The 2019 MLS season is one Sporting Kansas City fans will be looking to forget. But with a very long offseason ahead that may not have soccer until March (assuming no MLSPA strike), we feel compelled to look back at the good and the bad from 2019. For the full list of players reviewed, head to our dedicated Year in Review page.
The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2019 with a man who started so strong, before fading away — Krisztian Nemeth.
Games Played (Started): 24 (18)
Minutes Played: 1,559
Games Suspended: 1 (the red card that derailed his season apparently)
Goals: 8 (12 including CCL — tied for the team best in all competitions)
xG (expected goals): 9.58
Positions Played: CF
2019 Salary: $1,063,666.71
Contract Through (Option Years): 2019 (None)
*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.
Best Moment of 2019
As with many players on the team, the high point of a rather disappointing year was the March 30th beat down of the Montreal Impact. Nemeth scored three of his eight MLS goals that day (side note — he also scored two against the New England Revolution, meaning he only had three outside those two games in MLS). Nemeth would only score four more times for the rest of the year.
Worst Moment of 2019
When you are the starting CF and you go huge stretches without scoring (see below), it’s hard to pick just one. Instead, I’ll say it’s under performing his xG. He’s the first attacking player we’ve reviewed to do this as both Felipe Gutierrez and Johnny Russell knocked in more goals than they should have based on the opportunities they were given. Nemeth just couldn’t buy goals this year and when his defensive work rate isn’t as good as those who came before him in this role, that is a problem.
Nemeth had a drought of 134 days without scoring a goal. Ouch! He scored in the first half against the Vancouver Whitecaps on May 18th and then he got sent off with a red card in the second half. He didn’t score again until the penultimate game of the season against the Portland Timbers on September 29th in that disappointing 2-2 draw. 134 days! That’s over four months. In his defense, he didn’t play in 10 of those 22 games and he only started seven of them. Though, part of getting to start is performing.
Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait
Yikes! Nemeth landed two from the bottom (ahead of only Rodney Wallace and Andreu Fontas) in the fan voting. It’s clear that strikers must score goals (unless you are Khiry Shelton) or the fans want to burn it all down. Nemeth did get a couple games at the end of the year after a long stretch of not playing (due to both injury, poor form and international duty). However, the team can simply decline his option and move on if they so choose. It’s a far cry from the beginning of the season when Sporting KC thought they found their striker. Remember when Peter Vermes said, “in a lot of ways [Nemeth is] very similar to [Sergio] Aguero.” That quote didn’t age well.