Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes is currently focused on a tight Western Conference title fight and aiming to pick up precious away points at Columbus Crew SC on Sunday (1 ET | ESPN, MLS LIVE in Canada).
But sitting down with ExtraTime Radio on Thursday, the ninth-year SKC boss addressed the question of whether he'd consider an offer to be the US national team's next coach after the current World Cup cycle concludes.
The answer? Probably not.
"I’m a guy that, I’m probably too focused on my own grass to see if the grass is greener on the other side," Vermes said. "Of course, all of us as coaches think at some time that we would love to get to that level. Having played for the national team, Olympics, World Cup, the whole nine yards, it would be a humbling opportunity for me for sure.
"But with that said … I love my job. I love where I’m at in the club. I coach for the best organization in Major League Soccer."
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Sporting Kansas City and US Soccer are set to jointly open the National Training and Coaching Development Center in Kansas City, Kan., this December. And with US coach Bruce Arena's contract only running through the current World Cup cycle, that combined with his long successful MLS tenure and history with the Yanks make Vermes a logical name on the shortlist of candidates for Arena's successor.
Vermes still believes Arena was the best choice to follow Jurgen Klinsmann, and empathizes with the tough spot the US are in after the last international break.
"It’s not an easy one, for sure," Vermes said. "But I don’t think Bruce entered into an easy one, either, right? I think where we were at that point was in a very, very difficult position, and we lost some points early. And we lost some points early on that have really affected us here late."
Vermes did give a preview of the approach he might take as the US faces its last two CONCACAF Hexagonal matches home to Panama and away to Trinidad and Tobago.
"We can still do well, but now I think you’ve got to take it a half at a time. You can’t take it a game at a time, it’s a half at a time," he said. "Don’t rely on anybody else. I don’t believe Mexico will help us. I don’t think Costa Rica’s gonna be nice to us. … We can’t expect those things. We’ve got to control our own destiny here."