Peter Vermes - laughs with Graham Zusi
USA Today Sports

Vermes: This is by far the most talented Sporting KC team I've had

Sporting Kansas City underwent a bit of a cosmetic makeover in 2018.

For a team so often lauded for stout defending – they only conceded 29 goals last season – SKC twisted the attacking knob this year to maximum levels. They scored 65 goals this season, a new club record. The goals didn't come from one superstar striker, but a collective effort from the team, underlying the depth of quality. Nine players scored three or more goals; five players scored five or more. 

“By far, this is the most talented group since I’ve been here as coach," head coach Peter Vermes told The Kansas City Star.

Against the Portland Timbers, SKC used a little bit of their 2017 strength in Leg 1 of the Conference Championship. They earned a hard-fought goalless draw on the road and now will lean on their attacking prowess on Thursday (9:30 pm ET | ESPN, TVAS, TSN). A win would book a place in the 2018 MLS Cup Final. If the Timbers are able to grab a goal, SKC will need at least two to advance.