2020 Preseason Stats: Sporting spreads the wealth in Arizona

With six exhibition tune-ups in the rearview mirror, Sporting Kansas City players, coaches and fans alike have all eyes on Saturday's MLS regular season opener against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

The highly anticipated Western Conference clash at BC Place, which marks the first time ever that Sporting has begun regular season play in the month of February, will kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City and FOX Sports Midwest Plus.

Make no mistake, palpable excitement stems from what lies ahead. Sporting will take the field for each of the next 32 weekends, without a single bye, in a rhythmic march through the 34-game gauntlet of MLS. But the 2020 preseason, presented by Children's Mercy, is worth reflecting on for those who take any stock in the club's performances in Arizona.

As is usually the case, Manager Peter Vermes distributed minutes evenly over the course of six friendlies as 33 different players logged at least 30 minutes of action and none eclipsed 300 minutes. Scoring was also balanced: four players bagged a pair of goals, three of whom are Sporting KC Academy products, while two others tallied a goal each.

Daniel Salloi, Gianluca Busio, Johnny Russell and Sporting KC II forward Wilson Harris struck twice during the preseason. High-energy midfielders Roger Espinoza and Gadi Kinda also found the back of the net. Academy product and right back Jaylin Lindsey was the only player with two assists, while Tyler Freeman, Graham Smith and newly acquired Mexican striker Alan Pulido were among the others who set up goals.

Sporting finished the 2020 preseason campaign with a 2-3-1 record, but if recent history is any indication, preseason results hardly provide an accurate sign of things to come. Vermes' men finished the 2019 preseason unbeaten and went on to miss the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time in nearly a decade. The 2018 side that finished first in the Western Conference and one win shy of MLS Cup went 1-2-1 against MLS opposition during preseason play in Arizona.

The full preseason stat log is below, including numbers for the three goalkeepers who featured between the posts in Tim Melia, Richard Sanchez and Sporting KC II's John Pulskamp.

Sporting KC 2020 Preseason Results

Date Opponent Time (CT)
or Result
Location
Saturday, Jan. 25 Phoenix Rising FC Trialists W 4-0 Casino Arizona Field;
Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 1 FC Cincinnati W 4-0 Grande Sports World;
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Wednesday, Feb. 12 Columbus Crew SC L 0-2 Grande Sports World;
Casa Grande, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 15 Real Salt Lake
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
T 0-0 Kino North Stadium;
Tucson, Ariz.
Wednesday, Feb. 19 Phoenix Rising FC
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
L 1-2 Casino Arizona Field;
Tempe, Ariz.
Saturday, Feb. 22 New York Red Bulls
(Visit Tucson Sun Cup)
L 1-2 Kino North Stadium;
Tucson, Ariz.

Sporting KC 2020 Preseason Stats

Player GP GS MIN GLS AST
Wilson Harris * 3 1 135 2 1
Daniel Salloi 6 3 242 2 0
Johnny Russell 5 3 255 2 0
Gianluca Busio 5 1 177 2 0
Roger Espinoza 6 4 273 1 0
Gadi Kinda 5 3 243 1 0
Jaylin Lindsey 5 3 237 0 2
Alan Pulido 5 3 228 0 1
Graham Smith 5 2 238 0 1
Tyler Freeman 4 0 117 0 1
James Kasak ^^ 1 0 30 0 1
Roberto Puncec 6 4 287 0 0
Matt Besler 6 4 273 0 0
Luis Martins 6 4 273 0 0
Ilie Sanchez 6 4 273 0 0
Khiry Shelton 6 4 256 0 0
Camden Riley * 6 2 267 0 0
Botond Barath 6 2 237 0 0
Amadou Dia 6 2 237 0 0
Graham Zusi 5 3 228 0 0
Cameron Duke 5 2 223 0 0
Erik Hurtado 4 2 149 0 0
Gerso Fernandes 4 1 149 0 0
Jake Davis ** 3 1 118 0 0
Tucker Lepley ** 2 1 90 0 0
Kaveh Rad * 2 0 45 0 0
Felipe Gutierrez 1 1 30 0 0
Felipe Hernandez 1 0 30 0 0
Jaret Townsend ^^ 1 0 30 0 0
Wan Kuzain Wan Kamal 1 0 30 0 0

 * Sporting Kansas City II
** Sporting KC Academy
^^ Unsigned MLS SuperDraft pick

Sporting KC 2020 Preseason Stats (Goalkeepers)

Player GP GS MIN GA GAA
Tim Melia 3 2 165 4 2.18
Richard Sanchez 5 3 212 0 0.00
John Pulskamp * 4 1 163 2 1.10
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