KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Peter Vermes is honored and humbled by his selection to the National Soccer Hall of Fame. It might be a while before Sporting Kansas City's manager and technical director can fully enjoy it, though.
“Not to minimize the recognition and the award, but I'm very focused on this team and I'm very focused on what we're doing,” Vermes said on Thursday, during the club's weekly news conference. “That's what means most to me at the moment.”
Vermes, who helped the then-Wizards to their only MLS Cup title in 2000 and managed Sporting to the U.S. Open Cup championship last season, has known of his selection since last week. His players found out following Saturday's 2-0 home victory over the Montreal Impact – which also was the first word some of Vermes' family members got of the honor.
“I told my wife, but I didn't a chance to tell my kids,” Vermes said. “On the night we won, Robb (Heineman, the team president) made an announcement in the locker room. My son was in there, and he was like, 'I can't believe my dad didn't even tell me.'”
But Vermes, whose club takes a three-match unbeaten run and an MLS-best 339-minute shutout streak into Friday's home date with D.C. United (8:30 pm ET, watch on MLS Live), definitely isn't glossing over the award – even though he said in a conference call after Wednesday's formal announcement that he never expected to be inducted.
“I know over the years that my name has come up, but it's not something I thought about on a regular basis,” said the 1990 World Cup veteran, who was the top vote-getter on the Veterans ballot. “But I'm very happy, very honored, and I also feel very fortunate to be recognized for something I've done all my life and something I love.”
Even if that honor did throw off his routine.
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.