Major League Soccer

Sporting Kansas City head coach & two players placed under league health protocols

Lizzy Becherano
Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes
Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes / Azael Rodriguez/Getty Images

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes and two players have been placed under Major League Soccer health and safety protocols.

The team did not disclose the names of the two players and will keep the information confidential at the moment. Head coach Vermes added that it is “probably unlikely” he and the two other players will appear on the sidelines in Wednesday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes. He also reminded audiences that the players and technical staff are 100 percent vaccinated.

The head coach added midfielder Felipe Hernandez will also be away from the team on Wednesday, increasing the list of unavailable players to five as Alan Pulido and Gianluca Busio remain on international duty. Though Vermes did not appear worried in front of reporters, he admitted to a definite structural change for the midweek game.

“It’s going to definitely cause shuffling in the lineup, plus with players away on international duty," Vermes said. "But we’ll put a good team out on the field, as we always try to.”

Sporting Kansas City currently sits in second place with 26 points in 13 matches, only three points behind Western Conference leaders Seattle Sounders. Though Kansas City is a game behind the Sounders, the revelation of two more missing players might delay the team’s hopes of overcoming league rivals. Like their coach, Sporting KC players did not appear frightened and welcomed the challenge.

“We’ve got a big squad for reasons like this," winger Johnny Russell said. "Everyone knows with what’s going on in the world now, circumstances change and change quickly. We have more than enough quality players who can step in.

"We have a lot of games coming up, this is where we’re going to get tested as a squad. If we continue to pick up points the way we have been, this can set you apart from the pack. A lot of teams will look at it that way.”