Photo by USA Tooday Sports Images
Since returning from Nicaragua after Tuesday night's CONCACAF Champions League opener, Sporting Kansas City has turned the team's attention to a top of the table clash with D.C. United on Saturday at Sporting Park. Two points separate the last two U.S. Open Cup champions in the Eastern Conference standings with two months remaining in the regular season.
Ahead of the 2004 MLS Cup rematch, listen to this week's interviews as heard on local sports radio.
Sporting KC Show on 810 WHB feat. Dom Dwyer and Kerry Zavagnin (Aug. 20)
The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB feat. Peter Vermes (Aug. 21)
Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio feat. Jon Kempin (Aug. 22)
On Thursday, Graham Zusi joined The Program with Soren Petro on Sports Radio 810 WHB to discuss an eventful month for the Sporting KC midfielder that included a knockout round match in the World Cup (July 1), an MLS match five days later, an All-Star selection, a Designated Player contract and a goal in Toronto to move Sporting KC atop the Supporters' Shield standings.
Next up? Tomorrow's Eastern Conference encounter with the Philadelphia Union (7 p.m. CT on NBC Sports, 810 AM & 1340 AM) at Sporting Park before departing for the 2014 MLS All-Star Game on August 6.
Zusi touched on a number of topics throughout the 16-minute interview. Listen to the full podcast embedded below for the following excerpts, as well as his timeline for the United States Men's National Team to win their first World Cup and the mystery surrounding how a postgame jersey exchange led to a hotel room theft.
On his decision to re-sign with Sporting KC...
"It's the direction this club is headed. You've seen over the past four years now what it's done for the city and the vision hasn't stopped there. Our ownership group is probably the best in sports. Their vision is incredible. They have stuff planned out in the next couple years that I want to be part of."
On his experience in Brazil...
"The experience itself was an incredible one for me. To be matched up against the best players in the world, especially against Germany as the eventual winners, it really gives you a bar that you can set and something you can really work towards. You have to be honest with yourself at the end of the day. I was able to do that and know that I'm not there yet. It really gives me something to work towards on that front."
On the United States progress at the international level...
"I think we're well on the way and definitely headed in the right direction. I think Jurgen has done a great job so far with implementing what we need to do to get to that level. He's been very honest with the U.S. fans along with the players, telling us what we need to do to one day be competing against the Germany's and the Brazil's. What we saw from this tournament is we're certainly capable of it. We can hang with some of the best teams in the world on a given day. What we want to do now is do that on a consistent basis every time we're up against them."
On Sporting KC's remaining schedule...
"The second half of the season is always a grind. There's jostling for the playoff positions. We have a team tomorrow in Philly who has always played us well and especially at home. We definitely owe them one. They came in and kind of took it to us last time they were here in Kansas City; definitely not a team to take lightly...At this point of the season, we're sitting in a great spot at the top of the table. Every time we can put another three points up there and distance ourselves, especially from the people in our own conference, that's what it is all about."
Sporting Kansas City winger Jacob Peterson -- the game-winning goal scorer in last weekend's 2-1 win at Toronto FC -- and Philadelphia Union midfielder Maurice Edu joined this week's episode of The Sporting KC Show, which aired last night on Sports Radio 810 WHB and is embedded in its entirety below. Hosts Callum Williams and Carter Augustine interviewed both players in advance of Friday's Eastern Conference clash.
The Union have just one loss in their last 10 games across all competition and have proven to be a thorn in SKC's side at Sporting Park. The reigning MLS Cup champions have suffered only two losses in their last 21 MLS and CCL home matches dating back to last year, both of which came against Philadelphia.
Riding a seven-game unbeaten streak, Sporting KC will aim for sole possession of first place in the Supporters' Shield standings with a result on Friday. A limited number of tickets are still available on Ticketmaster.com and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive a pair of Sporting KC spirit sleeves courtesy of UMB Bank. Not able to attend? The match will be televised nationally on NBC Sports, with additional radio coverage on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler, defender Kevin Ellis and Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman each made an appearance on Kansas City's Sports Radio 810 WHB on Tuesday to discuss happenings with both club and country. Listen to Besler's segment on the Border Patrol, Heineman's call in to Between the Lines and the full episode of the Sporting KC show below.
On the Border Patrol, Matt Besler discusses his time with the U.S. Men's National Team as it undergoes final preparations for Brazil:
Kevin Ellis joins The Sporting KC Show to talk about re-joining Sporting KC midseason and adjusting to an ever-changing back line at Sporting Park:
Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes joined Fescoe in the Morning on 610 Sports Radio earlier today with hosts Johnny Kane and Josh Klingler to discuss all the latest developments within his club. Check out the following transcript of the interview or listen to the podcast embedded below...
On being outplayed by Philadelphia on Wednesday...
In this league, it doesn't really matter how good you are. It matters how consistent you are in the work ethic that you display week after week. If you don't bring that to the table, you don't have a chance of winning in this league because all the teams are built relatively the same when it comes to the type of players that are in the teams…That work ethic has to be a staple all the time and that's something that, I think, the last four years we've been pretty good at and pretty consistent at.
On holding the team accountable...
The business that we're in is one of, obviously, results and the other is entertainment. And those two things should walk hand-in-hand together. I think one of the reasons why we've sold out 42 in a row is because I think that the fans can appreciate that when the guys step inside the white lines, they leave everything out on the field. Whether we win or lose, they know that those guys have given the effort that they're supposed to. When you're not, people are going to stop coming and that's something that's not going to happen within this team. The other is it's about getting results. I do believe that (Wednesday) was a one-off, but I still don't like it. It's something that we're not going to stand for and it's something that we're going to rectify very quickly.
On the play of Dom Dwyer...
It's tremendous. What he has is a great desire to score. He's hungry all the time. And sometimes that's difficult to keep that mentality within that position. A guy can lose confidence. Right now, he's playing with a ton of confidence and at the same time, he's hungry. It shows up every time he's out there. He's definitely emerged as a very dangerous forward in this league and we have high expectations for him throughout the rest of the season with the number of competitions that we still have to play in. We haven't even hit U.S. Open Cup and Champions League, which will start in August again. He's really become a player that has put himself on the map and is now starting to take the reins of being the guy you look to to get the goals. He's definitely coming through with that.
On the challenge at central defense...
With Matt leaving, Collin getting injured in the game, Ike Opara getting injured earlier with the season-ending injury and now Lawrence Olum -- who can play in that position -- with him going away for his call-up, it really poses us with a serious challenge in that part of the field. We're looking at some short term fixes until some of those guys return whether it's from injury or from national team duty. At the same time, a little adversity isn't bad for any team over the course of the season. I always say it's better to happen early so you can get the experience of it and figure out how to deal with it, then be able to use it at those important times when you get toward the end of the season. We have a big challenge in front of us, for sure. We have one guy left and that's Erik Palmer-Brown whose 17 years old and hasn't played an MLS game yet. He's just coming back off a little injury himself. This weekend is going to be a bit of a challenge but in some respects, I think it's good. I think it's something that we need to take head on and figure out a way.
On the debut of Igor Juliao..
He's a very good player. Igor has the engine to play that we expect from that position. The other is that's he got a very good intelligence for the game and is a great competitor as a 1-v-1 defender. What our expectation is for those players offensively to get forward, he found himself in some really good positions with great timing. That kid has got a big future as we move forward so it would be nice over the next year or so if we can work out a deal to keep him here full time.
On Matt Besler and Graham Zusi's inclusion in the World Cup...
It would be a travesty if they weren't in the 23-man roster. Both guys have gone through qualifying and have had major impacts within that qualification. They both have shown not only can they play at that level, but can excel. I understand the magnitude of this opportunity for them, having been there myself. It's what every player dreams of and this is an opportunity I want to see both of them get and excel at. It's important for them as players. Obviously, it's great for our club but I really hope for the two of them that they make it there and get to participate and they show they can play at that level. It's going to be different when you step inside the white lines playing in a World Cup game. The environment is just totally different than a qualification round game. It'll be great experience for them if they're fortunate enough to step in there and play. Then to come back with that experience will be fantastic for us.
With three Sporting KC games in a nine-day span and the start of the United States Men's National Team's pre-World Cup training camp tomorrow, there were no shortage of talking points on last night's Sporting KC Show. Hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine heard from Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi on their selection to Jurgen Klinsmann's 30-player preliminary roster and the trio were also joined by Philadelphia Union broadcaster JP Dellacamera ahead of tonight's Eastern Conference match-up at Sporting Park.
Listen to the full episode embedded below and tune in to Sports Radio 810 WHB beginning at 7 p.m. CT tonight for live coverage from Nate Bukaty and Jake Gutierrez.
The start of the 2014 FIFA World Cup is 30 days away and the excitement is building after Monday's announcement of the United States 30-player preliminary roster. Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler and midfielder Graham Zusi are in the spotlight as members of Jurgen Klinsmann's squad and they met with the media yesterday afternoon during a press conference at Three Points Club (video | quotes).
Among those in attendance was Sports Radio 810 WHB host T.J. Carpenter, whose interviews with each player aired on SportsNight and can be heard below...
Besler was also a guest on The Border Patrol with Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty earlier this morning on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Listen to the audio archive below...
For more coverage from the team's official broadcast partner, tune in for a new episode of The Sporting KC Show from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight with Callum Williams and Andy Edwards. Fans can join the discussion by calling 913-3-810-810 and listen via 810 AM, 810whb.com or via the station's free mobile app.
Sports Radio 810 WHB will also carry more than three hours of coverage of Wednesday's match between Sporting KC and the Philadelphia Union at Sporting Park. Pre-game discussion begins at 7 p.m. CT and the evening will wrap up with The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame Show on air at 9:30 p.m. CT.
Sporting Kansas City forward Dom Dwyer was a guest on The Border Patrol with Sports Radio 810 WHB hosts Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty this morning to discuss his new MLS Cup championship ring, his work ethic in Peter Vermes' high-pressure system and his two-goal performance in the last meeting with Montreal. The team's official radio broadcast partner also carried the newest episode of The Sporting KC Show last night as hosts Callum Williams, Andy Edwards and Carter Augustine spoke with rookie midfielder Alex Martinez and Impact reporter Olivier Tremblay to preview Saturday's match at Stade Saputo.
Listen to both podcasts embedded below...
DOM DWYER (THE BORDER PATROL)
ALEX MARTINEZ (SPORTING KC SHOW)
A new edition of The Sporting KC Show with hosts Andy Edwards, Callum Williams and Carter Augustine will air from 7-8 p.m. CT tonight on Sports Radio 810 WHB (810 AM, 810whb.com & 810whbtv.com) featuring interviews with Sporting Kansas City midfielder Alex Martinez and Montreal Impact reporter Olivier Tremblay ahead of Saturday's match-up at Stade Saputo.
Martinez has made four appearances in his first professional season, debuting at Sporting Park in the team's MLS home opener and appearing in each of the team's last three matches. Martinez -- the No. 57 overall selection in the third round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft -- is up to No. 5 in the latest MLSsoccer.com rookie rankings.
ANYTHING BUT Q&A: Alex Martinez
Yesterday, Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman. The 18-minute interview touched on the season's major storylines, including the team's return to the top of the Eastern Conference standings after Sunday's 2-0 win over Columbus and the team's seven matches in the month of May leading into the World Cup break.
Listen to the full podcast embedded below...
Photo by USA Today Sports Images
Sporting KC's month of May will feature seven games against Eastern Conference opponents, starting Sunday against the first place Columbus Crew in a nationally-televised match-up at Sporting Park (3 p.m. CT on NBCSN, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM). A limited number of tickets are available, including standing room only tickets, via Ticketmaster.com for a jam-packed matchday that will feature:
- Free Sporting KC sunglasses for the first 10,000 fans, courtesy of Sabates Eye Centers
- $3 Mexican beers and free food samples at Cantina (sections 117/119) from 1-1:45 p.m.
- Harvester's canned food drive at all gates through UMKC's Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity
- Sporting Style special: spend $75 or more and take home a mini replica MLS Cup trophy
All of which is headlined by the team's MLS Cup ring ceremony. Fans are advised to be in their seats by 1:45 p.m. CT on Sunday to see Sporting Kansas City players and coaches officially presented with their championship rings.
Manager Peter Vermes -- the league's first champion to win MLS Cup as a player (2000) and coach (2013) for the same team -- was a special guest on two radio shows ahead of #SKCvCLB. He joined Greg Lalas and Simon Borg on this week's edition of ExtraTime Radio and was in studio at Sports Radio 810 WHB earlier this morning with Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John. Listen to the podcasts below...
ExtraTime Radio w/ Peter Vermes
The Border Patrol w/ Peter Vermes
For more from Vermes, check out today's press conference along with defender Chance Myers. Up next on the list? Forward Dom Dwyer was also heard on the airwaves on Friday as the team's leading goal scorer was interviewed on 610 Sports Radio by hosts Henry Lake and Jay Binkley. His banter below...
The Day Shift w/ Dom Dwyer