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 the 2018 Golden Boot winner — Daniel Salloi.
Games Played (Started): 28 (16)
Minutes Played: 1,541
Games Suspended: 1
^This is the same number of goals and assists as the team’s fourth CB, who we talked about on Friday, Graham Smith had.
xG (expected goals): 6.90
Positions Played: Primarily left wing. Also right wing and some center forward.
2019 Salary: $139,624.96
Contract Through (Option Years): 2020 (2021)
*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.
Best Moment of 2019
Look at that goal in the penultimate game against the Portland Timbers and you’d think Sporting KC just won MLS Cup for his team the way they celebrated. Instead, they had already been eliminated from the playoffs and Salloi got his first goal since playing Portland in the playoffs in 2018. Nearly a year between goals.
Worst Moment of 2019
It’d be easy to pick a multitude of near misses from Salloi. How many times did he almost score? Instead, I’ll say it’s his injury he picked up in preseason. He went from starting in all the preseason games to sitting out the final day of preseason and losing his job to Gerso Fernandes. Gerso never looked back and maybe Salloi’s confidence never recovered. Here is to a better 2020.
This is a partial repeat from Friday’s story about 2019 statistical leaders. Daniel Salloi was tied for fourth with Johnny Russell in games played. Obviously games and minutes don’t equal out (he was 11th in minutes). But that just goes to show that Salloi had lots of chances to put goals in (he took 49 shots but only 16 were on goal). Salloi was actually fourth on the team in shots.
There is really no excuse for not scoring more goals and hopefully he’ll find his magic in 2020. I can’t help but to think back to before the season started when Salloi talked about wanting to equal 2018. Not exceed it, but equal it. That struck me as odd. At least exceeding 2019 will be easier (hopefully).
Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait
That contract is still a hell of a deal for a guy with Daniel’s potential. I understand frustration around Salloi (look no further than all those awful stats). I imagine the team will add some attacking talent in the offseason to push Salloi (and everyone else). He was virtually the only option off the bench on the wings behind Russell and Gerso. There is no doubt in my mind he’ll be back in 2020 and if he struggles, he should get loaned to
the Swope Park Rangers SKC II to find his goal scoring boots.