Upon winning his first-ever MLS Cup, sporting Kansas City midfielder Benny Feilhaber gave the credit to his manager, Peter Vermes, for instilling a resiliant mentality in the champion side.
In every round of the playoffs en route to the 2013 Major League Soccer title, Sporting fell behind only to fight back and eventually triumph, a tradition it continued in the final. Aurelien Collin equalized in the second half after Alvaro Saborio's opener to force a penalty shootout where the Sporks held their nerve to win in the tenth round.
"I think we could make it easier on ourselves by scoring first, but I also think it shows that if we’re down, we’re never out," explained Feilhaber, who converted his penalty in the shootout. "I think it shows the kind of confidence that Peter’s instilled in us. He’s always said we have 90 minutes to do it, maybe 120 minutes and today maybe even more than 120 minutes.
"But we were able to get it done in the 10th penalty after 120 minutes. So don’t count us out until the game’s over and I think that’s what we showed."
Vermes, the first man to win the MLS Cup as a player and a coach with the same club, deflected the glory onto seemingly everyone but himself.
"This was so important to me because the nucleus of players that has been here the last three or four years has wanted this," said Vermes. "It’s something they’ve worked extremely hard for, and they’ve stayed focused to it. It’s also great for the owners and fans. I’m so glad that everyone can be rewarded for what they have been trying to do."