Peter Vermes has had an interesting week at the helm of this year's MLS All-Star team. Not only dealing with just two days of practice and training, Vermes has had to tackle the biggest question that comes with this year's 20-man roster: Which two players will go the full 90 minutes? With less than 24 hours until both squads take the pitch at Sporting Park, Vermes has settled on one of those spots - it being Sporting KC's own defender, Aurelien Collin.
As Sporting fans are aware, Collin comes into this week's All-Star Game with fresh legs after serving his second yellow-card accumulation suspension of the 2013 campaign - a match in which Sporting KC fell to conference rival Montreal 1-0. Vermes noted that the decision stems from both Collin's fresh legs and him not wanting to put the burden on any other teams.
"I truly don't want to put the burden on another team as well," he said. "I know that's a really difficult part of managing the group and everybody's expectations on who's playing where. [Collin] didn't play this past weekend, so I'll give him the 90. He can handle it, and then it's just going to be which player I have to deal with now that's going to have to play the other 90, because that's going to be the difficult one."
Collin, who's gearing up for his second straight All-Star appearance, assured the media that he's more than prepared for the task of handling the likes of Francesco Totti of Roma.
"All of these players, they have played last Saturday," said the Frenchman, who had to leave last year's All-Star game with facial fractures. "I didn't play. And the coach knows I'm very passionate about it. I'm going to give everything I have. He can trust me on this."
The announcement, though one many expected, brings a high level of excitement, as it'll be the first time in this league's All-Star format that two center backs from one squad will be paired together - a move that'll likely prove to be a favorable anchor for a group that's spent little time as one team.
Sporting KC All-Star Matt Besler commented on the opportunity to play alongside his club counterpart, adding, "I don't know if I'd call it a secret weapon, because we're defenders. But it's going to be nice, having played with him. Hopefully, it will be a calming presence back there with me and him."
Tomorrow's MLS All-Star Game versus Italian opposition AS Roma kicks off at 8:00PM CT at Sporting Park. The game will be broadcasted live on ESPN2.