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So who is the most wanted man in Major League Soccer? No, this isn’t a David Beckham joke. The answer, it turns out, is Kansas City Wizards technical director Peter Vermes. Less than a month after turning down an offer to become general manager of the Los Angeles Galaxy, now comes word that he has turned down an MLS head coaching job.
Seattle Sounders FC, the expansion franchise set to begin playing in 2009, offered Vermes its head coaching job and he has passed on the offer, sources with knowledge of the offer told SBI on Thursday. Sources have also told SBI that the job has also been discussed with one current MLS head coach.
The former U.S. national team standout and former player for the MetroStars, Rapids and Kansas City Wizards was offered the position by former U.S. national team and Colorado Rapids teammate Chris Henderson, who is now the Seattle technical director. Henderson also spent the 2007 season as an assistant coach with Kansas City, where he also worked with Vermes.
According to sources, Seattle has already reached out to three different coaching candidates, including Vermes and at least one current MLS head coach. Current Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer had been believed to be the front-runner for the Sounders FC position when the club was formed, but it has become clear that Henderson is looking for a head coach with MLS experience. Schmetzer was recently identified as a candidate for the job by Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer.
A member of the 1990 U.S. World Cup team and key figure of the Kansas City Wizards’ MLS Cup winning squad in 2000, Vermes has made a smooth transition into the front office, helping rebuild the Wizards, which snapped a two-year playoff drought and reach last year’s Western Conference final. The Wizards are struggling this year but Vermes has helped Kansas City transition from an older team to a younger team with some quality draft picks the past two seasons.
Will Vermes stay in Kansas City? According to sources around MLS, Vermes is considered a strong candidate to take on a front office position with the Philadelphia expansion team, which is set to play in 2010. Vermes is a south Jersey native who went to high school just 15 miles from Philadelphia.
Who will Seattle turn to now? One potential candidate is Columbus Crew coach Sigi Schmid. Currently in the final year of his contract with Columbus, Schmid was Henderson’s college coach at UCLA and has helped guide the Crew to the best record in MLS in his third season in charge.
Former Colorado Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo has been linked to the job in the past, and has ties to both Henderson and the city of Seattle, having coached the Seattle SeaDogs of the Continental Indoor Soccer League from 1994 to 1997.
It’s time for a poll:
What do you think of this news? Surprised to see Vermes offered a head coaching job? Do you think Seattle will lure away Schmid from Columbus? Can you see Vermes winding up in Philadelphia?
Share your thoughts below.