Peter Vermes - Sporting KC - Seattle playoff game
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Refugees, fistfights, Ironmans: KC Star pens moving profile of SKC's Vermes

What makes Peter Vermes tick?

The former MLS and U.S. national team player has become a very familiar figure to MLS audiences, leading Sporting Kansas City to four trophies during his tenure and overseeing a dramatic overhaul of nearly every aspect of the club once known as the league's stragglers in their days as the Wizards. He's the longest-tenured coach in MLS and has been mooted as a future USMNT manager. 

But not as many people know about his incredible backstory. The son of two Hungarian immigrants who endured great danger and hardship to escape their country's Communist crackdown in the 1950s, Vermes has walked a unique path to reach his current stature, as The Kansas City Star's Sam McDowell explores in a fascinating profile piece published on Friday.

“My dad was a tough son of a [expletive] — like a really, really tough son of a [expletive],” Vermes told McDowell. “We were taught to grow up fast, taught to do things on our own. You had to become an adult quickly.”

Gathering a range of striking anecdotes about the hard-charging Vermes from him and those around him, McDowell's piece is a must-read.

“He knows how to push players and get the most out of them,” said Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza. “You have to be tough. He doesn’t make it easy on guys. But he knows who can handle it.”

Read the full piece here.