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 another fan favorite — Gerso Fernandes.
Games Played (Started): 25 (20)
Minutes Played: 1,749
Games Suspended: None
xG (expected goals): 5.46
Positions Played: Primarily LW, but some RW as well.
2019 Salary: $550,008.00
Contract Through (Option Years): 2019 (2020)
*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.
Best Moment of 2019
Sporting KC went to face the Vancouver Whitecaps in Canada on July 13th. Gerso had a goal and an assist (and frankly should have probably scored more). He dominated the Caps in route to a 3-0 road victory. That also marked the first back-to-back wins for KC in 2019. In July. Crazy!
Worst Moment of 2019
As with many players on Sporting KC, it comes down to an injury. Gerso took the starting role in 2019 partially because Daniel Salloi picked up a knock in preseason and Gerso seized his opportunity. However, in a wild 4-4 draw against the New England Revolution, Gerso would break his left wrist while trying to tap in a goal before instead crashing into the back of the net.
Things were already starting to turn sour for SKC when that happened (including that game they were 0-1-3 since the Montreal Impact 7-1 beating). After Gerso went down they were 1-3-2 until he returned.
It would be nice if there was an xA stat (expected assists). As we are fond of saying around here at The Blue Testament (and especially our site manager Thad Bell), Gerso would probably have a dozen assists if other players finished the chances he created. However, since we have no such stat, let’s go in another direction.
The stat is seven. As in, seven goals in all competitions. The two goals in MLS looks bad (and to an extent it is with a 5.46 xG number) but when you factor in four goals in CONCACAF Champions League and another in the US Open Cup (before that game got ugly), Gerso contributed as his usual pace (five goals in 2018 and eight in 2017 in MLS play).
Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait
Despite his lack of goal scoring in league play, Gerso has something most of this team doesn’t — speed. His ability to open up the game provides something that Daniel Salloi definitely doesn’t and that Johnny Russell has much less of on the opposite wing. His runs into the channels and out wide pull defenders out of shape and create opportunities. He’s the first player we’ve highlighted making over the max budget charge, but it seems obvious to bring him back in 2020 and potentially look to extend his contract beyond then.