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Sporting Numerology Part 15: 29 Through 32

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The latest update of Sporting Numerology, looking at the best player to wear each number for Kansas City.

MLS: Houston Dynamo at Sporting Kansas City Gary Rohman-USA TODAY Sports

We’re reached the point in Sporting Numerology where most of these numbers have only been worn by a handful of players. Only one of the four numbers in this entry have been worn by 10 players, the number 30. It’s the last number worn by a double digit number of players in KC’s history. That’s not to say that there isn’t talent in these numbers though, the latest Sporting Numerology though does contain one current starter for Sporting Kansas City, the numbers 29, 30, 31, and 32 are also home to a number of goalkeepers, and the first appearance by a Swope Park Rangers/Sporting KC II short term loan player. Here’s the latest Sporting Numerology.

Prior editions:

0-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-7, 8-9, 10-11, 12-13, 14-15, 16-17, 18-19, 20-21, 22-23, 24-25, 26-28

Number 29

Number of players to wear number: 3

Ryan Barber 2004

Selected in the fifth round of the 2004 MLS Superdraft, Barber never played a first team game for the club.

Ryan Pore 2005-2008

Drafted in the second round of the 2005 MLS Superdraft, Pore was a Generation Adidas player who left college after his junior year. Over his four seasons in Kansas City, Pore appeared in 58 games, making just 17 starts. He never made more than five league starts in a season over his four years in KC. He recorded three goals and two assists in league play as well.

Tim Melia 2015-

Brought in the year before as an MLS pool goalkeeper as KC struggled with injuries to Andy Gruenebaum and Eric Kronberg, Melia was signed to the club for the 2015 season originally to back up new signing Luis Marin. After Marin struggled to adapt to MLS, Melia took over the position and since has been KC’s number one goalkeeper. Since 2015, Melia has made 147 league appearances for the club, all of them starts. He’s made more appearances than any other goalkeeper in club history, his 1.23 goals against average is fourth among goalkeepers who played more than 1,000 minutes for the club. He has the best single season GAA with .78 GAA in 2017, just beating out Jimmy Nielsen’s .79 in 2012. He’s also the club’s all-time leader in shutouts (46 league, 54 all competitions) and wins (64, 76).

Best player to wear the number: Tim Melia absolutely runs away with this number, it’s not a contest, plenty can make arguments that he’s the best goalkeeper in club history, a high mark considering some of the goalkeepers this club has had.

Number 30

Number of players to wear number: 10

Cesar Delgado 1999

At the start of the 1999 season Delgado was signed as starter Tony Meola was injured in preseason and back up goalkeeper Chris Snitko was also recovering from injury. Delgado played the season opener against the Dallas Burn, a game that KC lost 4-0. Up until last year’s season finale he had the highest goals against average of any goalkeeper in club history.

Taly Goode 2001-2003

Goode spent three seasons in Kansas City, but only played one game for the club, a US Open Cup game in 2002 against the Milwaukee Rampage in a stretch where KC played five games in 14 days in three different competitions. Goode had to make just one save as KC comfortably won 2-0 over the A-League side.

Will Hesmer 2004

Hesmer’s rookie year with Kansas City he didn’t appear in a single game for the club as he was the third goalkeeper behind Tony Meola and Bo Oshoniyi.

Martin Hutton 2005

Signed as a developmental goalkeeper for the 2005 season, Hutton didn’t play a single first team game for the club.

Michael Kraus 2007-2009

The only player in KC’s history to make his MLS debut in the playoffs in 2008, his first team debut came earlier that year in the US Open Cup. Kraus made 11 league appearances for the club, all coming in 2009 where he scored one goal. He holds the distinction of having played in the most league games for the club without a start. He did score one more goal for the club in the US Open Cup in 2009.

Andy Gruenebaum 2014

Acquired from the Columbus Crew for a second round pick, the KC native played just one season in Kansas City making 11 league appearances. He made two US Open Cup appearances and one Champions League appearance, all his appearances being starts. He struggled with injuries during his time with KC and the club declined his option for 2015 and Gruenebaum retired from professional soccer.

Daniel Salloi 2016-2017

Salloi didn’t play a game for KC in 2016, he did play 10 games for Swope Park that year, starting six, scoring four goals and adding three assists before he was loaned to Vasas and then Gyirmot in his native Hungary for the rest of the year. In 2017, Salloi made 22 league appearances for KC, starting 12 of them, scoring three goals and adding two assists. He also scored three goals for KC in the US Open Cup that year, including the game winner in the final against the New York Red Bulls.

Andreu Fontas 2018

Signed during the summer transfer window in 2018, Fontas made just two appearances for the club wearing the number 30 jersey, one of those being a start.

Benny Feilhaber 2019

As KC struggled with injury issues early in 2019 the club acquired Feilhaber from the Colorado Rapids as an injury replacement for Rodney Wallace whose season was ended with a hip injury. Feilhaber made 17 appearances for KC in 2019, 13 of those starts. He scored two goals and added two assists as the club struggled through the 2019 season.

Best player to wear the number: Multiple players whose best performances came with other numbers for the club, but the best player to wear the number is probably Daniel Salloi. If for no other reason it is because of his contribution as KC won their fourth US Open Cup in 2017 with Salloi scoring three goals, including the game winner. Add in his three goals in league play and it’s not really a contest among the other players to wear number 30.

Number 31

Number of players to wear the number: 4

David Winner 1999

After Cesar Delgado’s struggle in the season opener, David Winner was signed by the club ahead of their home opener against the Chicago Fire. Winner mostly baked up Snitko during the season but did end up making eight appearances for the club, seven of them starts finishing with a 3-5 record, two of those three wins coming via the shootout.

Boris Pardo 2008

KC’s third goalkeeper during the 2008 season, Pardo didn’t appear in a game for Kansas City that year.

Josh Gardner 2013-2014

KC acquired Gardner’s MLS rights in a trade with the Montreal Impact late in 2012 for a second round pick. Gardner made nine league appearances over parts of two seasons with the club, three of those being starts. Eight of his nine appearances came in 2013, where he also recorded an assist. His final appearance for the club was in the CONCACAF Champions League where he was subbed out just 43 minutes into KC’s 5-1 loss to Cruz Azul, he was waived less than a week later.

Nansel Selbol 2016

Signed as a USL loan for KC’s final CONCACAF Champions League group stage match up of 2016 against Central FC. One of several Swope Park Rangers called up for the game ahead of the Rangers’ USL final in New York, Selbol was suspended for that game, making his inclusion make sense. Selbol played for full 90 minutes and ended up scoring the game winning goal in KC’s 3-1 win over Central. It turned out to be Selbol’s only appearance for the first team.

Best player to wear the number: This choice comes down to whether you select Selbol for his one goal in his only appearance for the club, or if you go with Gardner for his eight appearances and two starts during KC’s run to MLS Cup in 2013. When thinking about it like that it’s really a simple choice though, the best player to wear number 30 is Josh Gardner. While the club’s meltdown against Cruz Azul on the road in 2014 certainly sours things a bit, you cannot overlook his contribution in KC’s 2013 regular season.

Number 32

Number of players to wear number: 3

Onandi Lowe 2001

Brought into Kansas City in May of 2001, Lowe played in 13 of KC’s final 19 league games during the season, starting 10 of them. He scored four league goals for the club. He also scored two goals for Kansas City in their playoff series against Miami.

Nikos Kounenakis 2010

Signed in July of 2010, Kounenakis didn’t play any first team games for Kansas City and retired from the game at the end of the season.

Luke Sassano 2011-2012

Acquired from the LA Galaxy in a trade for the rights to Frankie Hejduk after KC selected Hejduk in the second round of the Reentry Draft. In Sassano’s two years in KC he played in 10 games, five of them starts, he also scored one goal for the club. Nine of his 10 appearances came in 2011 with him making just one appearance in 2012 before being waived in June.

Best player to wear the number: This one isn’t a hard selection, while none of the players had a long tenured career with KC, Onandi Lowe had more of a contribution to the club. He almost single handedly helped KC fight past the Miami Fusion in the 2001 MLS Cup playoffs with his performance.