When I was a kid, people used to tell me how time sure does fly by. I never listened to them. Like most kids, it seemed like a year took forever to pass. Christmas was too far away and the next birthday never seemed to come. Now that I’m an adult I get what they were saying. I see now how time does fly. It seems like yesterday that I was in Dallas watching a horrendous SKC season coming to an end, but somehow that was almost 3 months ago! As this calendar year comes to an end, it is time to kiss the 2019 season goodbye for good and look forward to 2020.
If the rest of you are anything like me, it was bittersweet to see the 2019 season end. It was time to put us all out of our misery as we tried to convince ourselves for so long that the playoffs were a possibility when in reality I think we had all known for quite awhile that just wasn’t going to happen. It was time to put behind us the disappointment of knowing and remembering just how optimistic we were way back in February when talk of winning three trophies was flying around Twitter. No more talk about the injuries. No more leaking goals. No more pessimistic takes after every match.
What I’m Kissing Goodbye
Here are some quick thoughts of what I’m putting behind me from 2019.
I’m ready to put a few specific things behind us as we end 2019. I am so excited to hopefully put behind us all of the talk about how every problem with Sporting Kansas City soccer can be solved if we just had a decent striker! We (ok not everyone, but at least Peter Vermes) thought that Krisztian Nemeth was going to solve that problem. Things looked pretty good for awhile, but post May 2019 it became obvious that just wasn’t going to happen.
Salloi Missing the Goal
I’m ready to put the one goal a season Daniel Salloi behind us. I think if we’re being honest with ourselves Salloi is better than a one goal a season player. Is he 11 goals a season good, like he was in 2018? I guess that is still to be seen. I’m hoping he is able to shake that dreadful 2019 off and come into preseason ready to go and show that he is better than what the stats showed this last year.
I’m ready to prepare myself mentally to let go of some of the veterans. The end of the 2019 season officially saw the end of Seth Sinovic with Sporting. No more wondering who was going to be signed to take his place only to see him return to his spot in the starting 11. I am using the end of 2019 to be my starting point to say that I need to prepare for the days when Graham Zusi, Matt Besler and Roger Espinoza aren’t able to be at their best week in and week out. I’m not ready to completely kiss the old-timers goodbye, but I need to be ready to see them slowly and strategically phase out.
What I’m Looking Forward to in 2020
That leads me to the changing of the calendar, the year and the season.
Play the Kids
I am ready to see some time for the youth on the squad. 2020 has to be the year that Gianluca Busio sees more regular playing time! Sporting Kansas City II isn’t going to cut it if we want to see Busio grow into a player that Sporting can use and expect great things from or be the player that European teams are willing to pay for. 2020 needs to be the time that he, and Jaylin Lindsey, Felipe Hernandez and maybe even Wan Kuzain get an opportunity to show they deserve to be getting some time with the first team. I am not saying that any of them should be in the starting 11 every week, but they should be with the team and getting minutes on a semi-regular basis.
2020 also has to be the year that the Sporting #9 shows what he can do. We all know about the DP signing of Alan Pulido. That story has been talked to death, but now he has to show what he can do. Was all that money (however much it was) worth it? It better be! I can’t imagine the anger of the Sporting fans if it isn’t! He has to come in and show that we can all stop talking about the need for a striker.
I know that it has been a horrendously long off-season, and it isn’t over yet, but don’t fret Sporting Kansas City fans. This week we turn the calendar page to 2020. We are only a few short weeks away from the start of preseason and only a couple of months away from the beginning of the 2020 season. I don’t know how the rest of you feel, but February 29th can’t get here soon enough!