Days after earning MLS Team of the Week honors for his heroic contributions in a 1-0 win over Chicago Fire FC, Sporting Kansas City center back and New Zealand international Winston Reid joined host Josh Klingler for the newest episode of The Nutmeg Podcast.
Reid has played every minute during Sporting’s three-game winning streak—an impressive stretch that includes defeats of Chicago, the Houston Dynamo and, most recently, Nashville SC on Sunday. He has started six of eight appearances during his debut MLS campaign, bringing almost a decade of experience in the English Premier League with London club West Ham.
Like many other players on the Sporting roster, Reid’s story about how he wound up in Kansas City is uniquely different. He paints the full picture in the podcast below.
After suffering a serious leg injury in March 2018, Reid spent most of the next year and a half rehabbing. Once he got to full fitness by the end of 2019, Reid said his next priority was finding a place to get playing time. A loan move from West Ham to Sporting would materialize in February.
“I had a few options at the time, but I wanted to come to America,” Reid said. “I thought it would be a good fit for me personally, not only on the pitch but off the pitch as well. It’s always something I’ve wanted to do—to try a different country and a different culture.
“Those were the reasons behind it, and I’m happy I made the choice to come over here. 2020 has been a difficult year, and I’m sure this would have been better had it been a different year. But taking everything into account, this has been a good experience.”
Once he had decided to make the jump to MLS this past winter, Reid did his due diligence and learned that Sporting would be an ideal landing spot.
“I knew the league as a whole because it grows every year—it gets better and better,” Reid said of MLS. “You see players coming to America earlier in their careers and (clubs) signing players for a lot of money, as well. I spoke to some people who knew about (MLS) and they said Kansas City was a really good team that missed the playoffs last year but beforehand were always in the playoffs.
“For me it was also important that Peter (Vermes) has been here a very long time. I wasn’t going into a situation where the manager just got there. Once I got here, yeah—it was a good group of guys. Most importantly, there are really good people in the club and around the city, as well. All in all, I’ve been very happy.”
Reid and Sporting will aim for their fourth consecutive victory on Wednesday when they visit FC Dallas in a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff at Toyota Stadium. Supporters can catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
The Nutmeg Podcast: Previous Season 2 Episodes
- Episode 201: Defender Graham Zusi (Jan. 14, 2020)
- Episode 202: Goalkeeper Tim Melia and defender Cameron Duke (Jan. 29, 2020)
- Episode 203: Forward Khiry Shelton (Feb. 12, 2020)
- Episode 204: Forward Daniel Salloi (Feb. 25, 2020)
- Episode 205: Veterans Matt Besler, Roger Espinoza and Graham Zusi (March 10, 2020)
- Episode 206: Manager Peter Vermes talks COVID-19 (March 20, 2020)
- Episode 207: Forward Johnny Russell (March 26, 2020)
- Episode 208: Retired midfielder Benny Feilhaber (April 16, 2020)
- Episode 209: Midfielder and eMLS star Wan Kuzain (May 6, 2020)
- Episode 210: Retired goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen (May 19, 2020)
- Episode 211: Assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin (June 11, 2020)
- Episode 212: Midfielder Roger Espinoza (June 24, 2020)
- Episode 213: Manager Peter Vermes (July 14, 2020)
- Episode 214: Defender Graham Smith (Aug. 11, 2020)
- Episode 215: Midfielder Felipe Hernandez (Aug. 25, 2020)
- Episode 216: Defender Amadou Dia (Sept. 22, 2020)