was signed, Shaun Goodwin of the KC Star talked to Vermes and it sounded like he was going to play defensive midfielder. “That’s what we got him in for, as a central defensive midfielder,” said Vermes. However, after seeing him in practice, that may have changed.
“Remi’s, right now, more of an 8 for us,” stated Vermes. An 8 being more of a box-to-box midfielder. To be fair, in the original quotes, Vermes said he could play there too. Peter went on to talk about him playing for Roger, who’s “not going to play 34 games times 90, that’s for sure.” PV stated they bring something different, Roger and Remi. Roger being more physical and Remi being more tactical.
“It’s not like Roger’s on the upside regarding his age.” started Vermes. “I wanted to make sure we had another player in that position that could be an impact right away. And I see that in him, in Remi. He’s got all the qualities. He’s a little different player than Roger.”
Vermes continued on talking about how when there is a gap in the system in terms of developing talent in the Academy, you have to make a signing to fill that gap. But then he finished with, “central midfield is really stocked.” It’s interesting because the team does have many players from ‘the system’ that could play that role in Gianluca Busio and Felipe Hernandez (and Jake Davis with SKC II). I’d guess Busio is lining up somewhere else and Hernandez will have to continue to take strides to steal more and more minutes at that position.
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin’s Availability
As an update to Vermes’ quotes last week on Mirin, PV indicated, “he should probably be here in the next couple of weeks because of immigration.” It would seem to me it’ll be hard for him to be a day one starter if he’s missing half of preseason in Arizona. The team opens with their first game this Saturday in a closed door scrimmage with Phoenix Rising FC.
Don’t get too excited, as just last week Vermes said, “I don’t think my formation is going to change all that much.” However, during this interview, he talked about some tweaks. “I really think that [there’s] a chance of moving the formation around,” started Vermes. “Not regularly, but for moments in games and maybe even starting games.”
I do think it’s a good idea to throw new wrinkles at opponents to catch them off guard. It seems clear most teams should know what to expect out of Sporting KC by now. They will play a 4-3-3, they will try to possess the ball, send at least one fullback into the attack and play with a high line. Making changes to that can at least keep teams guessing.
The Story of Pulido’s 2020 Injury
Not much was known about what kept Alan Pulido out of the 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs. Just that it occurred during a shooting drill of some sort. Peter told that story on the radio. “It was such a freak injury,” began Vermes.
“It was a contact situation with the goalkeeper where there was no opponent. The ball got crossed into the box he was running in and he kind of squeaked in-between two players that were just standing there. There was a player and the goalkeeper and the goalkeeper just hit him. Frankly he could have been hurt a lot more severely that he was. It’s actually the fact that he’s a strong, strong guy that he didn’t get hurt worse. He’s 100% healthy, he trains everyday, he’s ready to go.”
Now the question is, which goalkeeper hit him?
- Sporting KC have 11 Homegrowns on the roster (I hadn’t bothered to count but that’s what PV says and the team is awfully young).
- Vermes talked about the odds (Petro read a line that had KC as the 7th favorite). It was interesting to hear Vermes talk about what the National pundits are saying. I suppose that’s not us...
- PV talked about Busio wearing the #10 and having to get him on the field even if it’s not at the role that matches that jersey number. I think a lot of fans and pundits saw Busio next to Kinda in the midfield, the above quotes about Walter seem to say Busio may play somewhere else. I had been theorizing left wing to get him into the attack (he did talk a bunch about wanting to score goals and he seemed down on the #6 role in an interview with the media last week). However, if Ilie is the only option at the #6, Busio may be getting time there after all.
- Vermes predicts 15 goals for Pulido
- He talked about what team Lionel Messi should go to if he does in fact leave Barcelona (it’s Manchester City, not a team in MLS of course).
To hear the whole interview, it’s imbedded below or you can click here.