On a crisp January day, Mike “The Gasman” Gastinau received a phone call from an old friend at KJR. “He told me had a sponsor who was interested in sponsoring a Seattle Sounders soccer show, and would I be interested. ”
You may remember, Mike stepped away from the radio, ending a 21 year run at Sports Radio KJR in 2013. He had spent plenty of time talking sports, and was just a few short months into the release of his book “Sounders FC: Authentic Masterpiece”. A couple of thoughts crosses his mind. Would there be a sustainable market for the show. He had totally entrenched himself in all things soccer and Sounders, but something was still missing.
” After immersing myself in the culture, I kept coming back to the same question; How come there wasn’t more coverage on the Radio?” ~Mike Gastineau ~
Major League Soccer has a well documented vision of being a top flight league by the year 2022, there is an ever-present sense of growth and expansion within the league. Fans are consistently bombarded with numbers about the growth and expansion of the sport. Just this week the announcement of a 23rd franchise being awarded to Atlanta flooded the web.
From the start Gastineau alludes the show has to be in front of a live audience.” That is where I made my bread and butter. In the 1990′s, we would do at least 100 remote shows (on location), There isn’t a bar in Seattle I haven’t done a show from.” He was only half kidding.
The initial contract for the soccer centric show is scheduled through the end of November, but Gas is quick to point out,” If we have a good crowd every week, and there is a demand there, all those involved would definitely like to see this thing ready to reload for next spring, and maybe keep it going through the winter.”
This will be new waters for Sports Radio KJR as they will be one of the first major markets to dedicate air time, to a soccer specific show on a consistent basis for eight months. Seattle is the 11th largest market in the United States, so there is significant investment and resources which have gone into making sure this show is done correctly, and to keep the culture of soccer deeply entwined within it.
Mike Gastineau highlighted KJR’s ability to be on the cutting edge of programming. “KJR has always shown a willingness to try ned things, there are always willing to try.” The lineup of guests reads like a who’s who of the local and national soccer world. On April 15th, opening night, Mike will welcome Dave Clark of Sounder At Heart and none other than Grant Wahl of Sports Illustrated. “The goal is to ave a national guest, a Seattle Sounders player or coach, on every week. We are looking to have some of the guys from ECS, Seattle Reign, University of Washington, and Seattle University. While the Sounders and World Cup will be prominent topics, the goal is to cast a light on the great soccer landscape we have here in the Northwest.”
The new show will come on at a key time slot heading into the World Cup this summer, with many games finishing just before the show starts, it will give soccer fans a chance to feed their soccer bug.
Look, we wouldn’t be having this show if the MLS had not expanded here. ~ Mike Gastineau
High on the list of topics this year will be the prominent role players from the Seattle Sounders will have on the national level. Three players, Brad Evans, DeAndre Yedlin, and Clint Dempsey, all figure to play a significant role in the success of team USA during the World Cup. Mike exclaims,” Look, having players on the national team is something Sounders fans are going to have to get used to. It’s part of having high quality players.”
John Baylis, owner of the George and Dragon, had this to say,” I didn’t hesitate, as the current 2nd biggest pro team in our city, the (Seattle)Sounders FC should be talked about on all platforms. I am proud to be a soundes fan, a fan of the beautiful game, and very lucky to have a couple of venues that could partner with KJR in this venture; so much so that i crawled around the attic of The Market Arms in the heat on Monday, stringing a new isdn line for the show’s brodcast. We love our football, round and oval.”
“One thing is for sure, Sounders fans will tune in the thousands on April 15th to catch the first installment of “Seattle Soccer Talk” live on Sports Radio KJR at 7pm. It will be podcasted and available through the IHeartRadio App or at SportsRadioKJR.com. You can also attend it live and in person at The Market Arms.The show will then alternate locations on a weekly basis between the George and Dragon Pub and The Market Arms.
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