Life returned to normal for Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes in the week leading up to Saturday's home match with FC Dallas.
After missing two matches due to a positive COVID-19 test, Vermes rejoined training and was anxious to get back into the routine.
"Yesterday was great to be on the field for training," Vermes said Wednesday. "I feel great."
Vermes' club is in a great position as assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin led Sporting to four points in two matches, including handing Seattle its first home loss of the season.
"We have a couple of things in our favor," Vermes said. "One is consistency with people here, which lends itself to not overreacting in times of crisis. I thought everyone dealt with everything well. I think the players have a really good understanding of who we are, and I appreciate that everybody being able to adapt and adjust."
Sporting KC (9-3-3, 30 points) now sits in second place in the Western Conference, two points behind Seattle and three points behind New England in the Supporters' Shield standings, with a match in hand against both clubs.
Sporting has been scoring plenty of goals, even without some key players who have missed action recently. They rank second in MLS with 28 goals. Their goal differential of plus-11 is in a three-way tie for second behind Seattle's plus-13.
FC Dallas (3-7-5, 14 points) is in a tie for 10th place in the conference with San Jose and Vancouver.
FC Dallas head coach Luchi Gonzalez is undefeated against Sporting KC. Gonzalez took over in 2019 and has registered a 4-0-1 record against its conference rivals. On the road, Gonzalez and Dallas are 2-0-1 at Children's Mercy Park.
"It's good to know that (record) historically, that helps build confidence in what we can do," Gonzalez said. "But it's in the past, it's not going to fight for us on Saturday. We've got to do the fighting, the believing and the work. We need to be up for the challenge and we need to bring our best."
--Field Level Media