No looking back: Sporting KC boss Peter Vermes yet to watch replay of MLS Cup triumph
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Peter Vermes has plenty of vivid memories from the 2013 MLS Cup final against Real Salt Lake: the biting cold, the back-and-forth play, the frozen pitch, the exultation at the end of 120 minutes and 20 spot kicks after that.
How many times has he revisited those big moments from Sporting's shootout victory ahead of Saturday's match, when Real Salt Lake visit Sporting Park (8:30 pm ET; MLS Live) for the first time since that frigid afternoon and early evening of Dec. 7?
“I've never watched it,” Vermes said during the club's weekly news conference on Thursday. “Never watched the entirety of the game. I've seen snippets of it here and there, mostly of the penalty-kick shootout, just because I've gone to functions that have had it. But I've never watched it.”
“We won,” Vermes said with a grin. “It's over with. I've got to move on, man.”
Sporting's first MLS Cup victory since 2000, when Vermes anchored the then-Wizards defense, isn't the only big match Vermes refuses to watch.
“I've never watched the [2012 US] Open Cup final that we won here,” he said. “Once those are over and done, they're done for me. I don't really like to look back on those too much. I like to get on with it. We've got more to accomplish.”
What if Sporting had come up short in the longest shootout in MLS Cup history, which wasn't decided until Aurelien Collin opened the 10th round with a successful conversion and RSL's Lovel Palmer hit the crossbar on his attempt to answer?
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“No, because the competition was done,” Vermes said. “I might have watched a piece of it or whatever. Now, MLS games we play, I watch them, yeah. Because the cycle for us is you play a game, you evaluate what you did and you then set up your training for what you're going to put in place for what you have to get better at for the next game. And then you play the game, and you're back to the cycle again.
“So obviously, watching the game is imperative to that cycle of execution, evaluation and then execution again.”
So … no revisiting his greatest triumph as an MLS player, then? No going back to the day the Wizards blanked Chicago 1-0 to complete a Supporters Shield-MLS Cup double?
“No, I never watched it,” Vermes said. “Never watched it.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.