Born: November 21, 1966
Peter Joseph Vermes was born November 21, 1966 in Willingboro and grew up in Delran. Peter was a standout in youth league soccer and quickly became the leader of the Delran High Bears after joining the varsity in 1980. He scored 109 goals during a four-year career.
Peter played soccer as a college freshman for Loyola Maryland in 1984 before returning to the Garden State on a soccer scholarship from Rutgers in 1985. The Scarlet Knights built a strong team around their high-scoring forward. As a senior in 1987, he led Rutgers to their first victory in the NCAA Tournament, against arch-rival Seton Hall, and scored the deciding goal. That year, Peter scored 21 goals, earned First-Team All-America honors, and was runner-up to Bruce Murray of Clemson. He was invited to join Team USA in 1988, and made his first international appearance against Colombia in May. He later played in the Seoul Olympics.
Peter headed to Europe after graduation, playing for clubs in Hungary, Holland and Spain between 1988 and 1995. He played a handful of games for the U.S. national team each year, including the 1990 World Cup. He nearly scored against Italian goalkeeper Walter Zenga in that tournament. Later in his career, Peter played defense for team USA, and appeared in World Cup 98.
Peter returned to the U.S. in anticipation of the start of Major League Soccer, playing a year with the New York Fever of the U.S. Interregional Soccer League. In 1996, Peter was drafted 29th overall by the NY/NJ MetroStars and was elected team captain in training camp. Playing primarily as a defensive midfielder, he helped the MetroStars reach the playoffs in their inaugural season. He made 67 international appearances in all.
Peter played six more MLS seasons—three for the Colorado Rapids and three for the Kansas City Wizards. In 2000, his first year with Kansas City, Peter teamed with fellow defender Nick Garcia and goalie Tony Meola to give the Wizards an airtight defense that allowed less than a goal a game. They finished with the most points in the league and went on to win the MLS Cup, defeating the Chicago Fire 1–0 on a goal shutout by Meola and a goal by Miklos Molnar. Peter was a Best XI All-Star in 2000—the only K.C. player to earn that honor.
After retiring in 2002, Peter did a little broadcasting and began focusing on a coaching career. He worked with the U.S. Under-20 team and became the technical director for the Wizards in 2006. He later was hired as head coach of the team, which was renamed Sporting Kansas City in 2013. That season he led Kansas City to victory in the MLS Cup over Real Salt Lake. Peter was the first person to win the MLS championship as a player and coach for the same team.