- U.S. National Team: MNT
- Position: Forward
- Hall Of Fame Category: Player
Starting his National Team career as a center forward and finishing it as a central defender, Peter Vermes was one of U.S. Soccer’s most versatile players. The Delran, N.J. native played with a contagious team-first attitude and a phenomenal work ethic during his decade with the Men’s National Team.
Following a standout high school career in which he was named New Jersey Player of the Year, Vermes was a star forward and All-American at Rutgers University. After college, Vermes represented the United States in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and was named 1988 Chevrolet U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year for his efforts.
Vermes earned 66 caps and scored 11 goals in his decade with the National Team and was an integral part of a young U.S. team at the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy, where he nearly scored a sensational goal against the host Italians. The USA’s appearance in Italy marked the first time the United States had qualified for the World Cup in 40 years and set the stage for the progress of the U.S. National Team throughout the 1990s. In 1989 and 1990, Vermes became the first American to play in the Hungarian and Dutch First Divisions, appearing for Raba ETO and FC Volendam, respectively. He later spent five years with Figueras of the Spanish Second Division.
For the inaugural MLS season in 1996, Vermes served as captain of the New York/New Jersey MetroStars. In 1997, he was traded to the Colorado Rapids for his current assistant coach Sporting Kansas City Kerry Zavagnin and played in Denver through the 1999 season.
Vermes joined Kansas City in 2000 for what would be the most successful seasons of his MLS career. During his first year in Kansas City, he anchored one of the best defenses in league history and won MLS Defender of the Year honors helping the Wizards to the 2000 MLS Cup Championship. He retired in 2002 after appearing in 184 MLS matches and playing over 16,000 minutes. He was nominated on the players ballot for the National Soccer Hall of Fame from 2007-2012. In 2013, Vermes became eligible for the veteran ballot and was elected to the Hall of Fame as a Veteran in his first year of eligibility.
Vermes and his wife Susan have two children, Nicole and Kyle. He is a member of the U.S. Soccer Board of Directors and has a soccer park named after him in his home state of New Jersey.