Jaylin Lindsey - Sporting KC vs. Orlando City SC - April 23, 2021

Running throughout the season on Sports Radio 810 WHB, the Sporting Kansas City Show is available on several podcast hubs including Spotify and iTunes as well as SportingKC.com. With Nate Bukaty and Aly Trost hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.

One of the most organic rivalries in Major League Soccer will be renewed Saturday when Sporting Kansas City (1-0-1, 4 points) ventures west to face Real Salt Lake (1-0-0, 3 points) at Rio Tinto Stadium.

In a fixture defined by clutch goals, crunching tackles and pure animosity among the likes of Benny Feilhaber, Kei Kamara, Ike Opara, Roger Espinoza, Kyle Beckerman, Nick Rimando, Javier Morales and many others, there simply isn’t a matchup in MLS quite like the one between Sporting and RSL.

Fittingly enough, the newest episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show offered a comprehensive preview of Saturday’s clash as hosts Nate Bukaty, Aly Trost and Connal McCourt heard from RSL color commentator and former MLS veteran Brian Dunseth.

Boasting an encyclopedic knowledge of the ins and outs at RSL, Dunseth provided an update on the club’s impending change in ownership and some of the newcomers who appear to have given head coach Freddy Juarez’s side a palpable boost. Gone is Beckerman, a club legend. Arriving are U.S. internationals Rubio Rubin and Bobby Wood as well as attacker Anderson Julio, who promptly bagged a brace in RSL’s 2-1 road win over Minnesota United FC last Saturday.

“Losing a guy like Kyle Beckerman, I assume it’s going to be the same whenever Sporting loses Roger Espinoza,” Dunseth said. “You kind of lose some the heart, soul and DNA. They also lost Nedum Onuoha, who was incredible for this club after coming over from (England). Freddy Juarez also replaced his entire staff, bringing in Pablo Mastroeni and Matt Taylor, a former Kansas City Wizard. There’s been a lot of change behind the scenes.”

He continued: “With the addition of Anderson Julio and a player like Rubio Rubin who can hold the ball up, they have speed and athleticism that was sorely lacking last season. They have Albert Rusnak, who is an efficient playmaker, but I think they’re missing two pieces. I don’t think Real Salt Lake is that far off. You’ve seen in Kansas City—when you can find an Alan Pulido type of player and spend in excess to bring him in, I think that’s what we’re seeing. It’s a nuclear arms race for spending in Major League Soccer for difference makers.”

The show concluded with an appearance from Sporting defender Jaylin Lindsey, a 21-year-old academy product who has played the full 90 minutes in each of the club’s first two matches this season. He was notably involved in both of Sporting’s goals in a 2-1 season-opening win at the New York Red Bulls on April 17, winning a penalty kick for the equalizer and igniting the attack for Daniel Salloi’s match-winner.

Lindsey, who grew up in North Carolina, moved to Kansas City in 2015 to join the Sporting KC Academy. He was only 14 years old at the time and had never left his home state for a significant period of time, let alone visited the facilities at Sporting. Lindsey described the transition as a leap of faith and a step toward his ultimate goal of becoming a professional player.

Since then, the longtime U.S. youth international has blossomed into an integral part of Sporting’s backline with 28 appearances in all competitions, including 22 in the MLS regular season.

“I learned a lot last season that MLS is about winning games,” said Lindsey, who has been a frequent starter under Manager Peter Vermes since last fall. “It’s all about trying to win as many games as you can when you’re on the field.

“My confidence is something else that I built up in the offseason because, when you get a lot of games in, you have that (belief) to go out there and say, ‘I can do this.’ I’m trying to take that into this season and push forward.”

Lindsey and Sporting will look to build on a strong start to 2021 this Saturday, with kickoff against Real Salt Lake at 1 p.m. CT. The contest will be shown live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com, the Bally Sports app, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.