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, Aly Trost and Conall McCourt hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.
The newest episode of the Sporting Kansas City Show debuted on Tuesday night and did not disappoint.
For starters, hosts Nate Bukaty, Aly Trost and Conall McCourt had plenty to unpack from Sporting Kansas City's thrilling 3-1 road win over the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend. Jaylin Lindsey notched his first professional goal while forwards Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi stayed red-hot as Sporting collected a league-leading third comeback victory this season.
Another compelling narrative? Saturday's match between Sporting and Houston Dynamo FC will see Children's Mercy Park welcome a full-capacity crowd for the first time in nearly 15 months. The momentous occasion gives Manager Peter Vermes' side an opportunity to extend their winning streak to three matches against a pesky rival that handed Sporting a 1-0 road defeat on May 12 in Houston.
But the star of this particular episode was former goalkeeper and captain Jimmy Nielsen, who on Monday was named the newest member of the Sporting Legends hall of honor.
Nielsen, who enjoyed a brilliant four-year stint in Kansas City from 2010-2013, will be officially inducted as a Sporting Legend in a pre-match ceremony before Sporting Kansas City hosts the Colorado Rapids on June 23 at Children’s Mercy Park. He famously captained Sporting to the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup and 2013 MLS Cup titles and is the 11th club icon to join Sporting Legends, an initiative that pays tribute to all-time greats while providing a platform for inductees to engage with the Kansas City community.
"I was fortunate to be a part of a very successful organization and we accomplished some amazing things together," Nielsen said. "When you have that success, individual awards will be given out. People think that I deserve to be a part of this and I am very, very excited and humbled about it. I played a little role on a good team, and when you see those names that are already up there on the (Sporting Legends) wall, it's a lot of good players who have done a lot of good for the history of the club. It's a proud moment."
In a must-listen interview, Nielsen reflects on his early Kansas City experiences playing at a minor league baseball stadium in 2010, Sporting's move into Children's Mercy Park, the club's meteoric rise during his time between the posts, his love of Kansas City and his decision to make the city his permanent residence.
"I originally thought a one-year trip to America (in 2010) would give me a little sparkle again," Nielsen said. "But I got hooked, and it was a no-brainer for me to stay in Kansas City another three years after my first season. It turned out to be the best decision I've ever made in my career.
"There was one specific moment that changed me and changed soccer in Kansas City," he continued. "It was the Manchester United game in 2010. It sounds weird that a friendly can change so much, but we had almost 60,000 people in the stands and I bet you most people were coming to see Manchester United give us a lesson in how soccer should be played. We ended up winning 2-1 and I think it was a wake-up call to the club and the fans that we had a team here that could compete. The ownership invested a little more and it paid off. In 2011, we opened a new stadium. In 2012, we won the Open Cup. In 2013, we won the MLS Cup. It was four amazing years on a crazy ride."
Saturday’s showdown between Sporting and Houston will be the first full-capacity crowd at Children’s Mercy Park since March 7, 2020, when Manager Peter Vermes’ side beat the Dynamo 4-0 in a thrilling 2020 home opener. Sporting will mark the occasion by welcoming 1,000 local medical professionals for the contest and a limited number of tickets remain available to the general public at SeatGeek.com.
As part of the club’s Sporting Sustainability initiative, ticket holders will receive a sustainability bag upon exiting the stadium on Saturday night. Sporting and Houston will also wear limited-edition PRIMEBLUE match jerseys in partnership with adidas, and all supporters who purchase the PRIMEBLUE kit at SportingStyle locations will be entered to win a pair of PRIMEBLUE adidas shoes. Additionally, Sporting Argyle Amber Ale will be available at Children’s Mercy Park concession stands for the first time.
Sporting (4-2-1, 13 points) enters the weekend on a two-game winning streak and occupying second place in the Western Conference. Forward Alan Pulido has earned back-to-back MLS Team of the Week honors and leads MLS during the month of May with four goals and 25 shots. Houston (3-2-2, 11 points) is close behind in fourth place and claimed a 1-0 home win over Sporting on May 12.