Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes picked up some motivational ammunition for the next few days of preseason camp. And he plans to use it.
After a lackluster performance from his starting group in Wednesday’s preseason match against the New York Red Bulls, Vermes watched his reserves take control of the match and lift Sporting KC to a 1-0 victory in its opening game of the Disney Pro Soccer Classic in Kissimmee, Fla.
Jacob Peterson scored in the 65th minute — four minutes after Vermes yanked his starters in favor of a unit consisting of mostly backups.
“I think the second group was better than the first,” Vermes said. “To me, the first group didn’t work hard enough, and they didn’t work smart enough. They didn’t combine the two things — intelligence and work ethic — and because of that, we had to run a lot more.
“It’s good because I can use it against them here in the next couple of days. And I will.”
Sporting KC will face Fluminense FC U23 (Brazil) on Saturday and the Montreal Impact on Feb. 26 to finish off group play at the Disney Pro Soccer Classic.
A group consisting primarily of Sporting KC reserves defeated Eastern Florida State College 2-0 earlier Wednesday. Trial players Adnan Gabeljic and Carlos Sanchez scored. Sporting KC selected Gabeljic with its second-round pick in last month’s MLS SuperDraft.