Sporting Kansas City rebound by "being ourselves again"


That’s more like it from Sporting Kansas City.

Manager and sporting director Peter Vermes essentially delivered that message during his postgame press conference Saturday night, after Matchday 22 brought about a 3-0 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

With goals from Remi Walter, Alan Pulido and Erik Thommy across a 20-minute period, SKC snapped a three-game winless streak and moved within one point of the Western Conference’s Audi MLS Cup Playoffs line (10th place).

“I don't think that anything we did tonight is so different than who we are when we're on,” Vermes said. “I just think that we got back to being ourselves again. The idea is to be the best version of yourself as you possibly can be each game. I think tonight we were close to that.”

SKC, who dug themselves a hole to start 2023, have looked resurgent since the calendar flipped to May. With star players back healthy, they shook off the ill effects of starting the year with a 10-game winless stretch before becoming, at one point, the Western Conference’s most in-form team.

Sporting were in danger of slipping back into old frustrations, having lost two straight games at Children’s Mercy Park. But they bounced back in a major way to end the Whitecaps’ four-game unbeaten streak.

“I think it's the version that we strive for every week as a group,” Vermes said. “What I first think is that the preparation and the game plan was very good, but it doesn't mean anything unless you execute on it. Wednesday and Thursday, they're both very tactically-oriented trainings. The guys were very in tune and then they came out and executed today very well.

“To me, that's the difference in the game.”

The bottom line, according to Walter, is SKC can't regress at home. They have just a dozen games left in their regular season, sprinting towards Decision Day on Oct. 21 with hopes of booking a postseason return.

“We have to take some points at home,” Walter said. “It's very important if we want to make the playoffs and we know that. I think we were on a good way to get some results, but the last few weeks was a bit difficult and a bit hard.

“We had a good game today. They didn't score, so it was good. We scored three goals so it's good for our confidence. It's good for our fans and our club. Tonight is very good.”