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 what the club hopes will finally be their next left back — Luis Martins.
Games Played (Started): 10 (9)
Minutes Played: 829
Games Suspended: 0
xG (expected goals): 0.16
Positions Played: Left back
2019 Salary: $240,000.00
Contract Through (Option Years): 2021 (2022)
*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.
Best Moment of 2019
His debut against Orlando City. The team lost but he came on as an offensive left back sub and he never looked back. He went on to start the final nine games and Seth Sinovic never saw the field again. Peter Vermes always seems to have it out for Seth, so that probably comes as no surprise.
Worst Moment of 2019
His first start against the San Jose Earthquakes on August 17th. Sure, Sporting KC won, but we found out that Martins wasn’t what he was proclaimed to be. Most of all, he wasn’t fast. He is probably faster than Seth Sinovic, but he isn’t as quick as he was sold to be. He got burned by Cristian Espinoza several times that night and if not for poor finishing, he’d have had a nightmare first game. Instead, the Quakes finished nearly no chances and SKC got the win. To defend him a bit, he wasn’t supposed to play 90 minutes but he managed his energy and stayed home a bit to allow SKC to go a different direction with their subs.
3-5-1. That’s the record with Martins starting at left back for Sporting Kansas City. The first three starts were wins. Of course the 0-5-1 run at the end of the year isn’t all on him, but the team let in a lot of goals with Martins in the game. He was a part of the 2-7 loss to the LA Galaxy and the 0-6 loss to FC Dallas. In fact, the team only had two shut outs with him starting (1-0 wins for Minnesota United and the Houston Dynamo). Seth Sinovic may be gone in 2020, but if he’s not, I could see Martins losing his starting job if the team keeps leaking goals with him in the lineup.
Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait
This voting came early. I would be shocked if it was still this high. Martins’ sample size is too small to really say much about how he will perform in 2020. He’s under contract for a long time at a decent wage for a left back. He didn’t blow me away in 2019 but he will get a long offseason plus an entire preseason to build chemistry with his teammates. The left back job seems like it’s his to lose.