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Sporting KC 2020 Year in Review: Andreu Fontas

Is the multi-millionaire ever going to be the everyday starter?

MLS: Colorado Rapids at Sporting Kansas City
Kansas City, Kansas, USA; Sporting Kansas City defender Andreu Fontas (3) passes the ball 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.

The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2020 with one of the team’s highest paid players — Andreu Fontas.

2020 Stats

Games Played (Started): 3 (3)

Minutes Played: 270

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

xG (expected goals): 0.34

Positions Played: Left Center Back

2019 Salary: $1,050,000

2020 Salary: Unknown - But likely at or slightly above 2019.

Contract Through (Option Years): 2022 (None)

Best Moment of 2020

October 14th against FC Dallas. It was a loss, but it was Fontas’ return to the lineup for the first time since August 10th of 2019. 14 months between games played. Which brings us to the worst moment.

Worst Moment of 2020

When Fontas was first hurt in 2019, he was set to be out for just 4-5 months. That surgery was October 2019. He missed a year. Now there were potentially other injuries in there, but therein lies the problem. He can’t stay on the field. He’s the team’s highest paid defender and he simply doesn’t play. He’ll forever be compared to Ike Opara who basically asked for a trade when he saw the difference in their respective pay. Opara himself would miss the 2020 season too, but he still was Defensive Player of the Year in 2019.

Interesting Stat

62. That’s the number of regular season games that Andreu Fontas has been on Sporting KC’s roster but hasn’t played. That’s not counting playoffs or other elimination style events like CCL or MLS is Back. He played in just 18 games (tack on a couple for CCL if you are feeling generous). Obviously, that’s not entirely due to injury. When he was playing more in 2019 it wasn’t very good (most of SKC would like to forget 2019). He showed glimpses of hope in 2020. He was 2-1 as a starter, posting two clean sheets and allowing just a single goal.

Fan Vote Results

Keep: 36.7%

Release/Sell: 63.3%

These numbers come as no surprise. Honestly, I’m surprised the “release/sell” category doesn’t rate higher. I could have easily gone with an “interesting stat” above about Fontas being possibly the third highest paid player on the team (behind Alan Pulido and Johnny Russell — plus Gutierrez isn’t under contract and Kinda’s rumored wages are below Fontas). It all comes down to money versus production. The money is there, the production isn’t.

As an annual reminder, Sporting KC can always choose to buy out the contract of one player in the offseason. They’d pay Fontas, but it wouldn’t hurt their salary budget. From the MLS Roster Rules:

“A club may buyout one player (including a Designated Player) who has a Guaranteed Contract during the offseason and free up the corresponding Salary Budget space. Such a buyout is at the club’s expense.”

I don’t expect that to happen. They’ve committed so much to Fontas and it seems he’s finally healthy. If they can’t get another quality CB, I could see a world where it’s Fontas and Roberto Puncec on the field together. They’ll obviously need to add some CBs, but the world transfer market is a bit weird now. I think someone will be added (probably at least two CBs), but I don’t think that means Fontas will leave.