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Sporting KC 2019 Year in Review: Adrian Zendejas

We continue our look back at 2019 with one of the two backup keepers to Tim Melia who barely saw the MLS field.

Sporting Kansas City v FC Cincinnati

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 one of the backup men between the sticks — Adrian Zendejas. The timing of this story is poor as AZ was traded yesterday, but we can still do a quick look back.

2019 Stats*

Games Played (Started): 1 (1)

Minutes Played: 90

Saves: 3

Goals Against: 1

Clean Sheets: 0

Penalty Kick Goals (Attempts): 1 (1)

Positions Played: Goalkeeper

2019 Salary: $70,250.04

Contract Through (Option Years): 2019 (2020)

*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.

2019 USL Championship Stats

Because he played only in the USL instead of in MLS, it only seemed right to give a wider berth of stats. Apologies to Graham Smith and Gedion Zelalem who didn’t quite get this treatment.

Games Played (Started): 8 (8)

Minutes Played: 719

Saves: 26

Save %: 57.8

Goals Against: 19

Clean Sheets: 1

Best Moment of 2019

I’m going to cop out again and say what I said yesterday for Rodney Wallace. No best moment for Zendejas. Extremely limited MLS minutes. Only eight appearances in USL (one of which he was sent off for a stupid double yellow card). And an injury that hampered his time on the field. Here is to a better 2020.

Worst Moment of 2019

His only MLS start was a 1-1 draw on the road with the other backups against FC Cincinnati. And only a PK led to Cincy scoring. So instead I’ll look to the US Open Cup road loss to Minnesota United. It was a 4-1 thrashing that was definitely not entirely on Zendejas, but it wasn’t a good look for him none-the-less.

A runner-up could be picking up an injury this year. Back injuries are never great and he missed a significant amount of time which led to both he and Eric Dick getting limited minutes with the Swope Park Rangers.

Interesting Stat(s)

57.8 percent. AZ’s save percentage was second best on SPR behind Eric Dick (69.8 percent). He just edged out rookie keeper John Pulskamp (57.5 percent). Maybe Eric Dick really is the second best keeper on the team. Obviously AZ plays better with his feet, but maybe Sporting think they can still mold Dick.

Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait

Keep: 54.9%

Banish: 20.6%

Wait: 24.5%

Well it doesn’t matter what you want because Zendejas is gone. He was traded to Nashville SC immediately after the Expansion Draft on Tuesday. Obviously Vermes and the rest of the staff didn’t see him as the goalkeeper of the future. Nashville sent a pretty sizable return for Zendejas. Much more than the Montreal Impact got for United States National Team left back Daniel Lovitz. On Twitter I was theorizing that it may have really been a package deal with Zendejas and the later picked Jimmy Medranda who were ultimately part of the trade.