It’s that time of year again! We’re going through each team in the Western Conference to see how they ended last year, how things have gone in the offseason, and what we might expect from them in 2020. They will be published in no particular order, and you can find all of them here.
2019 Record: 10-16-8 (38 points, 11th in Western Conference)
Goals For: 49 (T-9th in WC)
Goals Against: 67 (11th in WC)
3 Key Additions:
Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda, Roberto Puncec
3 Key Subtractions:
Jimmy Medranda, Seth Sinovic, Yohan Croizet (bonus: Benny Feilhaber)
After Sporting Kansas City’s deep run into the semi-finals of 2019’s Concacaf Champions League, many of us thought they were a legitimate contender for MLS Cup. But injuries and a slow start to the MLS season sunk their playoff hopes, much less any chance for bringing home the Cup.
No one hid the fact that finishing at the bottom of the Western Conference wasn’t good enough for Pete Vermes and crew, and they have been busy improving the team in the offseason. The big news was the signing of Designated Player Alan Pulido, the 28-year-old forward who Sporting reportedly paid “more than double the total amount of Sporting KC’s previous transfer spend over its entire 23-year history.” According to the Blue Testament, the highest paid transfer fee before Pulido was $4 million, so SKC showed that they are willing to spend some cash. It’s also rumored that SKC dropped almost $4 million to bring in Israeli midfielder Gadi Kinda. Kinda was signed to a loan with the option to decline at the end of the year. Vermes also brought back forward Khiry Shelton, who started 15 of 20 games played in the 2018 season.
A big need for improvement for SKC was their defense. Their 67 goals allowed was the most in the Western Conference last year, and they have signed Roberto Puncec, a Croatian centerback, and Winston Reid on loan from West Ham.
Sporting is looking like a dangerous team this year. They’ve spent some money to bring in players to reinforce the awful defense and improve their offense, so SKC could be a force to reckon with in the Western Conference.