Sporting Kansas City II had a pleasantly positive 2020 season, especially when you consider a couple of massive hurdles that were thrown in their way.
They entered the season with quite a bit of turnover from 2019, which included 13 departures, but brought back Christian Duke after a two-year stint with Orange County SC and added former Colorado Rapid midfielder Dillon Serna.
Sporting II got the season underway in early March with what would be their only home loss of the season to the Charlotte Independence, which was shortly followed by the season being suspended for COVID-19.
SKC II returned to action in July, but with a very tough schedule ahead with just one home game and 14 away games to complete a 16-game regular season. As if that wasn’t enough, they were also placed into geographical groups to limit travel, which SKC II were placed in one of the toughest groups, Group E, with Louisville City FC, Indy Eleven, and Saint Louis FC.
SKC II also lost two more players in July as Ze Pedro agreed to terminate his contract and Luis Olivera’s loan expired.
Paulo Nagamura was in charge for his third season and certainly had his group playing very well for much of the season, but ultimately finished the season at the bottom of Group E with a 5-10-1 record.
Overall, it was a much more optimistic season than expected with a ton of minutes from Academy players. Even with the overloaded road schedule, the team remained competitive in nearly all the games.
Wilson Harris carried his form from 2019 into this year and scored eight goals in 16 matches and became the youngest player in league history to hit the 20-goal milestone. Jake Davis also made great strides and was the most consistent midfielder for SKC II.
Perhaps some of the non-academy attackers that were brought in over the offseason didn’t do as well as expected. Enoch Mushagalusa and Fredinho Mompremier both each had a goal and got quite a bit of time on the wing with some decent moments, but they had a hard time playing quickly.
Dominik Resetar also had a couple good moments and got a goal, but had a difficult time finding consistent minutes in the same role. Similar to Resetar, Jaret Townsend had some chances earlier in the season, but struggled to find minutes as the season aged and wasn’t even in the squad for the final four matches.
Defensively, things could have gone better. The four goalkeepers who made appearances — John Pulskamp, Brooks Thompson, Gavin Krenecki, and Remi Prieur — all had some great moments. Kaveh Rad also did well and gained some great experience against some quality attackers.
The two big issues were the left center back and the right outside back. Danny Barbir ended up settling into the LCB role, but he still had some moments that he will need to improve on. Camden Riley ended up taking over the RB role from Sam Raben, but SKC Academy members Mason Leeth and Isaiah LeFlore did get some valuable minutes at RB in the last few games.
Wilson Harris - USL Championship Young Player of the Year
Brooks Thompson - USL Championship Fans’ Choice Save of the Month- July
Brooks Thompson - Week 6 USL Championship Team of the Week
Wilson Harris - Week 9 USL Championship Team of the Week bench
Wilson Harris - Week 11 USL Championship Team of the Week bench
Fredinho Mompremier - Week 15 USL Championship Team of the Week bench
Top Three Moments
3. Davis and Harris link up for winner against Lou City
12 goals last 15 matches for @Nosliwharris of @SportingKCII.— Devon Kerr (@DevonKerr9) July 30, 2020
Cutback at the end
Exit stage right
Good day pic.twitter.com/1p4FmgOjni
2. Barbir sends rocket into top corner against Indy Eleven
Rocket. Man. #INDvSKC | https://t.co/aQvARv2e11 pic.twitter.com/xQpUikYjAi— USL Championship (@USLChampionship) August 2, 2020
1. Sparks stoppage time winner over Indy Eleven
The stuff dreams are made of #INDvSKC@sparksbailey12 // #SportingKC pic.twitter.com/XeroaQ3L3U— Sporting KC II (@SportingKCII) October 1, 2020