Jose Mauri at Children's Mercy Park - Sporting KC

Newly acquired Sporting Kansas City midfielder Jose Mauri made his MLS debut last Friday in a road loss to LAFC, jumping straight into the starting lineup at the holding midfield position. The 25-year-old Argentine-Italian boasts six years of experience in the top-flight Italian Serie A and figures to give Manager Peter Vermes’ side a significant boost during the stretch run of the 2021 campaign.

Mauri spoke to media Tuesday for the first time since joining his new club in Kansas City. His remarks, translated through an interpreter, are below.

On why he chose to sign for Sporting…

What really drew me to Kansas City was the (feeling) of security. They have a very serious structure here and it’s a place where I feel like I can grow, not only as a player but as a person as well.

On how he perceived MLS before moving to Kansas City…

I want to be honest. I did not know a whole lot about the league before coming to Kansas City. But when this possibility arose, I read all about it. The more I learned, the more excited I was to be here. I’m looking forward to what’s coming next.

On how Sporting’s Spanish-speaking teammates have helped him assimilate…

They were all instrumental helping me in the first game. Alan Pulido and Roger Espinoza in particular spoke my language. Everyone has treated me like I have been here for a long time. My teammates are very, very kind.

On his strengths as a player and his impressions of Sporting’s facilities…

Speaking about my personal football skills, I would prefer that my performances judge that. As for the facilities, the past clubs I have played for have all been very luxurious. But I will say that Kansas City’s training facility is very, very nice. I’m very impressed with the facilities here.

On starting in his debut at LAFC last Friday…

I was a bit surprised (to start) without training very much, but I was very happy because you always want to play as a player. I am also glad that Peter Vermes put his confidence in me and my abilities. However, I want to continue to train and work hard to be the best that I can be in future games.

On the large number of Argentine players joining MLS…

Yes, I have been surprised. I’m very much looking forward to working with and against these players and learning from them.

On his affinity for trading jerseys with opponents after matches…

I was a bit let down with how the final score of the last game went, but I am hoping that starting next game, I will begin to be able to trade my shirts with opponents and start a new collection in MLS.

On whether he is more comfortable playing at the six or the eight in midfield…

I feel more comfortable at the six. I can play the eight as well. I wouldn’t say I am better at one or the other, it just kind of depends on the structure of the game that we are playing. Overall, I am more comfortable and more natural playing at the six.

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