02/20/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 02/19/2020 22:08
For the first time in the 25-year history of Major League Soccer, the month of February will mark the start of regular season play. On Feb. 29, clubs across the United States and Canada will step between the white lines with hopes of collecting three points to begin 2020.
A delectable opening day of MLS action will see Sporting Kansas City visit Vancouver Whitecaps FC at 9:30 p.m. CT, giving supporters their first real look at Manager Peter Vermes' side since last October.
As the anticipated date approaches, SportingKC.com is rolling out a 28-day countdown to first kick, offering a comprehensive preview of the season ahead. From key storylines and positional breakdowns to new fan initiatives and perks at Children's Mercy Park, our Countdown to Kickoff series highlights the many reasons to be pumped for Sporting's 2020 campaign. To visit the series homepage as it expands, head to SportingKC.com/countdown.
Major League Soccer gurus rejoice: a new season of MLS Fantasy launched on Wednesday, inviting supporters to build a fantasy team and compete for major prizes throughout the year.
Before the fight for bragging rights begins, make sure to read up on the major MLS Fantasy rule changes ahead of opening day on Saturday, Feb. 29. Having finished that step, you'll be ready to build a team with $125 million at your disposal.
Like in years past, several Sporting players appear to be solid options for your fantasy squad. In fact, MLSsoccer.com identified five members of Sporting as some of the best picks at their respective positions. Let's take a quick look at each of them.
Goalkeeper Tim Melia ($6 million)
The MLS veteran is tabbed the league's ninth-best goalkeeping option heading into 2020. Melia was among the best keepers in the game in 2017 and 2018, and if Sporting can shore up the defense-goalies get most of their points from clean sheets-expect him to rank highly again this year.
Defender Roberto Puncec ($5 million)
Impressively enough, Sporting's newly acquired center back is deemed the sixth-best backline pick in the game. Priced at just $5 million and a strong candidate to start alongside Matt Besler in central defense, it's easy to see Puncec's perceived value.
Midfielder Johnny Russell ($9.5 million)
Russell has been Sporting's most productive attacking player over the last two seasons combined, totaling 19 goals and 19 assists. The winger comes in at No. 19 on MLSsoccer.com's midfield rankings.
Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez ($10 million)
Two spots behind Russell in the fantasy midfield pecking order is Gutierrez, who led Sporting last year with 12 goals and added four assists. Russell and Gutierrez have combined for 38 goals and 24 assists since arriving in Kansas City in 2018.
Forward Alan Pulido ($10.5 million)
Sporting fans will be happy to see Pulido ranked No. 4 among a star-studded cast of fantasy forwards. With a price of $10.5 million, he is as affordable as any other player in the top 10, which includes the likes of fellow Mexicans Carlos Vela and Chicharito, Josef Martinez, Cristian Pavon, Diego Rossi, Raul Ruidiaz and Jozy Altidore.
For those interested in seeing the price tags of every Sporting player on MLS Fantasy, here's the full breakdown.
MLS Fantasy: Sporting KC Player Values