At this point with Sporting Numerology, we’re outside the range of “World Cup” numbers, were starting to get to the numbers where the players who stand out will stand out quite a bit from some other players who wore the number. We’ve also reached the point where some of the numbers are going to have some weaker entries for the best player to wear the number. With 24 and 25 there are several players who didn’t play a game for the club, some that only played a handful of games. With these two numbers there are a number of goalkeepers, there’s an unexpected playoff starter, and player recommended to Kansas City because of his friendship with Preki. Here is the Sporting Numerology for Sporting KC’s numbers 24 and 25.
Number of players to wear number: 15
Pete Marino 1998
“Sneaky Pete” was brought to Kansas City for the 1998 season after playing 57 games over his first two seasons with Columbus where he scored 19 goals. Marino’s time in Kansas City was much less successful though, he played in just 11 games for Kansas City, starting just one of those games and scored just a single goal. In a 1998 season where the club first missed the playoffs, I’d personally always wondered why Marino didn’t get more time for Kansas City.
Ryan Turner 1999
Drafted in the second round of the 1999 Supplemental Draft, Turner never played a game for Kansas City.
Taly Goode 2001
Goode’s regular number for his entire time in Kansas City was the number 30, but he wore the number 24 during KC’s Copa Mercanorte run when the tournament required numbers 1-25 be used by players. Goode never played a game in the tournament.
Khari Stephenson 2004
Stephenson was acquired from the Chicago and made just three appearances, all substitution appearances for a total of just 44 minutes of game play. The playoffs though were where Stephenson became a surprising integral part for Kansas City. After losing the first leg against San Jose 2-0, where Stephenson was a substitute, KC came home and proceeded to make a big comeback. Stephenson started the game and scored KC’s first goal of the game, starting the comeback of KC’s 3-0 win. Stephenson started the next two games for Kansas City in KC’s run to MLS Cup that year.
Will Hesmer 2005
In Hesmer’s second season in Kansas City he made his debut for the club, starting both of KC’s US Open Cup games that year against the Des Moines Menace and Minnesota Thunder.
Eric Kronberg 2006-2007
In Kronberg’s first two years in KC he didn’t play a game for the club, the 2006 US Open Cup games were handled by Will Hesmer and in 2007, KC just had one US Open Cup qualifier that Kevin Hartman played in.
Matt Marquess 2008-2009
A third-round draft pick in the 2008 MLS Superdraft, Marquess appeared in six league games for Kansas City over his two years with the club. Five of those six were starts as an outside back for the club.
Scott Lorenz 2011
Signed for the 2011 season, Lorenz’s lone league appearance for Kansas City came in the second game of the season against Chicago when injuries had thrown the entire backline into disarray, this was the game Roger Espinoza partnered Matt Besler at center back. Lorenz did play in both of KC’s US Open Cup games that year against Chicago Fire PDL and the Richmond Kickers.
Cyprian Hedrick 2012
Drafted in the second round of the 2012 Superdraft, Hedrick never made an appearance for Kansas City.
Mechack Jerome 2013-2014
Signed with the club ahead of the 2013 season, Jerome made 12 league appearances for Kansas City over his two years with the club, nine of those being starts. His time with the club ended after Sporting’s exit from the 2013-2014 CONCACAF Champions League which saw both him and Josh Gardner released following KC’s 5-1 loss to Cruz Azul.
Michael Kafari 2014
Signed with Kansas City in July but didn’t make a first team appearance for the club.
Ever Alvarado 2016
Brought in as an outside back for the club late in 2016, Alvarado only made one appearance for Kansas City in league play. He did make three appearances in the CONCACAF Champions League that year as well.
Cameron Iwasa 2017
Didn’t play a game for Kansas City’s first team.
Gedion Zelalem 2019
Signed from Arsenal, Zelalem made nine appearances for KC’s first team, five of those were starts before having his option declined at the end of the season.
John Pulskamp 2020-
Signed with the first team from their USL Championship side, Sporting KC 2 before the season, currently the third goalkeeper behind Tim Melia and Richard Sanchez.
Best player to wear the number: the pickings here are extremely slim, combined the collection of players to wear the number 24 have made just 43 league appearance for the club, and only 21 of those starts and only Peter Marino has scored a league goal wearing that number. To pick a best player to wear the number it’s a little hard with the limited contribution, but the player who’s contributed the most to the number is probably Khari Stephenson for his play in the 2004 playoffs to help KC reach MLS Cup. This is definitely a number that is wide open for a player to win.
Number of players to wear number: 10
Garth Lagerwey 1996
Took over the starting goalkeeping job in mid-May from Pat Harrington and was KC’s go to goalkeeper for the rest of the season. Lagerwey played in 23 games, 22 of them starts, and finished with a 12-9 record for the club. Three of those 12 wins were via MLS’s shootout process at the time.
Refik Sabanadzovic 1998-1999
Signed on the recommendation of Preki, Sabanadzovic made 27 appearances, 25 starts, and recorded one assist over his two seasons in KC. Most of those came in the 1998 season. In 1999 he made just six appearances, all starts, and all those appearances came in KC’s first eight games of the 1999 season.
Bo Oshoniyi 2000-2004
Oshoniyi’s first five years with the Wizards he was predominately the back up to Tony Meola, making just 35 appearances over those five years. In 2001 and 2002 he made 11 and 13 appearances, respectively. And in 2004 when an injury sidelined Meola Oshoniyi took over the starting duty and ended up being in goal for KC’s run to MLS Cup that year.
Daniel Dobson 2005
Signed before the 2005 season, Dobson never made an appearance for the club in his loan season in KC.
Matt Groenwald 2006-2007
Drafted in the third round of the 2006 Superdraft, Groenwald looked like he could potentially be a consistent contributor to the team as an outside back. He made 19 appearances for Kansas City in 2006, 16 of those were starts and he recorded two assists for the club. Unfortunately, early in the 2007 season he was diagnosed with blood clots that put him on the season ending injury list and the team eventually agreed to terminate his contract in late July of that year.
Jonathan Leathers 2008-2010
Drafted in the second round of the 2008 MLS Superdraft, Leathers was a spot starter for Kansas City over his three years with the club, making 34 appearances over his three seasons, 15 of those starts. He recorded one assist during his time with the club as well. He departed Kansas City when the Vancouver Whitecaps selecting him in their expansion draft.
Daneil Cyrus 2011
Signed in July of 2011, Cyrus made just two competitive appearances for Kansas City, one start before breaking a bone in his foot in a reserve game that ended his season in KC.
Neven Markovic 2012
Signed in July of 2012, Markovic’s trajectory in KC was remarkably similar to Cyrus’. Markovic made two appearances for Kansas City, one of them a start and was then waived after the 2012 season. The only difference was a lack of an injury for Markovic stopping his time in KC.
Christian Duke 2013-2014
Duke never played a competitive game for Sporting during his two years with the team, he mainly went on loan to Orlando City and Oklahoma City during that time.
Alec Kann 2016
Kann made seven league appearances for Kansas City during his one year with the club amassing a 2-2-3 record. He also made two US Open Cup appearances and one appearance in the CONCACAF Champions League going 2-1 in those three games.
Best player to wear the number: Like the number 24, the number 25 doesn’t have a lot of long-term success wearing the jersey, but it has more than 24. The best player to wear the number likely comes down to either Garth Lagerwey for his play in KC’s first season, or Bo Oshoniyi for being the ever reliable back up to Tony Meola. Oshoniyi ended up playing more games than Lagerwey did wearing the jersey going 13-12-7 in his years wearing the jersey. Bo Oshoniyi’s tenure with the jersey compared to Lagerwey and his being in goal for KC’s 2004 MLS Cup run gives him the nod over Lagerwey as the best player to wear number 25.