Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Peter Vermes Supports Americanizing Soccer

In a recent piece for SI, Grant Wahl interviewed some influential leaders with MLS asking what they would change as commissioner of MLS.  Peter Vermes, the manager (aka head coach-manager was the title given in SI report) of Sporting KC, responded with an Americanizing soccer answer.

The only person to win MLS Cup as a player and head coach for the same team said he believes that MLS must treat itself as "Our League."

Vermes started off saying, "I would treat our league a little more like the NFL does (for its league). The NFL is lucky because they don't have FIFA to deal with and the US Soccer Federation (to deal with)."

He was adamant that MLS must try to act for itself and not wait around for FIFA and the USSF to dictate terms for soccer.

"This is our league and we have to do things that are good for our league," he said.

He commented that innovation here in MLS could end up getting picked up for leagues around the rest of the world.

"I think the rest of the world... would like to see (that) since it works here, it could work there," he said.

He opined a little more on feelings for how the rest of the world looks at the game.

"I think the rest of the world is too much into the tradition of the game and they're afraid of trying things that are outside the box a little bit.  I think it would be very good for the game, such as adding one more referee to the field-little things like that."

Of course, Vermes can't be expected to let out exactly all of his thoughts on Americanizing the game because he may fear for too much backlash from the purists.  He gave a subtle example by mentioning a fourth referee (rule #7).

He was trying to be delicate and strong at the same time.  There is no doubt, though, he feels like the game can be better with American improvements.

He finished by saying, "Philosophically, I think we should look at our league a little differently."

Click here for the link to the SI article.

Originally written March/2015.

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