Sporting Kansas City solidified its backline on Friday with the acquisition of New Zealand World Cup veteran and longtime English Premier League center back Winston Reid.
With over 300 club appearances under his belt, including 166 Premier League matches for West Ham United, Reid brings a bevy of experience competing at the sport's highest level. Let's jump into 10 big things to know about Sporting's newest loan signing.
1. Born a Kiwi
Reid was born in Auckland, New Zealand's largest city, to parents of indigenous Māori descent. He moved to Denmark at age 10 with his mother and acquired Danish citizenship roughly eight years later. A product of the FC Midtjylland academy, he represented Denmark as a youth international at the U-19, U-20 and U-21 levels.
2. Made in Midtjylland
An imposing 6-foot-3 center back, Reid began his professional career with Danish outfit FC Midtjylland in 2005 at age 17. He became a regular starter by the 2008-2009 season—a campaign highlighted by the Wolves’ participation in UEFA Europa League qualifying. He played 92 matches for Midtjylland in all competitions before his transfer to West Ham in August 2010.
3. Up in East London
Reid made his first of 222 competitive appearances for the Hammers on Aug. 14, 2010 and opened his West Ham scoring account in an FA Cup win over Burnley the following February. After receiving sparse playing time in his first season, he blossomed into an integral part of the East London club's defense from 2011 onward, becoming a fan favorite among the West Ham faithful.
The Hammers dropped to the second-division Championship for the 2011-12 season, but Reid led an emphatic bounce-back with three goals in 30 league starts as West Ham gained Premier League promotion with a victory over Blackpool in the Football League Championship Playoff Final at world-renowned Wembley Stadium.
4. Hammer of the Year
Starting a career-high 36 Premier League matches in 2012-13, Reid was named West Ham’s player of the year as the Hammers secured a top-half finish in the table. He bagged his first Premier League goal in a London derby defeat of Fulham on Sept. 1, 2012, setting the stage for a strong campaign that included a win over reigning UEFA Champions League winners Chelsea.
5. Upton Park Legend
Reid’s crowning moment in East London came on May 10, 2016, when he scored the final goal in Upton Park history to seal a dramatic 3-2 triumph over English giants Manchester United in West Ham’s last home game at the iconic venue. West Ham finished in seventh place that season to secure a spot in UEFA Europa League qualifying for the campaign that followed.
6. World Cup Hero
In early 2010, Reid committed his senior international career to New Zealand and was selected to the All Whites squad for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. He was an ever-present fixture in central defense as New Zealand famously finished the World Cup group stage unbeaten with three draws—including a 1-1 stalemate against defending world champion Italy—despite falling short of the knockout rounds. He also scored his lone New Zealand goal to date at the tournament, heading home a stunning stoppage-time equalizer in a 1-1 tie versus Slovakia.
7. All Whites
Reid has recorded 25 caps for New Zealand at the senior international level. His most recent appearance came just three months ago when he featured in a friendly defeat to Ireland.
8. Facing Pulido
On Oct. 8, 2016, Reid went head-to-head against newly acquired Sporting striker Alan Pulido. New Zealand took a 2-1 loss to Mexico in an international friendly at Nissan Stadium in Nashville, Tennessee.
9. Second New Zealander
By joining Sporting on loan, Reid becomes the second New Zealander in club history. The first was defensive midfielder James Musa, who split time between Sporting and Sporting Kansas City II in 2017.
10. On Social Media
Reid has a presence on both Twitter (@WinstonReid2) and Instagram (@winston.reid2). Sporting fans can give him a follow to make his welcome to Kansas City even warmer ahead of the 2020 MLS regular season, which will begin Feb. 29 with a visit to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Reid and Sporting will then host the Houston Dynamo at 7:30 p.m. CT on March 7 in a highly anticipated home opener at Children's Mercy Park.
Tickets for Sporting's first 10 MLS regular season home fixtures are on sale now at SportingKC.com/tickets.