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Sporting KC 2020 Year in Review: Gadi Kinda

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The Israeli midfielder will be a DP in 2021, how did his 2020 look?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City
Oct 24, 2020; Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City midfielder Gadi Kinda (17) celebrates after scoring during the match against the Colorado Rapids at Children’s Mercy Park.
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2020 MLS season has come to an end and much like we did in 2019 for Sporting Kansas City, it’s time to look back at how each player performed. Keep in mind the stats look diminished for many players, but just 21 regular season games were played in this COVID shortened season (instead of the typical 34). For the full list of players reviewed, head to our dedicated Year in Review page.

If you missed week one, let’s catch you up:


The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2020 with another newcomer who showed great promise in year one — Gadi Kinda.

2020 Stats

Games Played (Started): 18 (16)

Minutes Played: 1,394

Goals: 6 (tied of the team lead w/ Pulido and Russell)

Assists: 4

xG (expected goals): 5.18

Positions Played: Dual #8 (box-to-box midfielder — primarily on the left)

2019 Salary: Not in MLS

2020 Salary: Unknown - Rumors put this number at $600,000.

Contract Through (Option Years): 2023 (None)

Kinda had his 2020 loan option bought up and turned into a permanent transfer, effective for the 2021 season. He’ll become a Designated Player as his rumored transfer fee is $3.7 million, though that will never be confirmed by the team. It has to be somewhere in that neighborhood to make him a DP because even if it was just $3 million, he’d be eligible to be bought down by Targeted Allocation Money (TAM).

Best Moment of 2020

It’s hard not to pick his dream debut. He and Pulido scored in the season opener and it immediately looked like Sporting KC had their new stars. They would both go on to score in the second game of the season too and who knows what pace they’d have kept if the league didn’t shut down due to COVID.

Worst Moment of 2020

Right at the end of the season Gadi Kinda picked up an injury causing him to miss the Decision Day clash with Real Salt Lake. Sporting KC wouldn’t need him that day to come out on top with a 2-0 win but he was never quite the same for the playoffs. He had to come off the bench in both games because, as was later confirmed by Peter Vermes, he wasn’t fully healthy yet. That left SKC without two of their biggest stars (or at least partially without) for both playoff games, which led me to do an analysis of what other teams would look like without two DPs. Spoiler — it’s not pretty.

Interesting Stat

30. As in, Gadi Kinda tied for the team lead with 30 fouls committed (with Roberto Puncec who played nearly 400 more minutes than him). He also had five yellow cards, which tied Gianluca Busio for the team lead. There was some concern before he was signed that he might be a bit reckless (he had eight yellows in just 16 games for his prior team), and that was bore out a bit in some of his play. PV needs aggressive midfielders taking up that space (Red Card Roger anyone?) but it’ll be interesting to see if Kinda starts to develop a reputation. I think it’s more uncontrolled chaos than deliberate dirty play, but it’s something to watch.

Fan Vote Results

Keep: 96.8%

Release/Sell: 3.2%

Gadi Kinda had a pretty strong first year and his absence in the playoffs was definitely noticed. The question in 2021 will be if he’s worth the Designated Player label. When other teams add DP midfielders it’s guys like Nicolas Lodeiro, Sebastian Blanco and Emanuel Reynoso. Kinda doesn’t seem like that type of player and it’s doubtful that’s what PV is looking for. I suppose the question is, should it be what he wants?