MLS is Back

Sporting Kansas City 2024 Season Preview


Armchair Analyst's Breakdown

  • Strength: Once they got their starters healthy 10 games into last season, they picked up about 1.7 ppg (which is nearly a 60-point pace). They have a bare fraction of those personnel question marks entering this season and a decent amount of depth to play with as well.
  • Weakness: Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell, Andreu Fontàs and – most importantly – Tim Melia are all in their mid-30s, and all have missed significant time over the past few years. They can probably handle it if one or even two of these guys get old this season. But three or four? That’ll be that.

Key Departures

  • Roger Espinoza: After 14 years with the club, Espinoza's playing days have wound down. The longtime Honduran international midfielder ranks second in team history in appearances (399).
  • Gadi Kinda: Sporting KC opened a Designated Player spot when bidding farewell to Kinda, who has since joined Israeli Premier League side Maccabi Haifa FC. It sounds like a new DP wouldn't arrive until the summer, though.
  • Graham Zusi: An iconic player, Zusi is Sporting KC's all-time leader in appearances (411) and spent his entire 15-year professional career with the club. The former US international midfielder/defender's contract option was declined.

Key Signings

  • Zorhan Bassong: With Logan Ndenbe recovering from a torn ACL, Sporting KC needed some left-back depth. Thus they acquired Bassong, who brings MLS experience from CF Montréal.
  • Memo Rodríguez: Rodríguez is on the verge of 150 MLS matches, giving the club some midfield depth. The free-agent signing is a Houston Dynamo homegrown product.
  • Full roster

Projected Starting XI

24MLS_Lineups_Sporting KC


  • Marcelo Balboa: 3rd in Western Conference
  • Kyndra de St. Aubin: 1st in Western Conference
  • Matt Doyle: 2nd in Western Conference
  • Brian Dunseth: 5th in Western Conference
  • Miguel Gallardo: 2nd in Western Conference
  • Antonella Gonzalez: 5th in Western Conference
  • J. Sam Jones: 6th in Western Conference
  • Sacha Kljestan: 4th in Western Conference
  • Kaylyn Kyle: 4th in Western Conference
  • Lori Lindsey: 9th in Western Conference
  • Frédéric Lord: 7th in Western Conference
  • Joseph Lowery: 3rd in Western Conference
  • Sammy Sadovnik: 3rd in Western Conference
  • Andrew Wiebe: 4th in Western Conference
  • Bradley Wright-Phillips: 7th in Western Conference
  • Diego Valeri: 3rd in Western Conference
  • Jake Zivin: 3rd in Western Conference

Odds & Ends

  • Head coach: Peter Vermes
  • Stadium: Children's Mercy Park
  • Last year: 12W-14L-8T, 44 points, 8th in Western Conference
  • Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs: Western Conference Semifinal