Sporting KC Show Podcast: Midfielder Roger Espinoza and fitness coach Mateus Manoel talk MLS, Champions League and more

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 fans now have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, player achievements, guest interviews and more.

The start of the MLS regular season. The resumption of the Concacaf Champions League. The arrival of big-name midfielder Gedion Zelalem and the announcement of multiple international call-ups.

In case you've somehow missed it, the Sporting Kansas City newswire has been on fire in recent weeks. And what better way to catch a comprehensive recap than by listening to the newest Sporting KC Show podcast, which debuted Tuesday night with hosts Nate Bukaty and Carter Augustine on Sports Radio 810 WHB.

In addition to addressing each of the topics above, Bukaty and Augustine spoke with Sporting midfielder Roger Espinoza and Mateus Manoel, the club's Director of Sports Performance and Science. The hour-long episode is an absolute must-listen ahead of Thursday's pivotal Concacaf Champions League quarterfinal clash between Sporting and Panamanian side Independiente, which will kick off at 7 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Park.

Episode Summary

  • 3:22 – Bukaty and Augustine discuss the acquisition of 22-year-old Zelalem, a high-potential player who joins Sporting on a transfer from English Premier League club Arsenal.
  • 9:03 – Manager Peter Vermes shares his expectations of Zelalem as a midfielder who brings unique traits to the team. 
  • 12:10 – Goalkeeper Tim Melia stonewalls Marco Fabian from the penalty spot in Sunday's 2-0 win over Philadelphia, offering a reminder that he remains among the best shot stoppers in MLS.
  • 15:30 – Espinoza joins the show to recap Sporting's whirlwind road trip earlier this month and look ahead to Thursday's showdown with Independiente.
  • 28:10 – The hosts welcome Manoel, who was born in Brazil and grew un in Sao Paulo before moving to the U.S. in 1999 to attend college and begin working with D.C. United.
  • 32:00 – Manoel tells the story of how he became the fitness coach for the Mexico Men's National Team under head coach Sven-Goran Eriksson in 2008.
  • 36:44 – Manoel relays how he transitioned from Mexico to the U.S. Men's National Team ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
  • 39:03 – Manoel describes being at the forefront of the sports science and fitness evolution surrounding the sport.
  • 44:05 – Manoel explains how Sporting has coped with a short offseason and hectic travel to multiple countries in recent weeks, outlining the importance of accelerated training, optimal recovery and sound nutrition.
  • 48:26 – Manoel describes how world-class Pinnacle has helped his staff provide a top-notch training program for Sporting players.

Listen to the full podcast below. For tickets to Thursday's Champions League matchup, visit Fans can click here to find the best ways to follow the game live.