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Vermes Learns a Lesson, US Open Cup, Kortne Ford Retires and more

Peter Vermes has learned about squad rotation. Plus, Kortne Ford retires, the KC Comets advance, US Open Cup draw and much more!



Peter Vermes wondering what even is a foul against St. Louis City. | Credit: Thad Bell

When we at the KC Soccer Journal were The Blue Testament, we would often write stories called Blue Links or Blue Notes that rounded up stories you may have missed. Welcome back to Journal Entries (title pending). Let’s get to the news!

Vermes Learns a Lesson?

Before Sporting Kansas City faced off with Inter Miami a couple weeks ago,’s, Charles Boehm, sat down with Peter Vermes for a wide-ranging interview. It’s certainly worth a read and included a gem about Peter’s time as a commentator for the San Jose Earthquakes, a fact I was unaware of.

However, I want to draw your attention to a game Vermes says he learned a lesson from, apparently more than a decade ago against the Portland Timbers. The team had started 7-0-0 before an April 21, 2012 trip to the Pacific Northwest. From Charles’ story:

You might think all those years in Sporting blue would bleed together after a while. Yet the former US international seems to have a remarkable ability to recall specific periods of seasons and games, even those more than a decade in the past.

He’s learned to take the long view, to sweat the details, to believe in his players. He remembers a time when an undefeated start to a season shuddered to a halt because, in his view, he failed to sufficiently rotate his starting XI for a trip to Portland on short rest.

“I realized that what I didn’t do was, I didn’t demonstrate trust in the team,” he explained. “And I’m saying that’s the whole team, whole roster, not just the 11 guys.”

He apologized to his squad afterwards, promising to handle things differently the next time. He did just that the following year, reaping good results on a similar travel-heavy stretch of the schedule, and showing his players he’d keep his word. Which is a prime example of “the single most important thing,” the concept he’s come to value more than any other.

I want to re-emphasize that sentence: “he failed to sufficiently rotate his starting XI.” PV says he learned that lesson in 2012. I don’t even have the words. I suppose he didn’t say he failed to use substitutions and he learned that lesson, because that would be infuriating to hear as he is upset when he’s even questioned about his substitution patterns (or lack thereof).

Sporting KC play their first midweek game in the US Open Cup in a few weeks (more on that in a second). That lineup will surely be rotated. The next tight stretch of games comes a few weeks later:

  • SKC @ Portland – May 25th
  • SKC host Vancouver – May 29th
  • SKC @ Minnesota – June 1st

We’ll see what rotation looks like then. However, I do wish he’d learn about using his bench in game. Thanks to Mike Kuhn and Cody Welton for these stats. Sporting KC are the oldest team (29.7), have used the fewest players (18) and have the most unused subs (55 – adding to Cody’s total that is pre-St. Louis) in the league.

They’ve also been outscored massively late in games and have dropped a league leading 14 points from winning positions, including 12 points at home.

My KC Soccer Journal colleague, Ben Gartland, made a quip that if the dropped points were their own team, they’d actually be ahead of Sporting KC in the stadiums at 5th (SKC are in 10th with just 11 points). Wow!

SKC Get Union Omaha in the US Open Cup

For the second time in three years, Sporting Kansas City will face Union Omaha in the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup. They won 6-0 back in 2022. Omaha eliminated the Des Moines Menace, with I guess not retired midfielder Roger Espinoza, and USL Championship side El Paso Locomotive to advance to the Round of 32.

MLS teams are entering for the first time in this stage, but it’s only eight MLS teams. Many other MLS Next Pro teams entered and all but one have already been eliminated. So, it’ll be up to NYCFC II or one of the eight MLS clubs to not allow a non-MLS affiliated club to win the competition for the first time since the 90s!

Sporting KC to Compete in 2024 US Open Cup

The game will be played on the road at Caniglia Field on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus on Wednesday, May 8th. As mentioned above, it’ll be the first midweek game of 2024 for Sporting KC, so expect some rotation. Not to mention, that’s common against lower division foes, particularly in the early rounds of the Open Cup.

Last year, Jake Davis made his first start at right back with SKC against the Tulsa Athletic (NPSL). Who will get that golden opportunity this year? I’d suspect, without knowing the health of the team, we could see some younger guys and John Pulskamp will almost certainly start in goal.

Whoever plays will face the winner of an all-USL Championship clash between FC Tulsa and the Pittsburgh Riverhounds in the Round of 16 if they advance. Here is the makeup of the 32 teams left in the competition.

  • MLS (first division): 8 teams
  • USL Championship (second division): 19 teams
  • USL League One (third division): 4 teams
  • MLS NEXT Pro (third division): 1 team

Union Omaha live in USL League One, one of the multiple third tiers in US Soccer.

KC Comets Advance!

The Kansas City Comets claimed the MASL Eastern Conference title on Monday night with a, potentially too thrilling, 8-7 overtime win over the Milwaukee Wave. And what a wild way to win it.

What is extra crazy is that the Comets were up 6-0 before falling behind 6-7 and needing a late goal to force OT. They will face the Chihuahua Savage in the Ron Newman Cup for a chance to bring another title to Kansas City soccer for the first time since Sporting KC lifted the US Open Cup back in 2017.

SKC II Signing — Cielo Tschantret

Last week, Sporting KC II signed defensive midfielder Cielo Tschantret (CHELL-oh tuh-SHAN-tret) to his first professional contract. The 18-year-old had already appeared nine times for SKC II on an academy deal before joining full time. Despite playing d-mid, he stands six feet tall and has found the back of the net twice in those nine appearances.

Cielo’s father, Lee Tschantret, is the coach of the SKC U-19s. Lee had a long professional career that include time with the Kansas City Attack indoor soccer team.

Kortne Ford Retires

When one door opens, another closes. Last week, Kortne Ford announced his retirement after picking up an injury and needing a full knee replacement. It brings to end a promising, yet injury filled career for the former Sporting KC, SKC II and Colorado Rapids player. We wish Ford the best in his new endeavor, opening an indoor soccer facility, Prestige Indoor Sports, with his wife right here in Kansas City.

Development Around CPKC Stadium

I love a good stadium rendering. This isn’t quite the same because it’s the development around the KC Current’s CPKC Stadium.

I have to be that guy and ask, is there a parking garage somewhere in those buildings? This is going to be built on the current gravel lots (and beyond). It’s worth noting, the Streetcar Extension should be open by the time these are built. However, they are breaking ground this fall, so who knows how it’ll all work next year. I suppose you at least won’t have to pay $50 to park, but there are some accessibility issues to be worked out for sure.

Quick Entries

  • The Athletic put together an interesting statistical look at MLS (ahead of this past weekend’s games). It includes a bunch of pretty charts (who doesn’t love a chart?!) and SKC concerningly fall into the quadrant “bad attack, bad defense.” Last season, based on this single metric (g+), they were in the “good defense, bad attack” section. The whole thing is certainly worth a read.

  • Debinha and Nichelle Prince are back in practice for the KC Current. They both participated in at least some way last week too.

  • Be sure to check out the documentary by KMBC 9, “Pitch Fit for a Queen” about the KC Current and their new venue.
  • Alex Loera, former KC Current midfielder, tore her ACL against her former team this past weekend while playing for NWSL expansion side Bay FC. We wish Alex a speedy recovery!

  • The rich get richer. LAFC landed French striker and legend Olivier Giroud

  • Inter Miami just keep getting richer. They have now signed Paraguay international, attacking midfielder Matias Rojas. Man… if only SKC could hire someone to work their contracts like Miami. Oh wait, Miami literally got her from Sporting KC. We miss you, Meghan Cameron!

  • The USL Super League’s Tampa Bay Sun FC signed three former KC players to their inaugural roster.

  • Sergino Dest has a major injury and will miss the Copa America. Who should play right back? Jake Davis sadly doesn’t get a shout, but maybe he’ll get onto that U-23 Olympic team this summer, perhaps with his buddy and former teammate Gianluca Busio.
  • The Apple broadcast agrees with Peter Vermes that there is nothing to worry about in Kansas City. That said, these same guys thought Willy Agada getting murdered in the midfield by Klauss was clean. I’m not sure I can trust their opinions on this one. They record these late at night, let’s assume they were delirious.

  • Support youth soccer. Here is a highlight package of the SKC Academy’s U-15s and U-17s at the Generation adidas Cup in Florida. 14 matches in 10 days!

Did we miss a story you think we should cover? Put it in the comments for next time!

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