KANSAS CITY, Mo. — MLS All-Star head coach Peter Vermes just hates losing.
And even though the Sporting KC boss is fully aware of the exhibition nature of Wednesday's AT&T MLS All-Star Game (9 pm ET on ESPN2, TSN and UniMas), his staff has already done some significant advanced scouting of opponents AS Roma, analyzing video of several of their preseason matches under new manager Rudi Garcia.
"Yeah, yeah. We have I don't know how many games," Vermes told MLSsoccer.com after Monday's All-Star press conference. "We have every guy's picture and what position we think they're playing."
Vermes feels the depth of advance scouting can help make up for the lack of practice sessions that he'll have with his team during All-Star week.
"We're going to practice tomorrow for the first time and then we play," he said. "I have to give them the simplest game plan, but I want to give them the tidbits to at least give us a fighting chance."
One thing to keep an eye out for: Vermes is leaning toward having someone responsible for keeping an eye out for Italian icon Francesco Totti. While he praised the importance of Michael Bradley's dynamic play with the Giallorossi, he knows it is Totti, the Roma legend, who is the key to their deadly counter.
"We have to be aware of Totti because while you're attacking he finds those seams and when they win it they can get it to him and see you later," Vermes said. "That's the piece that's going to be the tough part for us because traditionally with All-Star teams, you tend to just go. So I'm going to have to put somebody as the conscience of our team to make sure they have an eye on that aspect."
Totti is forewarned.