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 man who was traded away before the 2018 season — Benny Feilhaber.
Games Played (Started): 17 (13)
That’s half the MLS regular season games despite not coming back to KC until May 8th.
Minutes Played: 1,104
Games Suspended: 0
xG (expected goals): 2.46
Positions Played: Both advanced midfield spots and a tiny bit of defensive midfielder.
2019 Salary: $463,400.00^
Contract Through (Option Years): 2019 (2020)
^Sporting KC only paid $250,000 of these wages with the Colorado Rapids picking up the difference.
*All stats from 2019 MLS regular season unless otherwise noted.
Best Moment of 2019
The goal came at the perfect time. Sporting KC needed to go on a run. It put them up 1-0 on the Portland Timbers, who they were chasing for a playoff spot. Let’s just kindly forget that KC gave up two late goals, lost the game and then promptly lost three more in a row after that. In fact, the record after this goal went in was 0-5-1. Bonus stat.
Worst Moment of 2019
Playing for the Colorado Rapids. The club was an abysmal 0-8-2 while Benny was there. One of the two draws did come against SKC when Diego Rubio pounced on a Tim Melia mistake for a tap home.
Benny scored in the 65th minute of the above mentioned Portland Timbers game and then he never played again. He was subbed off in the 69th minute and through that and a subsequent injury, he didn’t return to the field in 2019. He’ll probably never return as a player. After he joined the team, in games that he played in, Sporting KC were 7-7-3. Not great by any means, but not terrible. In games he didn’t play after he rejoined the team, they were 1-6-1. Pretty awful. Maybe he was more important than we knew.
Fan Vote: Keep, Banish or Wait
There are lots of factors that go into this very high ‘banish’ number (only Andreu Fontas, Rodney Wallace and Kristian Nemeth scored higher in this category). First, Benny is the oldest player on the team (he’ll be 35 in January). He also has a fairly high salary for a guy who isn’t projected to be a starter. Finally he has a contract that can be declined at the end of the year.
If Benny took a pay cut (meaning his option would be declined and he could re-sign at a lower number) the fans may still not want him. Not because they don’t like him (he’s incredibly popular) but because it’s time to move on. Benny can go get a job doing something in the media pretty easily it would seem (just look at his MLS postseason coverage). This is probably farewell to Benny. Thank goodness we’ll still have BS The Podcast to listen to no matter what.