Wednesday, 24 Jul 2024

Analyzing the Best and Worst Sporting KC Contract Values in 2021

gianluca busio salary

When it comes to analyzing football contracts, there are always questions about who is overpaid and who is getting a good deal. Today, we’ll take a closer look at Sporting Kansas City and determine which players are providing the best value for the team in 2021. The data we’ll be using is from the full 2021 MLSPA Salary Data released in May, and it’s worth noting that this analysis is based on the current season.

Best Values

Gianluca Busio – $127,504

Gianluca Busio

Without a doubt, Gianluca Busio is the standout player on the team when it comes to contract value. He has played the most minutes (1,152) and his contribution goes beyond just his playing time. Busio has excelled in multiple positions, showcasing his versatility and adaptability. He has played in all three midfield spots, as well as in the striker position. In previous years, he has even played as a left winger. It’s safe to say that Busio is a valuable asset to the team, and his value extends far beyond his salary. If another club were to acquire a player of his caliber, they would likely have to pay a multi-million dollar transfer fee. He’s a potential MVP candidate and losing him to a loan could be detrimental to Sporting KC’s season.

Daniel Salloi – $456,667

Daniel Salloi has proven that he is worth every penny of his contract. He is currently the third-highest goalscorer in Major League Soccer and leads Sporting KC in goals. When you consider his goal contributions combined with his assists, he’s only one goal behind the league’s top two goalscorers. What makes his contract even more impressive is that he is not even a Designated Player and does not fall under the Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) category. Salloi’s long-term plans are secure as he is already signed through 2022. This contract has turned out to be a smart piece of business, with Salloi exceeding expectations.

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Alan Pulido – $2.2 million

Alan Pulido’s contract may come with a significant salary and transfer fee, but he has proven to be worth the investment. When Pulido is on the field, Sporting KC performs exceptionally well. He has been a consistent contributor to the team’s success. Although he has had to deal with some injury issues, his goal and assist per 90 minutes ratio is outstanding (0.92). Even though this number has slightly dropped since May, it is still impressive. Pulido’s value lies in his ability to provide a goal or assist almost every game.

Felipe Hernandez – $81,375

Homegrown players often provide excellent value for their clubs, and Felipe Hernandez is no exception. He has stepped up in the absence of Remi Walter, starting in four straight matches and playing the full 90 minutes in each game. Hernandez has not only been a great deal financially but also a key contributor on the field. He has scored his first-ever goal this season, forced a crucial turnover that led to a game-winning goal, and provided a couple of assists. Hernandez’s performances highlight the disparity in the value between his contract and some of the other midfield contracts on the team. The pathway for young players to reach the professional level is real, and Hernandez is proof of that.

Jaylin Lindsey – $94,547

Another Homegrown talent, Jaylin Lindsey, has showcased his potential as a starter. He has made eight starts and 11 appearances, competing with Graham Zusi for the starting right-back position. Lindsey’s contract is already a great deal considering his playing time and contributions to the team. As he continues to develop and secures the starting position, his contract will prove to be even more valuable. At such a young age, Lindsey has the potential to break records based on his early career as a starter. Although he may consider trying his luck in Europe at some point, his current contract with Sporting KC is valid until 2022.

Worst Values

Roberto Puncec – $575,000

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Roberto Puncec’s contract value has significantly dropped this season. He was a regular starter in 2020 but has struggled to get playing time in 2021. With only two appearances, one start, and 85 minutes played, he has been overshadowed by other players in his position. He finds himself buried in the depth chart behind three center-backs and a defensive midfielder. It won’t be surprising if he requests a transfer or his contract is terminated so that he can find an opportunity elsewhere.

Nicolas Isimat-Mirin – $1,028,124

Nicolas Isimat-Mirin has been one of the highest-paid players on the team this season, yet he has only played 154 minutes. Although there may be valid reasons for his lack of playing time, such as Ilie Sanchez’s exceptional performances in the center-back position, Isimat-Mirin needs to prove his worth to justify his contract. The absence of Gianluca Busio due to international duties might provide Isimat-Mirin with an opportunity to earn his place in the team. Sporting KC fans will hope that he can bounce back in the coming weeks.

Remi Walter – $650,000

Remi Walter, one of Sporting KC’s notable signings in 2021, has struggled to live up to expectations so far. In his nine appearances and five starts, he has been less than impressive. Sporting KC has only won one out of the five matches in which Walter has started. Comparatively, in Felipe Hernandez’s four starts, the team has won three matches. With such a small sample size, there is still a chance for Walter to prove his value and make a significant impact in the future. He’ll need to stay healthy and outperform his competitors to secure a spot in the starting lineup.

Johnny Russell – $1.6 million

Johnny Russell’s performances in 2021 have fallen short of his previous seasons. Injuries have limited his playing time, and when he has been on the field, his performances have been lacking. As one of the Designated Players on the roster, Russell is expected to deliver more consistent performances. While it’s difficult to identify “bad values” for a team with the second-best record in the league, Russell’s underwhelming season puts him on this list.

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Analyzing the best and worst contract values in Sporting Kansas City reveals some hidden gems and players who need to step up their game. Gianluca Busio, Daniel Salloi, Alan Pulido, Felipe Hernandez, and Jaylin Lindsey have all provided excellent value for the team. On the other hand, Roberto Puncec, Nicolas Isimat-Mirin, Remi Walter, and Johnny Russell need to improve in order to justify their contracts.


Q: Where can I find the full 2021 MLSPA Salary Data?

A: You can find the full 2021 MLSPA Salary Data on the official website of Pesstatsdatabase: Pesstatsdatabase.

Q: What is a Designated Player?

A: A Designated Player is a player whose salary exceeds the team salary cap. Teams are allowed to have a limited number of Designated Players, and their salaries have a significant impact on the team’s budget.

Q: What is Targeted Allocation Money (TAM)?

A: Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) is a mechanism in Major League Soccer that allows teams to sign high-level players whose salaries fall between the Designated Player threshold and the league’s maximum budget charge. TAM helps teams acquire and retain talented players without exceeding their budget limits.

Q: How are homegrown players beneficial for a team?

A: Homegrown players are players who have developed through a team’s youth academy. They often provide excellent value for the team as they are typically signed on lower-cost contracts and have a deep understanding of the team’s style of play and philosophy.

Q: Can a player’s value change over time?

A: Yes, a player’s value can change over time based on their performances, contributions to the team, injuries, and other factors. It’s essential to evaluate a player’s contract value in the context of the current season and their individual circumstances.

Q: Can a player be transferred or have their contract terminated?

A: Yes, in professional football, players can be transferred to other teams or have their contracts mutually terminated if they are not getting enough playing time or if they wish to seek opportunities elsewhere. These decisions are made based on the player’s and the team’s best interests.