It's only half over, but 2013 has already been a good year for Peter Vermes.
A few months after earning an invitation to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame and just over a week before he leads the MLS All-Stars into battle against AS Roma, the Sporting Kansas City manager has been rewarded for his leading role in the club's renaissance with a new contract.
Sporting announced on Tuesday morning that Vermes has signed a new deal taking him through the 2017 season as both manager and technical director. He is currently the longest-serving TD in MLS, having manned the post since 2006.
"What's been important for us is continuity on and off the field and this decision allows us to keep that continuity in place for the foreseeable future," Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman said in a club statement. "We love that Peter has always been a long-term thinker and I believe the building blocks around turning this into a great organization long-term are in place.
“Having another four years to advance this cause is going to be very valuable to the team. We love that Peter has the commitment that he has to this city, this organization and to the development of the players."
Vermes arrived in Kansas City as a veteran MLS defender ahead of the 2000 MLS season and promptly led the club, then known as the Wizards, to that year's Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup championships. He concluded his impressive playing career as a Wizard two seasons later and in recent years has become the face of a reinvigorated franchise, posting the best winning percentage in club history (.557) since taking over the coaching position in 2009.
Sporting finished in first place in the Eastern Conference the last two regular seasons and seized the top spot again earlier this month. They also won the 2012 US Open Cup, and routinely draw capacity crowds to their new soccer-specific stadium, Sporting Park, which will host the MLS AT&T All-Star Game on July 31.
"We have an incredible ownership group. Their vision and follow-through on all the initiatives they bring to this organization is incredible," Vermes said in a statement. "Their passion for what this club is and for making it happen is the reason we sit here today as one of the best organizations in Major League Soccer. I'm excited to be a part of it and to continue helping to grow this organization. It's a proud moment for me."