Newly acquired Sporting defender Winston Reid talks preseason, Kansas City barbecue and the Chiefs

Center back Winston Reid may be new to Sporting Kansas City, but he’s off to a strong start both on and off the pitch.

After missing the last year and a half with a knee injury, the New Zealand international has swapped English Premier League club West Ham United for Sporting and has joined the club for full training during preseason preparations in Arizona. The 6-foot-3 defender this week told Nate Bukaty, the voice of Sporting Kansas City, that he’s feeling fit and ready to compete for playing time as the new MLS campaign approaches.

Away from the pitch, Reid has already taken a liking to Kansas City barbecue and the Super Bowl champion Chiefs. Not a bad way to begin your professional tenure in a city you’ve never visited before.

“The last 19 months hasn’t been the easiest time in my career, but hopefully we’ve crossed that bridge now,” Reid told Bukaty this week. “I’m just looking forward to a new challenge. Whatever happened back in the UK happened, so I’m just happy to be here and I’m really excited for it.”

Reid has dual citizenship in his native New Zealand as well as Denmark, where he began his professional career as a teenager before spending a decade in London as a West Ham fan favorite. When asked to share a lesser-known fact about both of his homelands, he didn’t take long to provide an answer.

“Denmark has a good food culture over there,” he said. “It’s a bit different than in Kansas City, because I know you guys like barbecue. Literally the first stop (the Sporting technical staff) took me to was a barbecue place. It was really good; I enjoyed it. New Zealand has good beaches, warm weather and everything. People are really friendly and there’s good wine, as well.”

Listen below to Bukaty’s full discussion with Reid, courtesy of Sports Radio 810 WHB.

Reid and Sporting will kick off the 2020 MLS campaign on Saturday, Feb. 29, visiting Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a 9:30 p.m. CT kickoff on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus.

The club will then return to Kansas City for its highly anticipated home opener on Saturday, March 7, versus rivals Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the contest are now available at SeatGeek.com and the first 10,000 fans through the stadium gates will receive a free rally towel courtesy of match sponsor UMB Bank.

Tickets for Sporting’s first 10 home matches of the 2020 season, as well as several multi-game ticket packages, are on sale now at SportingKC.com/tickets.

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