Peter Vermes, Matt Besler focused on winning, not Sporting KC legacy

Matt Besler and Peter Vermes know the history of Sporting Kansas City through and through, but they won't be focused on adding to its legacy when they play the Philadelphia Union in the US Open Cup final on Wednesday night, they'll be solely focused on winning.

Vermes was at the heart of the defense of the Kansas City Wizards team that won the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup in 2000. He was also the team's coach when it won the MLS Cup in 2013, making him the only person to win the league's top prize as a player and coach with the same team.

Now he'll lead his team to PPL Park for a chance to add a third trophy in four years to SKC's list of accomplishments and a second US Open Cup during Vermes' tenure.

"Obviously, it would be an accomplishment," Vermes said. "But I guess from our perspective, the only thing -- we're not thinking of it that way. We're just thinking of it as the competition that's in front of us and the opportunity that's in front of us.

"Being able to win another US Open Cup would be fantastic for the team and the club and the fans, and so that's really our focus."

U.S. national team player and SKC captain Besler grew up in Kansas City and has been a fan of the team -- then the Wizards until a rebrand in 2010 -- since its inception as one of the original 10 MLS teams in 1996. He was drafted to play for the club in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft.

He echoed his coach's comments about focusing on the Union match, but admitted he's all about adding to the club's list of accomplishments.

"I want to be careful not to talk about where we're at in comparison, because we don't really do that as players," Besler told MLSsoccer.com. "I know that you guys love doing that, and you should. It is a good story. We want to win as many trophies as possible. If that means our class winning the most trophies in club history, then so be it.

"That's one of the main reasons why I've stayed in Kansas City. There's many reasons, but the biggest reason is the chance of winning championships and bringing back trophies to Kansas City. That's what it's all about for me."

Kickoff for the US Open Cup final between the Philadelphia Union and Sporting Kansas city is 7 p.m. ET, and will be broadcast live on ESPN2 and WatchESPN.