KANSAS CITY, Kan. (December 7, 2013) – Former Scarlet Knight Peter Vermes led his Sporting Kansas City club to the 2013 MLS Cup on Saturday night defeating Real Salt Lake in the longest shootout in MLS playoff history after the two teams played to a 1-1 draw after 120 minutes of play.
Vermes’ Sporting KC outlasted Real Salt Lake in 10 rounds of penalty kicks with a 7-6 advantage.
It was 13 years ago that Vermes and the then Kansas City Wizards captured the first MLS championship in franchise history. They ended a championship drought of more than a decade for Kansas City major professional sports teams. He becomes just the second person to win an MLS title as both a player and a coach and the first with the same club.
Vermes, who is in his seventh season as Sporting KC’s technical director and fifth year as manager, was a First Team All-American and the runner-up for National Player of the Year at Rutgers, He put together one of the finest careers in Rutgers sports history competing for the Scarlet Knights from 1985-87. He ranks seventh all-time in points (89), eighth in goals (35), 10th in assists (19) and second in game-winning goals (15). In 1987, he earned First Team All-America honors after scoring 21 goals and 15 assists for 52 points and helped lead Rutgers to the Region Finals of the NCAA Tournament.
Vermes was inducted into the Rutgers Olympic Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, has been elected to the National Soccer Hall of Fame and was a member of Rutgers Men’s Soccer 75th Anniversary Team.
The two teams needed 10 rounds to end the deadlock created by the goals from Alvario Saborio's opener after 52 minutes and Aurelien Collin's equalizer in the 76th minute. Real Salt Lake missed its first two penalties, but it fought back with the help of a miss from Graham Zusi to extend the shootout.
Each team possessed chances to win at that stage. Neither side converted during the eighth round. It eventually came down to MLS Cup MVP Collin calmly depositing his effort into the right side of the net and then watching Lovel Palmer smack the underside of the crossbar to give Sporting its first MLS Cup triumph since 2000.
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