Peter Vermes has never made a secret of his belief that opposing teams come into Sporting Park, sit back and look for either counterattack opportunities or an away draw.
But ask him if he expects the New England Revolution to park the bus during Wednesday's crucial second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals (9 pm ET, MLS Live), and Sporting Kansas City's manager dismisses the question.
“I don't really spend any time figuring out what they're doing and what they're going to do,” Vermes told MLSsoccer.com by phone on Monday. “We know what we're going to do, and that's what our time is going to be focused on.”
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Still, it won't be a surprise if the Revolution put plenty of numbers behind the ball on Wednesday night. After their 2-1 victory at Gillette Stadium on Saturday, New England need only a draw to advance to the Eastern Conference Championship against either New York or Houston. That might be easier said than done, Vermes said.
“It's never easy to play here,” he said. “I feel confident with the guys we have, and we'll find ways to break them down. That's really what it is. There will be opportunities on both sides of the ball for both teams, and it'll be whoever does the most with those. We have to make sure that we're ready to go."
Sporting would force a 30-minute overtime with a one-goal win and take the series outright with a margin of two goals or greater. But they haven't scored more than once at home since a 3-0 victory over Columbus on Sept. 7, with one goal in two league matches – two in four across all competitions – since then.
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Even so, Vermes is confident in his club's ability to generate scoring opportunities and, more importantly, finish them.
“We had some great chances the other night,” he said. “I think we'll have some chances, and when the time comes, I think we'll put them away. I feel confident from that point of view.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.