This hasn't beenquite
the year the Kansas City Wizards and head coach/technical director Peter Vermes thought it would be.
Of course, they knew that there would be some bumps in the road as the implemented a new formation (a 4-3-3), a new set of tactics (the high press) and a line of new players (many of whom carrying green cards/P1 Visas in place of driver's licenses/social security numbers). But a 9-game winless streak and fighting tooth-and-nail to stay in the playoff hunt probably wasn't the expectation.
The expectation was to play attractive, winning football, compete for a mid-playoff spot place and hope for some results in the playoffs. Instead, it's been a season of inconsistency.
When the team has clicked (notably the home-opener, the "Diop Game," both games with the Galaxy), it's been impressive and the outlook was rosy. When the team has receded to pre-Vermes form (12 minutes against Dallas, the "Pablo Escobar Era"), it's been tragic and the outlook was depressing.
Here's today's "Big Question" -- If the Wizards miss the playoffs, does Peter Vermes come back next year? Actually, since Wizards/OnGoal president Robb Heineman flat-out told me in July the team was committed to Vermes, the proper question should be:
Peter Vermes be given the chance to coach this team next year?**Vermes will be going in front of a judge in November to answer for a DUI arrest in August. That might play a factor.
I think the job Vermes has done on the scouting and tactical implementation front has earned him another year. With Omar Bravo coming in, the new stadium opening and another off-season to repair the defensive line, Vermes will enter next year with sky-high expectation. Essentially, the entire fate of the team is probably on his shoulders in 2011. If you were to axe him before Jan. 1, you'd be admitting that you need to start over again and the plan wasn't working.
I think it is.