2021 Preseason Stats: Academy products stand out in Arizona

Saturday marked the conclusion of Sporting Kansas City's four-week preseason training camp in Arizona as Manager Peter Vermes' side used a brilliant Gianluca Busio goal to emerge 1-0 winners over the LA Galaxy at Kino North Complex in Tucson.

With four exhibition tune-ups in the rearview mirror, Sporting Kansas City has returned home for another two weeks of training at Compass Minerals National Performance Center ahead of a highly anticipated season opener at the New York Red Bulls on April 17.

But before we cast our eyes forward—and we'll be doing plenty of that in the days to come—let's take stock of a preseason campaign that yielded two wins, a loss and a draw, not to mention a fantastic showing from several Sporting Kansas City Academy products.

As is usually the case, Manager Peter Vermes distributed minutes evenly over the course of four friendlies as 29 different players logged at least 30 minutes of action and none eclipsed 200 minutes. On the attacking end of the pitch, 21-year-old Wilson Harris led the way with four goals, an indication that he could be poised for a solid debut campaign in MLS. Fellow Academy product Gianluca Busio added two goals of his own, while Khiry Shelton and Roger Espinoza also found the back of the net. Captain Johnny Russell had a team-best two assists, while Shelton, Luis Martins and Academy youngsters Cam Duke and Jake Davis also setting up goals.

Defensively, goalkeeper Tim Melia didn't allow a goal in 184 minutes of action across four appearances. Center back Andreu Fontas, right back Jaylin Lindsey and left back Luis Martins started every match, while Sporting KC II center back Kaveh Rad notably earned three starts. French newcomers Remi Walter and Nicolas Isimat-Mirin logged their first minutes with the club, with Walter linking up alongside Busio and Ilie Sanchez in midfield.

The full preseason stat log is below.

Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Results

Date Time (CT) Opponent Location/Result
Saturday, March 13 12 p.m. Phoenix Rising FC W 4-0
Saturday, March 20 5 p.m. Colorado Rapids L 0-1
Wednesday, March 24 1 p.m. Portland Timbers T 3-3
Saturday, April 3 2 p.m. LA Galaxy W 1-0

Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Stats

Player GP GS MIN GLS AST
Wilson Harris 4 2 199 4 0
Gianluca Busio 4 4 184 2 0
Khiry Shelton 4 2 184 1 1
Roger Espinoza 2 0 71 1 0
Johnny Russell 3 3 120 0 2
Luis Martins 4 4 184 0 1
Cam Duke 4 0 195 0 1
Jake Davis * 1 0 60 0 1
Jaylin Lindsey 4 4 184 0 0
Andreu Fontas 4 4 184 0 0
Ilie Sanchez 4 4 184 0 0
Kaveh Rad * 4 3 146 0 0
Felipe Hernandez 4 0 176 0 0
Kayden Pierre ** 4 0 176 0 0
Roberto Puncec 4 0 165 0 0
Tyler Freeman 4 0 139 0 0
Grayson Barber 4 0 137 0 0
Amadou Dia 4 0 131 0 0
Remi Walter 3 3 140 0 0
Daniel Salloi 3 3 120 0 0
Ozzie Cisneros 3 1 84 0 0
Matt Constant *** 3 0 84 0 0
Travian Sousa * 3 0 71 0 0
Graham Smith 3 0 66 0 0
Gadi Kinda 2 1 51 0 0
Nicolas Isimat-Mirin 1 1 45 0 0
Alan Pulido 1 1 45 0 0
Dominik Resetar * 1 0 45 0 0
Danny Barbir * 1 0 30 0 0
Graham Zusi 0 0 0 0 0

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

Sporting KC 2021 Preseason Stats (Goalkeepers)

Player GP GS MIN GA GAA
Tim Melia 4 4 184 0 0.00
Kendall McIntosh 2 0 75 3 3.60
John Pulskamp 3 0 101 1 0.89
Gavin Krenecki 0 0 0 0 0.00
Topics: