Joe-Max Moore, Peter Vermes inducted into National Soccer Hall of Fame


Joe-Max Moore, Peter Vermes & Sunil Gulati at the ceremony. (USA Today)

Before the United States beat Jamaica 2-0 at Sporting Park on Friday, a couple of U.S. soccer legends were inducted into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

In a ceremony held outside the stadium, Joe-Max Moore and Peter Vermes became the latest members of the elite circle.


Joe-Max Moore playing for the United States. (Getty)

Moore, a Tulsa, OK native, played a big role in the 1990s for the USA as the team rose to relevance on the world soccer stage.

He debuted for the team in 1992, represented the USA in the 1994, 1998 and 2002 FIFA World Cups and scored 24 goals in 100 games for the Stars and Stripes. In his time with the national team, he accomplished a rare feat: Moore scored at least one goal in nine straight years, something only three other Americans have accomplished.

Moore was honored to be inducted, and knew one person in his life would be especially proud of his achievement:

Sporting Kansas City coach Peter Vermes was also inducted to the Hall of Fame, both for his playing accomplishments and his coaching successes.


Peter Vermes’ unveiling as Kansas City Wizards coach in 2009. (Getty)

Vermes was part of the US men’s national team in the late 1980s and early 1990s, even captaining the 1990 FIFA World Cup team. In his 66 caps with the USA, he scored 11 goals and was a member of the 1988 team at the Olympic Games in Seoul.

After his playing career came to an end, Vermes stayed in the game by getting into coaching. He became the Kansas City Wizards — later re-branded as Sporting KC — head coach in 2009, and has been with the club ever since.


USA supporters steal the show at Sporting Park


Sporting Park began to fill up an hour before the match started. Just before kickoff, hundreds of American flags were held up, waving magnificently in the breeze as the supporters chanted their admiration for the USA.

The national anthem was a thing to behold. More than 18,000 fans in the stands belted it out at the top of their lungs, holding their scarves in the air, setting a stunning scene for their boys in red, white and blue.


USA fans before the match. (Image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)

While the United States had already qualified for the 2014 World Cup, and their final two qualifiers are essentially meaningless, it didn’t feel that way on Friday night at Sporting Park when they took on Jamaica.

The atmosphere was electric from the get-go. Even before the match began, the American Outlaws and many other fans filled the stadium, chanting and getting hyped.


Despite a pretty dull game for the first 80 minutes or so, the fans kept bringing the noise despite a lack of any interesting action on the pitch.

When hometown hero Graham Zusi finally broke the deadlock, the crowd at Sporting Park went absolutely bonkers. Not long after, Jozy Altidore kept the party going to score the USA’s second. The USA would go on to win 2-0, clinching first place in the Hex.


Fans at Sporting Park. (Image courtesy of USA Today Sports Images)

After the match, most of the crowd stuck around as Jurgen Klinsmann and the team thanked them for making them feel at home. His players gave Klinsmann a nice cold Gatorade bath, following by the German pumping his fists in the air to Macklemore. It was a moment of pure joy that these fans shared with their team.

The thunderous roars, the chants, jumping up and down, and the sea of stars and stripes in Kansas City won’t soon be forgotten.