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Sporting Kansas City: 2022 Season Recap, Kayden Pierre Attends U-20 U.S. Men’s Training Camp & 2023 Season Predictions

The 2022 MLS season was a challenging year for Sporting Kansas City,

One year after finishing third in the Western Conference with 58 points, Peter Vermes’ squad regressed by 18 points. They finished with a final record of 11-16-7 and a goal differential of minus-12. 

Despite the disappointing record, they only missed out on the final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Real Salt Lake claimed the No. 7 seed with 46 points, thanks to a plethora of draws (12 wins, 11 losses and 11 draws). 

So Sporting Kansas City can look at it in a positive view in that they had just one less victory than the final playoff team in the West. Real Salt Lake wound up getting eliminated by Austin FC in opening round play of the MLS Cup Playoffs.

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Kayden Pierre Among 16 Players Attending U.S. Men’s U-20 Camp

Sporting Kansas defender Kayden Pierre is attending the U.S. men’s U-20 youth national team training camp in Frisco, Texas.

Head coach Mikey Varas brought in 16 players to attend the second phase of camp. The U.S.A. qualified for the 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup back in June when they defeated Costa Rica at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. The U.S. defeated Dominican Republic 6-0 in the finals to capture the gold medal.

The 2023 FIFA U-20 World Cup will be held in Indonesia and run from May 20 to June 11. Ukraine won the 2019 FIFA U-20 World Cup, defeating South Korea 3-1 in the tournament finals.

Pierre has been with the Sporting Kansas City organization since 2018, starting his tenure with the Sporting Kansas City II affiliate. Pierre, who turns 20 years of age on Feb. 16, appeared in 19 games for Sporting Kansas City last season. 

Early Sporting Kansas City 2023 Season Predictions: 54 Points, 4th In West

There are plenty of reasons to believe that Sporting Kansas City will enjoy positive regression in 2022. One can chalk up the disappointing season to a plethora of injuries and unlucky bounces.

28-year-old midfielder Gadi Kinda missed the entire 2022 season after requiring surgery on his right knee. Kinda’s playmaking skills and goal-scoring abilities (he totaled 11 goals over the 2020 and 2021 seasons) left a giant void in the lineup.

Veteran striker Alan Pulido also had to miss all of 2022 with a knee injury that needed surgery. Pulido scored eight goals for Sporting Kansas City in 21 game appearances during the 2021 season, and six in 12 games for the 2020 campaign.

Having those two alone will greatly bolster the Sporting Kansas City offense which mustered a mere 42 goals on the season, a noticeable drop from the conference-leading 58 they put up a year earlier.

Sporting KC has been a juggernaut under Vermes. In 2020, they finished in a three-way with the  Seattle Sounders FC and the Portland Timbers for first in the Western Conference with 39 points.

After getting through the San Jose Earthquakes in opening round play, Sporting Kansas City was upset by Minnesota United FC in the Conference semifinals. It was a highly disappointing end to a great season, no doubt, but the bottom line is that this team’s past history gives us plenty of reason to think they’ll turn it around in 2023.

With better health and a few more bounces, Sporting Kansas City could have made  the postseason would have made the postseason this year. And who knows? At full strength, they could have absolutely gone on a run.

With Kinda and Pulido set to return in 2023, Sporting KC should find their a-Game and return to the postseason. The early prediction for 2023 is that they’ll finish fourth in the Western Conference with 54 points, thereby returning to the postseason after a forgettable 2022 campaign.

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