KANSAS CITY, Kan. (August 9, 2012) – Former Rutgers All-American and Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes helped guide his club to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup title, prevailing 3-2 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw in regulation against the Seattle Sounders in the 2012 tournament final on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. It was the second U.S. Open title in the club’s history.
“I'm extremely excited for the ownership group, for the club and the staff, the players and the fans,” said Vermes. “And more importantly, Kansas City. We really set out on a mission to make soccer a major sport in this community and this city. I think that when you look at the event tonight, it just demonstrates the commitment that this organization and this ownership has and that our fans do, as well. It's an incredible reward for the great job that everyone did.”
Vermes competed for the Scarlet Knights from 1985-87, earning First Team All-American and runner-up for National Player of the Year. He ranks seventh all-time in points (89), eighth in goals (35) and 10th in assists (19). Following his RU career, Vermes went on to star for the U.S. National Team as a member of the 1988 Olympic squad and the 1990 World Cup team. He was also named the 1988 U.S. Male Soccer Player of the Year.
After a 1-1 draw in regulation and two scoreless extra-time frames, Eddie Johnson concluded the ensuing shootout by sending his spot kick high over Jimmy Nielsen’s goal to give the home team the crown with a 3-2 win on penalties.
Sporting looked as if they were headed for the trophy after Kei Kamara converted a penalty kick in the 84th minute following Zach Scott’s hand ball in the box. But Scott atoned just two minutes later, heading in Mauro Rosales’ free kick to equalize and silencing the LSP crowd.
Following the two scoreless extra frames, matters were decided on a bizarre shootout. First, Kamara and Brad Evans both converted. Then Roger Espinoza’s tame effort was saved by Michael Gspurning, giving Seattle an advantage they still held after Marc Burch and Matt Besler found the net.
But then Osvaldo Alonso sent his right-footed effort into orbit, Graham Zusi’s cheeky chip was over the bar and Nielsen dove to parry Christain Tiffert’s effort.
After Paulo Nagamura converted his kick, his second opportunity after Gspurning was judged to have come off the line early, it was up to Johnson to keep Seattle in it. But the red-hot striker didn’t even put his shot on frame, and Sporting celebrated their triumph in front of their fans.
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