KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Two Kansas City sports franchises share the unfortunate reality of being in last place in their respective sports.
The Kansas City Royals are tied with the Cincinnati Reds for the worst record in baseball and their -68 run differential has them at the bottom of the Major League Baseball standings.
Crossing the state line on Interstate 70, Sporting Kansas City currently sit at the bottom of the Western Conference just two points above the Chicago Fire in the Eastern Conference for the worst record in the sport.
The team who is sharing Children’s Mercy Park this season, the Kansas City Current, earned their first win of the season on Monday, but sit just three points above last place North Carolina Courage.
All three franchises have caught the injury bug to some big name and key players that certainly impact the performances, but all shared expectations that didn’t see them being toward the bottom of the table.
Kansas City Royals
Youth prospects gave fans hope that the future was in good hands and while players like Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez have shown flashes of excitement, the rest of the team has not been up to snuff, especially on offense.
Although he is tied for the team lead with six homeruns, All-Star catcher Salvador Perez has a .196 batting average. Just nine qualifying players in the league have a lower average.
Bobby Witt Jr. and MJ Melendez, giving youth some necessary experience.
- Adalberto Mondesi – 60-Day Injured List
- Tyler Zuber – 60-Day Injured List
- Jake Brentz – 15-Day Injured List
- Cam Gallagher – 15-Day Injured List
- Edward Olivares 15-Day Injured List
- Zack Greinke – 15-Day Injured List
Next game: May 31 at Cleveland; 5:10 p.m.
Sporting Kansas City
With manager Peter Vermes at the helm, Sporting have been a regular in the playoffs, missing the postseason just once since the rebrand in 2011.
Sporting KC finished third in Western Conference in 2021 and had high expectations of getting over the hump to win the championship in 2022.
Before the season even started, international players Alan Pulido (Mexico) and Gadi Kinda (Israel) underwent knee surgeries that turned into season-ending injuries. A few bright young players were added to the roster to make up for the injured spots, but goals have been hard to come by.
The club is just a few weeks removed from one of their most embarrassing losses in team history that aided in their league worst -13 goal differential.
Despite an awful start to the regular season, Sporting KC is favorited in a quarterfinal matchup against USL League 1-side Union Omaha in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
- Alan Pulido – Season-ending
- Gadi Kinda – Season-ending
- Graham Zusi – Thigh injury
- Khiry Shelton – Hamstring injury
- Nikola Vujnovic – Calf Injury
- Marinos Tzionis – Knee Injury
Next Game: June 12 vs New England; 2 p.m.
Kansas City Current
After an impressive showing in the NWSL Challenge Cup that saw the club host their first playoff game in team history, the Kansas City Current have struggled to find wins in the regular season.
After an offseason full of change, including the hiring of a new head coach, general manager, and the addition of some top tier United States women’s national team talent, the Current have one win on the season and a league worst -6 goal differential.
The Current did manage to hold off and win their first game of the season on Memorial Day, but will have to string together more wins to climb up the table and earn a playoff spot.
Rookie Elysse Bennet. She ended the challenge cup with a tournament-high 4 assists and is a vital piece to an offense that is finding their way.
- Lynn Williams – Season-ending injury
- Mallory Weber – Season-ending injury
- Sam Mewis – Knee injury
Next Game: vs San Diego Wave; 7:30 p.m.
All three teams still have time to string a few wins together and lift themselves from the bottom of the table, but the shift may need to come sooner than later.