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.
- Week One: Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Gerso, Khiry Shelton
- Week Two: Gadi Kinda, Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler
- Week Three: Roberto Puncec, Winston Reid, Luis Martins
The Blue Testament continues our look back at 2020 with the player who may have stolen the starting left back job — Amadou Dia.
Games Played (Started): 12 (9)
Minutes Played: 847
xG (expected goals): 0.01
Positions Played: Left Back
2019 Salary: Not in MLS - With Phoenix Rising in USLC
Dia made just $51,500 when he was last in MLS in 2016.
Contract Through (Option Years): 2021 (2022)
Best Moment of 2020
Luis Martins getting hurt? It’s a bit dark, but it’s somewhat true. To Dia’s credit, he was ready. When Martins went down on September 19th against FC Dallas, Dia seized his chance. There are plenty of backups who come into games and don’t appear ready for the moment. Dia is a veteran though. He knows what he gave up all those years out of MLS and at 27, he may have known this could have been his last chance. He took it.
Honorable Mention: Returning to MLS. After getting traded from Sporting KC to the Montreal Impact, Dia would deal with a serious injury and spend years with Phoenix Rising in the USL Championship before earning his return trip to MLS. But like any good player, just getting back to the dance isn’t enough, he wants to stay and thrive. 2020 was a good start to that.
Worst Moment of 2020
The 2020 playoffs. He started in both games and Sporting allowed six goals. Dia had picked up an injury before Decision Day against Real Salt Lake causing him to miss that game. Maybe he wasn’t perfectly healthy in the playoffs because he didn’t look good (he got pulled just after half time against Minnesota United). It also could be that he couldn’t hang with better competition. Sporting did have a somewhat soft schedule down the stretch (FC Cincinnati, Chicago Fire x2, Colorado Rapids, Nashville SC and the Houston Dynamo — maybe a bit harsh on Nashville as they did go far).
68. That’s the number of more minutes played by Dia than Luis Martins (including MLS is Back and the Playoffs — 929 to 861). Going back to Martins stat yesterday, Dia probably made in the neighborhood of $150,000 to 175,000 less than Martins (and he doesn’t use an international spot). Does the production justify the cost? This will be one of the true questions of the offseason. I could see them both coming back as the sample size was small and the year was weird. At the very least, by the end of 2021, Peter Vermes will have a choice to make. I don’t see Dia leaving because he’ll be on a cheap deal, more so if he becomes the day-in, day-out starter. At worst, he’s a budget friendly backup.
Fan Vote Results
Pick up 2021 Option: 83.2%
Decline 2021 Option: 10.9%
Pick up 2021 Option and Sell: 5.9%
You all seem to agree (for the most part) that Dia should stick around. He’s probably at or near the league minimum and his production far outweighed that. Maybe he’s the guy that finally makes Sporting fans stop thinking of Seth Sinovic at left back.