Sporting Numerology continues for each number worn by players in Sporting Kansas City’s history. In today’s addition it’s a look at the numbers 22 and 23. Here you have a future club legend, a player who’s not well liked by fans of the club given his departure from the club, a player who refused to play for Kansas City after he was traded to the club, and a first round pick who never played a game for the club. With number 23 you also have one of the numbers (along with 21) worn by more players than any other in club history as 17 players have had the number 23 in KC’s 25 seasons. Here’s the latest edition of Sporting Numerology.
Number of players to wear number: 10
Chris Snitko 1996
Snitko was a regular member of the US Olympic team and spent most of the 1996 season with them. He didn’t make a league appearance but did make his debut in the US Open Cup for KC that year. He started and played the first 45 minutes of KC’s 3-2 loss to the Colorado Rapids.
Brian Johnson 1997-1998
The 1997 first round pick for Kansas City played 20 games over his first two seasons with the club. He made 14 appearances, 10 starts in 1997, only six appearances, one start in 1998. He scored his one career goal with KC in 1997, he also recorded one assist that year.
Alexi Lalas 1999
Acquired along with Tony Meola in a trade with the New York/New Jersey Metrostars in exchange for Mark Chung and Mike Ammann before the season. Lalas played in 30 of 32 games that season, playing every minute of those 30 games, scoring four goals and adding one assist before “retiring” at the end of the season only to come back as a “discovery player” signing for the LA Galaxy in 2001.
Gary Glasgow 2000-2001
Signed before the 2000 season, Glasgow played in 29 games over his first two seasons with the club. He was mainly used as a reserve forward, starting 16 of those 29 games. He scored five goals for Kansas City and added seven assists over that time.
Davy Arnaud 2002-2011
Drafted 50th overall in the 2002 MLS Superdraft, Arnaud would go from a bit player, to a breakout season in 2004, to eventual club captain before he left the club. He appeared in 240 league games, which when he left the club was the most in club history at the time (he’s since been passed by Matt Besler and Graham Zusi and is currently tied with Roger Espinoza). He made 273 appearances in all competitions (tied for second all time when he left the club), 213 league starts, 234 in all competitions (third all-time when he left the club). He scored 43 league goals, at the time, the second most all time, now third. In all competitions he scored 52 goals, when he did, he was just the second player in club history to reach that mark. His breakout season in 2004 saw him score nine goals in league play and 14 across all competitions for KC as they won the US Open Cup and made the MLS Cup final. In 2011, after captaining the club that season, he was traded to the Montreal Impact in exchange for KC reacquiring Seth Sinovic, who’d been selected in the expansion draft.
Soony Saad 2012-2014, 2017
Saad moved to the number 22 in 2012 and started to make more appearances for the club, he appeared in 54 games over the next couple seasons, 26 of them starts and he scored seven goals and added six assists. After going abroad in 2015 and 2016, Saad returned to KC in 2017 and played in 12 more games, six of them starts, but didn’t score a goal for the club. In total he made 66 appearances, and 32 starts in league play over his time wearing the number 22.
Connor Hallisey 2015-2016
Selected 10th overall in the 2015 MLS Superdraft, Hallisey was the first of KC’s three first round picks that year along with Saad Abdul-Salaam and Amadou Dia. Hallisey played in 30 league games over his two seasons in Kansas City, making 18 starts. He recorded two assists but never scored a goal in league play. He did score a goal for KC in the CONCACAF Champions League in 2016, a penalty kick in second half stoppage time of KC’s 3-1 win over Central FC.
Emiliano Amor 2018
Signed on loan from Velez Sarsfield before the 2018 season, he reportedly came on a good deal due a good raise if he was signed full time. Amor made five appearances for KC in league play in 2018, three of them were starts. He also started all three of KC’s US Open Cup games that year, including the 4-2 loss to Houston that eliminated KC. After that game, Peter Vermes called out some of his players for their lack of effort. Amor didn’t play again for the club after that game and had his loan terminated along with the acquisition of Andreu Fontas.
Rodney Wallace 2019
Brought in as experience depth at left back for Kansas City to back up Seth Sinovic. Wallace only made one league appearance, a 27-minute appearance against FC Cincinnati before an injury cut his season short. He was placed on the injured reserve list after having surgery on his hip.
Winston Reid 2020-
Acquired on loan for the 2020 season, Reid has yet to appear in a game for Kansas City.
Best player to wear the number: This really isn’t a contest, the best player to wear the number 22 is Davy Arnaud, the former club captain having appeared in over 200 league games, scored over 40 goals, and played close to 20,000 minutes for Kansas City. He also endeared himself to the fans in Kansas City with his blue-collar work ethic and how he went from being an end of the squad player to the club’s captain. His name will be up among the Sporting Legends soon enough.
Number of players to wear number: 17
Alan Prampin 1996
Kansas City selected Prampin in the 10th round of the Inaugural Draft, Prampin played in 15 games in KC’s first season, just two of those were starts. He scored three goals for Kansas City in that first season before being traded to Tampa Bay for Steve Pittman before the 1997 season.
Nino Da Silva 1997-1999
At the time, the youngest player signed to play in MLS, Da Silva played just 10 games for Kansas City over three years with the team. He started just three of them, all coming in 1999, where eight of his 10 appearances came. Da Silva did return to Kansas City in 2000 signing with the Kansas City Comets and playing three seasons with them indoors.
Jeff Baicher 2000
Acquired before the 2000 season in a trade with the New England Revolution, Biacher actually never played a game for Kansas City. Originally from the San Jose area, Biacher wanted to be traded back to the West Coast, but MLS wouldn’t invalidate the trade and KC wouldn’t make a trade with San Jose. Baicher instead retired from MLS play.
Ihor Dotsenko 2000
Acquired on loan from KC’s USL affiliate, Raleigh Capital Express, Dotsenko played two games for Kansas City in the 2000 season, one start and one substitute appearance for a total of 90 minutes played for the club.
Onandi Lowe 2001
Like Mike Burns, who I mentioned in the number 16, Onandi Lowe’s number in 2001 was above the number 23 (Lower wore 32 in 2001). For the Copa Mercanorte though players were required to wear a number between the numbers 1 and 25, so Lowe wore the number 23 for the tournament. In the tournament, Lowe played in three games, all of them starts, and scored three goals.
Alex Zotinca 2003-2006
Signed from the Kansas City Comets before the 2003 season, Zotinca played 85 times over his four years with Kansas City, making 62 starts during that time, Zotinca, mainly deployed as an outside back for Kansas City scored three goals for Kansas City and recorded two assists. He also scored one goal in the US Open Cup in KC’s run to the US Open Cup title in 2004.
Edson Elcock 2007
Elcock was drafted in the third round of the 2007 MLS Superdraft, and signed a contract for the 2007 season, but never played a game for the club.
Ivan Trujillo 2008
Brought in as one of the club’s offensive editions for the 2008 season, Trujillo looked impressive, scoring on his debut in KC’s 2-0 win over DC United. That was the highlight of Trujillo’s season though as he didn’t score another goal the rest of the season in league play. He did add a goal in a US Open Cup qualifier against the Colorado Rapids and two in the US Open Cup against the Carolina Railhawks though. In the end in league play, Trujillo played in 17 games for KC, eight of them starts before being waived at the end of the season.
Kei Kamara 2009-2013
Acquired in a late season trade with the Houston Dynamo, the trade eventually created a fan favorite in Kansas City. Kamara played in 113 games for Kansas City over his five seasons in Kansas City, starting 97. He scored 38 goals and added 20 assists for KC as Peter Vermes converted Kamara from a center forward into an athletic winger to give KC miss matches against opposing outside backs. In his three full seasons in KC (2010-2012) he was the leading scorer or joint leading scorer for the team in league play each year.
Federico Bessone 2013
Signed as late season depth at the wing back position for KC, Bessone didn’t play a game for KC and was waived at the end of the season.
Alex Martinez 2014
Drafted in the third round of the 2014 SuperDraft, Martinez made 10 league appearances for KC, three of them starts. He also made two appearances in the US Open Cup, scoring his lone goal for the club. Martinez was waived before July though in a move that was surprising to many fans considering, he’d appeared in 10 of KC’s 16 games up to that point.
Martin Steuble 2014
The Swiss born Philippines international was signed in mid-July to finish out the 2014 season. Steuble played in just three games for KC in the season, one of them being a start.
Jalil Anibaba 2015
Anibaba was acquired from Orlando City in a trade that sent Aurelien Collin to Orlando City. In his one season in KC, Anibaba made 16 appearances for KC, 14 of them starts at the right back position for Kansas City. He scored one goal, the tying goal in the club’s late 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Union. He also added three assists over the course of the season.
Bernardo Anor 2016
Spent the entire 2016 season on loan to Minnesota United for their final season in the NASL.
Emmanuel Appiah 2016
Given the number 23 jersey after signing for the club in July after he was waived by Colorado. Appiah made one league appearance for KC, a start in KC’s 2-2 draw with Dallas. Appiah also made two starts for Kansas City in the CONCACAF Champions League that year.
Colton Storm 2017-2018
KC’s first round pick in the 2017 SuperDraft never made a first team appearance for KC in his two years with the club. He made 47 appearances for the Swope Park Rangers over those two years.
Tyler Freeman 2019-
Signed late in 2018 to a contract starting in 2019 when he was 15, Freeman has yet to make a first team appearance for Kansas City.
Best player to wear the number: Like number 22, this is an easy pick for who the best player to wear the number, it’s Kei Kamara. It’s not really a contest, Kamara has appeared in over 100 games for the club in league play, he’s sixth all time in goals scored in league with 38, the 38 goals are 83% of the 46 goals players wearing the number 23 have scored in league play. He’s recorded 80% of the assists players wearing the number have recorded (20 of 25). No one else who’s worn the number really comes close to Kamara’s contribution to the club.