What's gone wrong at Sporting KC?

Johnny Russell has scored 5 goals for Sporting KC in their first 16 matches.
Johnny Russell has scored 5 goals for Sporting KC in their first 16 matches. / Fernando Leon/ISI Photos/GettyImages

After 18 games, Sporting KC sits 13th in the Western Conference with just 16 points (4-4-10). This comes with much disappointment, as SKC finished the 2021 season in third place and made it to the Conference Semifinals of the MLS Playoffs.

As of now, the club has scored just 16 goals, the lowest in the West, and second lowest in the MLS. It's 0.83 goals per 90 minutes is the lowest in the league. In addition, the club has the worst goal differential in the MLS with -16, and the second-most goals allowed with 32 goals conceded. Its 0.89 points per match is the second-worst the the league, too.

While it may look like the team has fallen off a cliff, injuries have played their part in the team's demise.

The team, known for its strong attack of Johnny Russell, Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda, has had a rough time staying healthy. Pulido and Kinda, two of the club's three designated players, both suffered knee injuries that have forced them out of the entire 2022 season. In 2021, Pulido had eight goals and two assists with Kinda contributing five goals and a team-leading six assists.

With MLS only allowing three designated players per team, losing two of them will understandably lower your quality as a squad.

It makes sense as to how SKC's season has gotten off to such a rough start, but the team will make a pair of signings to try and help the season get back on track. Going forward, it looks like the club is going to sign Erik Thommy and William Agada to help solve these issues.

Thommy, an attacker from VfB Stuttgart, scored six goals in 2020 while on loan at Fortuna Düsseldorf. Agada, a striker from Hopoel Jerusalem, has five goals in 24 appearances in 2022. These two will almost surely boost the last-placed team.

There is still time for Sporting KC to turn their season around, but Russell and Salloi are going to have to play at their highest level in order for it to have a chance. In 2021, Salloi (16 G) and Russell (15 G) lead the team in goals, and were third and fourth in the MLS in goals scored respectively. Paired with the two new signings in Thommy and Agada, hopefully SKC's two stars can the team back to its form from last season.