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Sporting KC Stats: Dollars per Minutes Played

We love a good chart or table. Let’s see who is the best “value” in 2019 based on dollars per minutes played.

Sporting Kansas City v Los Angeles Galaxy Photo by Michael Janosz/ISI Photos/Getty Images

Let’s lead with this: in no way is this a fair comparison. When we were doing our Year in Review series (a fantastically quick look at each players 2019 season you should read) we highlighted an “interesting stat” for all the players on the Sporting Kansas City roster.

As we approached the end of the roster, it became tough to find interesting stats. Especially for players who didn’t get that much time on the field. In particular, Rodney Wallace, who only played 27 minutes in 2019 due to injury (which is an interesting stat in and of itself). So we decided to break down how much he was paid per minute that he played. It was an astonishing $13,333.33 per minute.

As a point of comparison, to be in poverty in the United States a family of four must earn $25,750 per year. In two minutes of MLS play, Wallace eclipsed that.

Now, these numbers in no way show the level of work that a player puts in. Minutes played is just one tiny factor in a very long season. Wallace played minutes in the CONCACAF Champions League and of course he had a long, hard rehab stint through most of 2019.

This is true of all the players on the roster. Minutes played in a game don’t equate to time spent practicing, studying film, team meetings, a requirement to be at the facility for rehab, meals or other activities. Not to mention appearances and charity work associated with the job. We are just looking at these numbers for fun.

A Few Other Highlights

  • One can’t look past the bottom player on the list, Graham Smith, who got $64.88 per MLS minute played. That’s partly a combination of having nearly the lowest salary on the team ($57,225) and being called into action considerably more than expected because of injuries and poor play of the players ahead of him at center back.
  • The next lowest player on the list is Seth Sinovic. Even though his option was declined for 2020, it goes to show how valuable he still is to this team. He’s on a low-ish salary ($143,000) and he contributes heavily. Here is to hoping that he doesn’t retire and gets a new contract with SKC for a farewell tour. Even if it’s just as an insurance policy. I won’t be surprised when this doesn’t happen and his retirement is announced shortly.
  • It’s hard not to notice Andreu Fontas has the second most dollars per minutes played. Partially because he’s very highly paid and because he simply didn’t play that much due to both poor form and injury. He comes in a $1,089.21 per minute. Because you need this comparison in your life, Ike Opara made $367,916.71 and played 2,566 minutes. That breaks down to $143.38 per MLS minute. That would have been sixth lowest on Sporting KC (also behind Botond Barath) but just short of Tim Melia’s $118.64 per minute.
  • It should be noted that dollars per minute being low doesn’t always equate to good value. Daniel Salloi had the third lowest on the team ($90.61 per minute) but he had a pretty rough year. He simply played a lot because of a lack of options at winger behind Gerso Fernandes ($314.47 per minute) and Johnny Russell ($685.58 per minute). At least he wasn’t overpaid for his down year. He’s still on that cheap contract for 2020, so if he bounces back he’ll be a steal.
  • Russell came in at 8th on the list and Felipe Gutierrez was 11th (606.17 per minute) but it’s hard to argue those aren’t great deals. They were the two highest played players on the team but they also were two of the players who played the most minutes. At least SKC got good contributions out of their Designated Players.

Below is the full chart. Please note that the 2019 salary number is the guaranteed compensation which includes bonuses pro-rated over the life of the contract.

2019 SKC Dollars per Minute

PLAYER MINS SALARY $ per Min $ per Hour
PLAYER MINS SALARY $ per Min $ per Hour
Rodney Wallace 27 $360,000.00 $13,333.33 $800,000.00
Andreu Fontas 964 $1,050,000.00 $1,089.21 $65,352.70
Jaylin Lindsey 90 $88,000.00 $977.78 $58,666.67
Jimmy Medranda 176 $155,004.00 $880.70 $52,842.27
Eric Dick 90 $73,699.58 $818.88 $49,133.05
Adrian Zendejas 90 $70,250.04 $780.56 $46,833.36
Roger Espinoza 1149 $800,000.04 $696.26 $41,775.46
Johnny Russell 2115 $1,449,999.96 $685.58 $41,134.75
Krisztian Nemeth 1559 $1,063,666.71 $682.27 $40,936.50
Yohan Croizet 1091 $680,004.00 $623.29 $37,397.10
Felipe Gutierrez 2722 $1,649,999.96 $606.17 $36,370.32
Felipe Hernandez 95 $56,250.00 $592.11 $35,526.32
Benny Feilhaber 1104 $463,400.00 $419.75 $25,184.78
Kelyn Rowe 690 $258,000.00 $373.91 $22,434.78
Ilie Sanchez 2509 $900,000.00 $358.71 $21,522.52
Matt Besler 2115 $674,997.64 $319.15 $19,148.87
Gerso Fernandes 1749 $550,008.00 $314.47 $18,868.20
Graham Zusi 2351 $688,333.41 $292.78 $17,566.99
Luis Martins 829 $240,000.00 $289.51 $17,370.33
Nicolas Hasler 635 $183,666.67 $289.24 $17,354.33
Erik Hurtado 815 $181,249.96 $222.39 $13,343.56
Gedion Zelalem 436 $77,916.67 $178.71 $10,722.48
Botond Barath 1749 $297,333.41 $170.00 $10,200.12
Tim Melia 2880 $341,674.67 $118.64 $7,118.22
Gianluca Busio 923 $92,500.00 $100.22 $6,013.00
Daniel Salloi 1541 $139,624.96 $90.61 $5,436.40
Seth Sinovic 1911 $143,000.00 $74.83 $4,489.80
Graham Smith 882 $57,225.00 $64.88 $3,892.86
What other stats or weird numbers would you like The Blue Testament to look at? What interesting tidbit do you notice looking at this chart? Let us know in the comments.