I can’t explain why, but I’m fascinated by players changing their number. In the NFL, players sometimes pay huge sums of money to wear their preferred number. There are examples every year of huge sums of money changing hands just to change numbers.
In Major League Soccer, I can’t imagine much money (if any at all) ever changes hand over a number. That said, you need to know the players numbers so you can identify them on the field.
So far five players have either been given new numbers or have changed numbers since 2019. Richard Sanchez is missing from the list but our own Stacy Fulk pointed out in the Sporting Kansas City app that he is wearing #45 so we’ll assume that’s his number until we get confirmation (Update 1/18/20: Sanchez will wear #1 that was vacated by Adrian Zendejas).
For the second straight season Andreu Fontas is changing numbers. He went from #30 to #4 and now he is donning #3. I assume so he can get fans to further compare him to Ike Opara.
Roger Espinoza is also making yet another switch. He is returning to #15 which was recently vacated by Seth Sinovic. SportingKC.com breaks down the specifics of his prior numbers:
“Espinoza previously wore No. 15 from 2011-2012, having also donned No. 17 (2008-2010, 2018-2019) and No. 27 (2015-2017) during his Sporting tenure.”
Khiry Shelton has returned to the team but he’ll wear a new number. He’s now #11 instead of #14. No one is wearing #14 but Diego Rubio wore #11 the last time Khiry was on the team. In 2019 Kelyn Rowe wore #11.
Also receiving new numbers are new Designated Player striker Alan Pulido who will wear #9 (worn by Krisztian Nemeth in 2019). That was known from the unveiling of his signing. Finally, new CB Roberto Puncec is wearing Fontas’ old #4. Maybe that’s why Fontas changed to #3. #4 and #5 are traditionally CB numbers while a #3 is typically a left back. Maybe Fontas is going to play as the slowest LB in MLS.
For the three of you that are interested. Here are the number changes and new numbers from prior seasons:
Below are the full list of confirmed changes.
New 2020 SKC Kit Numbers