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, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost hosting the weekly program, Sporting fans have a place to go to catch up on club storylines, guest interviews and more.
With the dawn of a new Major League Soccer campaign comes the relaunch of the Sporting Kansas City Show with hosts Nate Bukaty, Carter Augustine and Aly Trost.
The 2021 season premier debuted Tuesday night on Sports Radio 810 WHB as Sporting Kansas City’s new No. 10, uber talented 18-year-old Gianluca Busio, joined the show.
Busio was among the leading performers during Sporting’s month-long training camp in Arizona, scoring a brilliant long-range goal to spur a 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday in Tucson. With the team back in Kansas City for another two weeks of preseason training at Compass Minerals National Performance Center, Busio suggested that his left-footed blast from 25 yards could be a sign of things to come.
“I feel like I’ve really improved on that this year,” Busio said of shooting on his weaker left foot. “I want to score goals and get assists and you can’t always do that with your strong foot. It’s a good thing to have in the locker. I’m not going to say I’m just as good with my left as my right, but if they’re taking away my right foot, I think I feel comfortable going on my left now.”
Over the last few weeks, much has been said about Busio’s decision to take the heralded No. 10 jersey. That number, of course, is often reserved for a club’s best playmaker and comes with lofty expectations. Busio reaffirmed on Tuesday that he’s relishing the challenge that comes with the number.
“I want to prove that I’m the actual no. 10. It’s a big thing and the best players in the world wear No. 10,” he said. “It’s one thing to have the number but still be the same player. I want to be they guy, and with that comes goals and assists. I’ve always said that I want to do that, and this year even more I want to be up there with the high scorers and the most assists in the league.
“That’s what I’m going to work toward and I think that’s what I can do in the end—I have the ability and the team to do it with. The coaches believe in me and have a lot of trust in me but also my teammates. When you put that all together, in the end it can be really special.”
Sporting finished atop the Western Conference regular season standings in 2020, which sets a high bar for the team to reach in 2021. Busio is confident that his team has the quality to match and even eclipse the highs of last year, thanks in part to the arrivals of French newcomers Remi Walter and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin—both of whom boast significant experience in France’s Ligue 1.
“The new guys bring some new qualities—guys who have played in big leagues like Remi and Isi,” Busio said. “You can tell in training that their technical ability is better than anything that I’ve seen. They bring the quality that is needed and I think they can really excel in this league. They’re also hard workers and I think everyone on the team is. We also have a lot of guys who have been here a while—a good core group of guys why know our values.”
Busio reflected fondly on the previous four weeks of preseason preparation in the desert, which saw Manager Peter Vermes’ men post a 2-1-1 record. Next up? A highly anticipated season opener at the New York Red Bulls on Saturday, April 17, at 7 p.m. CT.
“The first couple of weeks of preseason were difficult with a lot of (fitness) tests and a lot of running,” Busio said. “The trainings were really hard, but after each week and each game, you could see we were getting more fit and starting to play well with each other—especially some of the new guys. We really started jelling into a team and that’s what happens in preseason. I think it was a really good month in Arizona and now we have two more weeks to prepare for New York.”
After visiting New York, Sporting will return to Children’s Mercy Park for a marquee home opener against Orlando City SC at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets to the first four Sporting KC home games are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last.