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Sporting KC 2020 Year in Review: Winston Reid

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The best defender in 2020? Probably.

SOCCER: OCT 07 MLS - Chicago Fire FC at Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City defender Winston Reid (22) celebrates his goal off a corner kick in the second half of an MLS match between the Chicago Fire and Sporting Kansas City on October 7, 2020 at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City, KS.
Photo by Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

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 a player that likely won’t be back in 2021, thought it can’t entirely be ruled out. Winston Reid is up next. Our third center back review in as many days.

2020 Stats

Games Played (Started): 10 (8)

Minutes Played: 728

Goals: 1

Assists: 0

xG (expected goals): 0.58

Positions Played: Center Back (primarily on the left)

2020 Salary: Sporting were rumored to be paying about $700,000

Contract Through (Option Years): Out of Contract

Best Moment of 2020

August 21st against Minnesota United. After a horrific injury had kept Reid on the sidelines for much of the proceeding years, he started and went 90 minutes against Minnesota in a 2-1 road win. It had to feel good to be healthy, to be playing regularly again. Let’s just ignore that his next start was the 5-2 disaster against the Houston Dynamo.

Worst Moment of 2020

Continuing to be injury plagued. He arrive from West Ham having not played first team minutes in about two years (March 3, 2018). Then he barely gets on the field in preseason (and immediately allowed a goal). Then COVID hits and he doesn’t play again until August 21st. He then starts three straight before going down injured against the Colorado Rapids. He played 13 minutes in the next four games. In the fifth game Matt Besler went down with an injury and Reid played the second half. But even then he only started two of the last five regular season games. He was so good when he was on the field in form, there just wasn’t enough of it. Oh, then there is this stat...

Interesting Stat

$4.6 million. That’s how much Winston Reid was actually paid in 2020. Sporting KC were reportedly only on the hook for about $700,000 or 15 percent of that total. Peter Vermes said, “We didn’t exercise the option for a very specific reason.” It has to be the wages. It’s possible Reid returns, West Ham United even indicated they’d let him go on a free transfer. But the road block would be his wages. Why would he come to MLS to make a fraction of his former deal (which is still guaranteed until the summer of 2023)? And why would Sporting KC put Designated Player (DP) money into an injury-prone 32-year-old center back?

Fan Vote Results

Buy Loan: 42.5%

Send Him Back to WHU: 57.5%

I’m surprised that many people wanted to buy him. I’d suspect they don’t know the endlessly complicated salary ramifications that come with managing an MLS salary budget. The team already have three DPs which would mean Johnny Russell would have to have his deal bought down. Then you have three DPs (Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda and Reid) who are locked in DPs and there is no room to sign anyone making more than the budget max (about $1.7 million, including pro-rated transfer fees). He’s not coming back in my opinion. Look no further than the ‘Interesting Stat’ above.