Sporting KC players get tested for COVID-19 in hopes of getting back to matches

Sporting KC

KANSAS CITY, Kan. —  Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes says players and certain members of technical staff took part in COVID-19 testing.

But due to privacy laws, he wouldn’t say if anyone tested positive.

The tests look painful, but Vermes said it’s necessary with individual training at the practice facility and to hopefully move toward more team training and even games.  

“The guys have a good attitude, and they work really hard,” Vermes said. “What’s difficult is that there’s one thing to have a good foundation of fitness. The other part is, how fast does that translate into playing the game?”

Soccer fans did get a glimpse into the sport’s potential future in Germany where their top leagues opened back up. 

“Fans make the ambiance, so it misses that aspect,” Vermes said. “You could tell that teams were off for a little while. The rhythm of the game was off a little bit.”

So MLS teams will continue what they hope is a gradual return to matches.

Players receive digital questionnaires after every individual training asking where they’ve been outside of home and the training facility. Vermes said it’s all in hopes they can return to Children’s Mercy Park. 

“At this moment, you have to be able to adapt and adjust pretty quickly because things are changing all the time, and I’ve been very accustomed to that,” he said. 

Another thing Sporting KC may have to get accustomed to: neutral site games in Orlando.

They would be in their own bubble, but there’s some concern about how much time there would be for full-team training in the Orlando climate for the first game.

“I think the idea of going to a single location if that’s what it is, personally I’m all for it.  Logistically, it’s going to be pretty difficult,” Vermes said. 

Sporting KC’s coach emphasized testing is still the key to a return — what he hopes is a safe return.

“What I hope is that we’re all moving toward back to what we normally do as quick as possible and knowing full well it’s not going to be perfect,” he said.

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