The Sporting KC Show, held throughout the season on Sports Radio 810 WHB, is now available on Spotify and iTunes. With Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine hosting the weekly program, Sporting KC fans now have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, player achievements, guest interviews and more.
The 2019 premiere of the Sporting KC Show kicked off with a bang, featuring guest appearances from 2018 Golden Boot winner Daniel Salloi, midfielder newcomer Kelyn Rowe and Manager Peter Vermes. Tuesday's episode saw hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine broadcast live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where Sporting KC hosted its Season Kickoff and Kit Launch Party.
After recapping an eventful but brief offseason for Sporting KC and Major League Soccer, Bukaty and Augustine chatted with Rowe about the 27-year-old's acclimation and rediscovered confidence upon landing in Kansas City.
"Right when I came here Peter told me I was playing in the midfield, and he hasn't taken me out of it," Rowe said. "I'm super pumped about that. It's probably the happiest I've been, knowing that I have just one position to fight for rather than seven, and I can use my right foot most of the time."
Rowe said his last two seasons with the New England Revolution were "the hardest two years of my life in the sense of sports, life, things in general," citing his abrupt end with the U.S. Men's National Team, injuries and change in management at New England as factors that challenged him as a player. Now in Sporting Blue, he has a refreshed mindset and a new perspective on the task at hand.
"There's a little pressure to find a spot in the starting 11 since the team did so well last year, but for me it's all excitement and fuel for the fire," he said. "I want to find a place on this team that has already been so successful, because we have very similar pieces from last year."
Salloi was up next, sharing his thoughts on Sporting's new primary jersey before reflecting on a breakout 2018 campaign that culminated with 16 goals in all competitions. As he casts his eyes on the 2019 campaign, Salloi's goals, as well as those of his team, remain as lofty as ever.
"I want to repeat what I did last year and score as many goals as I can. If someone can repeat that performance, it shows that he's a good player, so I want to do that. On the (team) side, I want to win some trophies. It was a sad end to last year, but we have so many opportunities this year with competitions like the Champions League that I think, for sure, we are going to win something."
Vermes rounded out the episode with keen insight on the growth of MLS and the overall strength of Mexican club Deportivo Toluca FC, Sporting's opponent in the 2019 Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16. He also explained why increased spending of Targeted Allocation Money has not only brought more talent to the league, but helped the development curve of young players and Academy products.
"When you see the injection of TAM money, it's had a significant impact in the quality of players we've brought into this league," Vermes said. "At the same time, these players wind up being investments where you can then take advantage of the appreciation value of those assets and sell them on. (Miguel) Almiron is a perfect (example).
"The development at the academies is also going to start pumping out players who can eventually be sold, too. So there's going to be a market here for transferring players. When you're able to sell a player like that, it means you have more funds to go out and buy another player. This will continue to help grow the quality of the league, and it's really started with TAM.
"It would also be very hard to stick (young Academy products) in games if you didn't have the types of players that you now have in your team who are at a TAM level. If you don't have a strong supporting cast, it's hard to put those (young) guys in because they have such a big responsibility in the game. Right now, they have a supporting cast that can help them along in the areas they're weak in."
- 4:45 - The hosts discuss the sweeping MLS offseason, which saw some of the league's superstars land big-money transfers to Europe.
- 7:03 - The hosts review the new playoff format, consisting of single-elimination matches through MLS Cup on Nov. 10.
- 12:07 - Midfielder Kelyn Rowe joins the show, reflecting on his time in New England and the excitement he has joining Sporting KC.
- 21:25 - Forward Daniel Salloi talks about the new primary jersey, his ambitious goals for the 2019 season and the arrival of fellow Hungarian teammate Botond Borath.
- 28:54 - Manager Peter Vermes discusses the club's offseason moves, the strengths of Deportivo Toluca FC, his confidence in striker Krisztian Nemeth and how Targeted Allocation Money has transformed MLS for the better.
Listen to the full podcast below.