As part of the squad for the 2018 MLS All-Star Game presented by Target, Sporting Kansas City’s Ilie Sanchez is earning some much-deserved attention for his skills as the team’s top holding midfielder. The 27-year-old Barcelona native has solidly and humbly held down SKC’s defense this year in a season when the back four has battled injury issues. All of this, Sanchez has said, is about getting SKC “back to [its] essence,” he told MLSsoccer.com this week.
Ilie's custom "Rewind Wireless Retro Headphones" from JLab
But as he preps to hit the field and put in work, Sanchez, like most skilled footballers, gets hyped up with music. Here’s what he had to say about what’s playing in his earbuds and in the locker room as he gets ready.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Songs that my parents sing to me before bed.
Were they nursery rhymes or famous singers or stuff they made?
No just typical kid songs. Sometimes might just invent the song. Lyrics about going to bed. They used to sing songs together. Like a train. My dad in front, my brother in middle and my mom the last words so we just went from the living room to our room singing this song.
So who is your favorite musician?
I have a Spanish singer/producer. He's called Juan Magan. He's more South American than Spanish but he's born in Spain. I like his music.
Who picks the music in the locker room?
I don’t want to be part of the choice — I’d rather be talking to everyone or doing my treatment. But last year, they always played this one song last and I actually hated it — I don’t even know the name, but hearing that song would make me get ready mentally for the game.
What’s the best concert you ever attended?
Maybe Coldplay, in Kansas City at the Sprint Center. I went with my mom. I didn’t even know about the concert, but I just got out of training and she was waiting and let me know we were going. She was the one who really wanted to go after she saw the sign!
I loved it because of the lights, and also, Pep Guardiola used to play their songs [when he was coaching, and I was playing, in the Barcelona system].