Sporting Kansas City Manager Peter Vermes joined Sports Radio 810 WHB host Nate Bukaty on The Border Patrol earlier today to discuss Sporting KC's scoreless draw against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. The full podcast is available below:
With the draw, Sporting KC heads into week seven of the MLS regular season tied for third place with only one loss in the team's first six games (2-1-3). The LA Galaxy trail by one point in the standings and are next up to host Sporting KC. Saturday's match will kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT at StubHub Center live on SKCTV across the Midwest.
Ike Opara scores game-winning goal against New York City FC on March 28 (VIDEO)
Sporting Kansas City defender (and H&R Block tax pro) Ike Opara -- fresh off appearances on The SBI Show on Monday and MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio on Thursday -- was a guest on Sports Radio 810 WHB earlier this morning with The Border Patrol hosts Steven St. John, Nate Bukaty and Jake Gutierrez. Listen to the full podcast embedded below as Opara discusses his return from a season-ending injury in 2014, his thoughts on the Final Four and a debate over his own basketball abilities.
What are the chances we can get Ike Opara in next years Slam Dunk contest?
— Dax McCarty (@DaxMcCarty11) March 30, 2015
Opara is off to a hot start to his 2015 campaign, scoring two goals and anchoring a backline that has posted back-to-back shutouts. He was named the SBIsoccer.com Player of the Month for March after securing a spot on MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week in three of the first four opportunities.
The 26-year-old leads MLS in interceptions (25) and aerial duels won (23), while ranking second among all players in total clearances (36).
FOX Sports 1 returns to Sporting Park this weekend as Sporting Kansas City hosts the Philadelphia Union at 6 p.m. CT on #SoccerSunday. Check out their interview above with Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer, which was conducted by Grant Wahl and aired during America's Pregame in the buildup to the U.S. Men's National Team's 1-1 draw in Switzerland on Tuesday.
The first 10,000 fans inside Sporting Park on Sunday will receive a commemorative Dom Dwyer poster -- painted by Kansas City's own John Bukaty -- courtesy of match sponsor adidas. A limited number of tickets remain available via Ticketmaster.com and can also be purchased at the Sporting Park box offices on gameday while supplies last.
Dwyer scored in two of the team's three matches against Philadelphia last year en route to breaking the team's single-season scoring record with 22 goals. In 2015, the MLS All-Star is one of two Sporting KC field players to have played every minute this season and he leads MLS with 15 fouls won after four games.
Photo by Gary Rohman
Sporting Kansas City captain Matt Besler was a guest on Sports Radio 810 WHB this morning, joining The Border Patrol hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John to discuss Saturday's match at New York City FC (6 p.m. CT on SKCTV) and his alma mater Notre Dame taking on Wichita State in the Sweet Sixteen.
On the opportunity to play at Yankee Stadium...
"I can not wait. I think it's going to be awesome. (It's) one of the most historical stadiums in the world. We get to experience it and play there. I am really looking forward to it."
On the reduced field dimensions...
"It's a factor. Again, we're going to try to turn it and play it into a positive for us. The way that NYCFC plays right now is they keep a lot of possession. They like to keep the ball on the ground. With a smaller field though, it allows us to pressure the ball. And that's one of our strengths. When we're on our game and we're working hard and pressuring, there are not a whole lot of teams that can keep the ball against us. That's how we feel. We're going to go up there and try to use the field to our advantage to disrupt their rhythym."
On aiming for team's first win...
"There's definitely some urgency to get some points, we all realize that. In no way are we panicking. It's still so early in the season. It would be great to be sitting on nine points right now, but we're not. The great thing is we've seen improvement with our performances. Last Saturday against Portland was a great sign. If we can play like that and create the chances that we created, more times than not we're going to win games and we're going to be just fine."
On the fans support...
"Our fans are unbelievable. They show up every week and give everything they have. Last Saturday, it felt like a different atmosphere. When the ball went out of bounds for a corner kick, you could just feel the energy in the stadium pick up because everyone believed we were going to create a chance. More times than not on those set pieces, we did. For whatever reason, the ball just didn't want to go in."
On preparing to face David Villa...
"He is really shifty. He's not the biggest guy. He's probably not the fastest guy either. But his center of gravity is low. He's got unbelievable balance. And he can go either way. As a defender, that's sometimes some of the hardest people to guard...With David Villa, he's very unpredictable. Because he so's talented, he can do a lot of different things. That's what makes him difficult."
Sporting Kansas City defender Jalil Anibaba was a guest on The Sporting KC Show last night, joining hosts Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine at Jazz, A Louisiana Kitchen to discuss the team's draw against the Portland Timbers last weekend and to preview Saturday's match at New York City FC. Listen to the full podcast embedded below and available each week on 810whb.com.
Anibaba -- acquired in the offseason from the Seattle Sounders -- was one of three players to make their Sporting KC debuts in the scoreless draw along with Servando Carrasco and Soni Mustivar.
On the defensive end, he contributed to the club's first shutout of the season by winning seven of his nine duels (including all four aerials) with three clearances, two interceptions, two recoveries and one tackle won. Offensively, he led all players with three shots while also logging 66 touches, 29 successful passes and two dribbles completed.
His performance earned the praise of Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes and fellow defender Ike Opara.
Listen to the latest edition of The Sporting KC Show embedded below as hosts Dave Borchardt, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine were joined by Portland Timbers midfielder Jack Jewsbury and Sporting KC assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin for last night's episode on Sports Radio 810 WHB. Once teammates in Kansas City, Jewsbury and Zavagnin previewed this Saturday's match-up at Sporting Park.
Jewsbury -- a Missouri native -- played his first eight professional seasons in KC after being drafted in the fifth round of the 2003 MLS SuperDraft. He is one of only six active MLS players to appear in more than 300 regular season matches and has been a member of the Timbers since their inaugural MLS season in 2011. Only Diego Chara and Darlington Nagbe have more MLS appearances for the club.
A limited number of tickets remain available, including standing room only tickets, via Ticketmaster.com for Saturday and the first 10,000 fans inside the gates will receive Sporting KC flags courtesy of H&R Block.
A new edition of The Sporting KC Show aired on Sports Radio 810 WHB tonight as hosts Nate Bukaty, Andy Gruenebaum and Carter Augustine discussed Sporting KC's 1-1 draw against the New York Red Bulls and looked ahead to Saturday's match at FC Dallas. This week's episode was highlighted by interviews with defender Ike Opara -- who scored on Sunday in his return from a season-ending injury in 2014 -- and FC Dallas midfielder Ryan Hollingshead.
Listen to the show in its entirety below...
In addition, Manager Peter Vermes was a guest on The Program with Sports Radio 810 WHB's Soren Petro on Monday. Vermes spoke in-depth about a variety of topics, ranging from the result against the Red Bulls to the debuts of Luis Marin and Krisztian Nemeth to the scouting work involved at the youth levels through the Sporting KC Academy.
Hear those comments and more in the 23-minute segment below...
Sporting KC captain Matt Besler (shown on right at Sporting EVOLUTION) joined The Border Patrol on Sports Radio 810 WHB on Friday morning. Hosts Nate Bukaty and Steven St. John welcomed the World Cup veteran in studio for a 25-minute interview, available for listeners below.
Besler enters his eighth professional season and leads all current Sporting KC players with 181 appearances across all competition for the club. The Overland Park, Kansas native has started each of the team's last five season openers and is set to his lead his side onto the field this Sunday when Sporting Kansas City welcomes the New York Red Bulls for a 6 p.m. CT kickoff at Sporting Park.
Later on Friday, Sporting Club CEO Robb Heineman was a guest on Between the Lines with Kevin Kietzman. The two discussed the team's 20th season including developments on and off the field, as well as the recent agreement reached with the MLS Players Union for a new Collective Bargaining Agreement.
A limited number of tickets are available for Sunday via Ticketmaster.com or at the Sporting Park Box Offices on gameday. The match will be nationally televised on FOX Sports 1 and FOX Deportes with radio coverage available locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Gran D 1340 AM (Spanish).
— Matt Besler (@MattBesler) March 6, 2015
Andy Gruenebaum -- recently introduced as the color commentator for SKCTV broadcasts in 2015 -- was a guest on Sports Radio 810 WHB earlier this morning, joining SKCTV play-by-play announcer Nate Bukaty along with Border Patrol voices Steven St. John and Jake Gutierrez live in studio. Gruenebaum discussed his decision to retire after a nine-year MLS career and the opportunity to move into the broadcast booth for his hometown team.
Listen to the full 22-minute segment below and for more on the 2015 season ahead, listen to SKCTV sideline reporter Jake Yadrich on Primetime with Jim Grundy earlier this week.
A year ago this time, Graham Zusi was coming off a Man of the Match performance for the U.S. Men's National Team in their 2014 opener...the first of 10 international appearances on the year, including all four U.S. MNT matches at the FIFA World Cup in Brazil, to go along with 31 games across all competition for Sporting Kansas City.
Fast forward to present day and Zusi has been sidelined with a stress reaction in his foot since the team's elimination from the MLS Cup Playoffs in October -- missing two U.S. Men's National Team camps and reduced to limited participation through Sporting Kansas City's first two weeks of preseason activity. His injury-forced hiatus is nearing its end, however, and the three-time MLS All-Star is ready for a return to the field for the first time more than 14 weeks.
Tucson's ABC affiliate KGUN9 caught up with him on Thursday at the Kino Sports Complex to talk about the recent rest and recovery. Check out the video below...