By the Numbers
Sporting Kansas City's dramatic 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo has earned them a spot in the 2013 MLS Cup.
One of the team's main reasons for success has been it's stingy defense including central defender Aurelien Collin. The Frenchman put in a great shift on Saturday night which included six interceptions, six tackles, and 19 clearances. Collin is the only player to achieve this feat in an MLS match in the last three years.
What's more impressive is Collin has had at least six interceptions, six tackles, and 15 clearancs twice this season. There are only two other players to have at least five tackles, five interceptions, and 15 clearances since the 2011 season. The full list is below.
|Sporting Kansas City vs Houston Dynamo (2013)||Collin, Aurélien||6||6||19|
|New England Revolution vs Sporting Kansas City (2013)||Collin, Aurélien||6||6||15|
|Portland Timbers vs Chicago Fire (2012)||Berry, Austin||5||7||16|
|New England Revolution vs Columbus Crew (2012)||Marshall, Chad||5||5||18|
Go in-depth behind Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 win against the Houston Dynamo at Sporting Park on Saturday with the match's fast facts.
- Sporting Kansas City defeated the Houston Dynamo in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship at Sporting Park on Saturday to advance to MLS Cup for the first time since 2004.
- MLS Cup will be held in Kansas City for the first time in team-history when it's played at Sporting Park at 3 p.m. CT on December 7.
- Sporting Kansas City will play the winner of Sunday's Western Conference Championship match at 8 p.m. CT between the Portland Timbers and Real Salt Lake on ESPN.
- Houston scored just three goals in the opening 15 minutes of games during the 2013 MLS regular season, fewest in the League. Houston's lone goal on Saturday came in the third minute, the earliest goal scored in the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Oscar Boniek Garcia's goal in the 3rd minute on Saturday broke a streak of 204 minutes without a goal in the season series by either team.
- Sporting KC's C.J. Sapong equalized in the 14th minute.
- Sapong's goal ended Tally Hall's League best 200-minute shutout streak in the MLS Cup playoffs this year.
- Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo both scored on Saturday, marking the first time that both of these teams have scored in the same match during the playoffs.
- Houston has kept just one clean sheet in their last 14 MLS road games.
- Dom Dwyer scored the game-winner, his first postseason goal with Sporting Kansas City.
- Dwyer has scored 26 goals across all competition, including goals in six different competitions: MLS regular season, MLS Cup playoffs, USL Pro regular season, USL Pro playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League.
- The goal was assisted by Benny Feilhaber, his second assist during the 2013 postseason.
- Dwyer's goal was scored in the 63rd minute of the match. Sporting KC has scored 13 goals in the 61-75 minute interval during MLS postseason, their most productive interval.
- With the come-from-behind victory, Sporting Kansas City handed the Houston Dynamo their first loss of 2013 after scoring the first goal in a match.
- Since 1998, Sporting Kansas City has only one home playoff loss: a 2-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the Eastern Conference Championship in 2011. Sporting KC is 11-1-2 at home over that span.
- Sporting KC is unbeaten (3-0-3) in their last six matches against Houston, allowing just two goals in those six games.
- With tonight's victory, Sporting KC's record moves to 14-0-1 when leading at the 75th minute in 2013.
- Six Sporting KC players to have started all nine of the team's playoff matches in the last three seasons: Jimmy Nielsen, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi.
- Seth Sinovic has started and played every minute in each of the team's last 20 MLS matches, the longest active games played streak on the team. Sinovic leads all Sporting KC players with 3,613 minutes played in all competition this season.
- Sporting KC has held opponents to a goal or fewer in 30 of the team's 38 MLS matches this season.
- Sporting KC and the Houston Dynamo have met in the postseason for the past three seasons. The Dynamo eliminated Sporting KC in 2011 and 2012.
- Sporting KC is 17-0-2 when C.J. Sapong scores in MLS competition (including playoffs).
- Tonight's attendance set a new stadium record for the largest attendance (21,650) in Sporting Park's three-year history. All seats for the match sold out in less than 24 hours of the general public on sale.
- Tonight is the 35th consecutive MLS match (playoffs included) sold out at Sporting Park.
- With tonight's victory, Sporting Park is the first stadium to host the MLS All-Star Game, U.S. Men's National Team and MLS Cup in the same calendar year.
- Peter Vermes is now 5-3-1 as a coach in the postseason.
Benny Feilhaber was credited with six of Sporting Kansas City's nine chances created on Saturday.
Aurelien Collin led all players with 60 total passes, 96 touches, 19 clearances, 12 possessions gained and six interceptions on Saturday.
Graham Zusi led all players with eight crosses on Saturday.
C.J. Sapong suffered a game-high five fouls on Saturday.
- Tech N9ne performed a special Sporting KC rap prior to the match on Saturday.
- The Kansas City Cauldron took over the Boulevard Members Club prior to the match allowing all KC Cauldron Members, Members Stand ticket holders and the first 500 Season Ticket Members (regardless of seat location) into the Boulevard Members Club for complimentary beer and additional food and drink specials.
- Saturday's match was nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network with Kyle Martino, John Strong and Russ Thaler on the commentary team. The game was also broadcast nationally on Univision Deportes.
- MLS Cup will be the 20th Sporting KC game on national television in 2013.
- Locally, the match aired on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Gran D 1340 AM.
Sporting Kansas City returns home on Saturday evening as they host Houston in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship. The two sides played to a scoreless draw in the opening leg on November 9 at BBVA Compass Stadium. If Sporting KC were to advance to MLS Cup, they would host the match based on having the best regular season record of the remaining teams.
A few in-depth stats
- Sporting KC is unbeaten in their last five matches against Houston
- Houston's record in the semifinal round (Conference Championship) is 4-1-2
- Sporting KC has had at least 12 or more shots in their last seven playoff matches
- Houston has only been shutout twice in their last 10 playoff matches (both vs Sporting KC)
- Sporting KC is averaging 57% possession and 80% passing accuracy in MLS matches at Sporting Park
All-Time Records (MLS Cup Playoffs)
Sporting KC: 15-18-5 (6-3-3 at home)
Houston: 14-7-6 (4-6-3 on the road)
All-Time Leaders (MLS Cup Playoffs)
|Sporting KC||Stat||Houston Dynamo|
|Zavagnin/Garcia 23||GAMES PLAYED||Brad Davis 22|
|Preki 8||GOALS||Brian Ching 7|
|Klein/Preki/Zusi 4||ASSISTS||Brad Davis 8|
|Tony Meola 62||SAVES||Tally Hall 37|
All-Time Stats (MLS Cup Playoffs)
|Sporting KC||Houston Dynamo|
|Goals Scored (Allowed)||53 (53)||38 (25)|
|Shots (on goal)||514 (213)||329 (135)|
|Fouls Committed (Suffered)||637 (630)||382 (394)|
The Professional Referee Organization (PRO) announced today the referee assignments for the second legs of both Conference Championships in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Baldomero Toledo will man the middle when Sporting Kansas City takes the field against the Houston Dynamo at Sporting Park on Nov. 23.
The 43-year-old is a 10-year veteran of Major League Soccer, making his MLS debut in Kansas City in 2004 (sending off Jose Burciaga, Jr. in the 45th minute of a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids). He's worked two MLS Cups (2008 and 2010) and also officiated the MLS All-Star Game in 2007 and 2012.
In 2013, Toledo has refereed 22 MLS matches and leads all MLS referees with 72 yellow cards and 12 red cards shown. He's whistled 592 fouls (an average of 26.9 per game) and nine penalty kicks.
Of those 22 games, four featured Sporting Kansas City:
- May 5: 4-0 win vs. Chivas USA that saw Dan Kennedy sent off and Claudio Bieler convert a PK
- July 7: 1-1 draw at Chicago in which Daniel Paladini was ejected
- August 10: 3-0 win vs. New England, who ended with nine men following the dismissals of Dimitry Imbongo and Andy Dorman
- October 26: 2-1 win at Philadelphia in the team's regular season finale
Toledo -- who was the fourth official for last year's Eastern Conference Semifinal second leg between Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo at Sporting Park -- has worked two matches in this year's MLS Cup Playoffs on the Western Conference side of the bracket, highlighted by a controversial call to disallow a series-winner for Real Salt Lake against the reigning champions LA Galaxy.
He'll be joined on the referee crew by Kermit Quisenberry (AR1), Frank Anderson (AR2) and Edvin Jurisevic (4TH). Quisenberry was the MLS Assistant Referee of the Year in 2008 and has worked 17 games as an AR in 2013. Anderson ran the sideline 19 times this year in MLS matches.
Its pretty simple.
After the 0-0 draw at Houston on November 9, Sporting KC will advance to MLS Cup with a victory (of any margin) at Sporting Park on November 23. If they are to reach MLS Cup, Sporting KC would host that match regardless of the results in the Western Conference. A draw would require overtime and possibly penalty kicks while a loss would see Sporting KC eliminated from the playoffs.
MLS Cup at Sporting Park would cap an impressive year for Sporting KC's home stadium. It kicked off with the team's opening MLS regular season match on March 16, continued with the MLS All-Star Game, and was followed by the U.S. Men's National Team defeating Jamaica 2-0.
For complete coverage of Sporting KC's playoff run be sure to check out the Playoff HQ.
Sporting KC earned their third shutout of the season at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship. Looking deeper into the stats, Sporting KC's defense has been second to none this season against their Eastern Conference rivals.
In two regular season matches at Houston this season, Sporting KC limited the Dynamo below their home season averages in passing accuracy, passes, duel success rate, goals, shots, and chances created. Saturday's first leg in the Eastern Conference Championship was no different as Sporting KC limited Houston to only six chances, 10 shots, and a passing accuracy under 65%.
The table below illustrates Houston's averages at home compared with their three matches vs Sporting KC.
Averages in home matches
|Stat||Average||May 12||October 9||November 9|
Go in-depth behind Sporting Kansas City's 0-0 draw against the Houston Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday with the match's fast facts.
- Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo played to only the second scoreless draw in the past 48 MLS playoff matches on Saturday at BBVA Compass Stadium.
- Saturday's draw was Sporting Kansas City's first playoff tie since 2008.
- The second leg of the Eastern Conference Championship will be at Sporting Park on Nov. 23 following the FIFA international break (Nov. 15-19).
- Seven points separated Sporting KC (17-10-7, 58 pts.) and Houston (14-11-9, 51 pts.) in the regular season standings.
- Sporting Kansas City is now unbeaten in their last five games against Houston (2-0-3), allowing just one goal in those five games.
- Saturday marked the fourth meeting between Houston and Sporting Kansas City this season. Sporting KC is 1-0-3 against the Dynamo on the year, including a 1-0-2 record on the road.
- Sporting KC's victory in Houston on May 12 broke a 36-game unbeaten streak for the Dynamo at BBVA Compass Stadium dating back to the stadium's opening in 2012.
- Houston was held without a win for only the third time in team history in a home playoff match (9-1-2).
- Houston has finished as MLS Cup runners-up the last two seasons, knocking Sporting Kansas City out of the playoffs en route to the final both years.
- In 2011, the Houston Dynamo defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-0 in the Eastern Conference Championship.
- In 2012, the Dynamo earned a 2-0 win in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals at BBVA Compass Stadium and prevailed 2-1 on aggregate after a 1-0 loss at Sporting Park in the return leg.
- Sporting KC made two changes to their starting lineup from Wednesday's match against the New England Revolution. Teal Bunbury and Jacob Peterson replaced Dom Dwyer and C.J. Sapong.
- Ricardo Clark exited the match in the 26th minute after suffering a knee injury following a collision with Benny Feilhaber. He led all Houston midfielders in minutes played (2,517) in 2013 and had played all 300 minutes this postseason entering Saturday's match with a goal and an assist.
- Sporting KC earned a 4-3 aggregate triumph over the New England Revolution in the Eastern Conference Semifinals after winning 3-1 at Sporting Park in extra time on Wednesday night.
- Houston also earned a 4-3 aggregate victory in the semifinals, advancing past the Supporters' Shield winners New York Red Bulls with a 2-1 victory at Red Bull Arena in extra time on Wednesday.
- Sporting KC defender Aurelien Collin and Houston Dynamo forwards Will Bruin and Omar Cummings lead all MLS players with two goals scored during the 2013 postseason.
- Dynamo defender Corey Ashe missed Saturday's match due to yellow card accumulation. Mike Chabala replaced him in the starting lineup.
- Four players were out due to injury on Saturday: Jermaine Taylor (foot fracture), Lawrence Olum (fibula fracture), Josh Gardner (ankle sprain), Peterson Joseph (illness).
- Matt Besler created four chances on Saturday, most among all players. His 76 touches were also most among all players.
- Oriol Rosell had six interceptions on Saturday, most among all players. Rosell led all MLS players in the regular season with 130 interceptions.
- Aurelien Collin had 20 clearances and 23 duels on Saturday, most among all players.
- Houston completed 63.5% of the team's passes on Saturday, their lowest percentage of the season.
- Sporting KC's eight crosses (excluding throw-ins) tied the team's season low. Three days earlier, Sporting KC attempted an MLS season high 40 crosses against the New England Revolution.
- Saturday was also the team's first MLS match of 2013 without a completed cross.
- No cards were shown on Saturday, marking Sporting Kansas City's first match of the year and first playoff match in team history without a caution or ejection.
- No players will be suspended for caution accumulation in the Eastern Conference Championship second leg or MLS Cup.
- Jimmy Nielsen has 49 career shutouts in MLS competition (including playoffs) and a 0.84 career postseason goals against average.
- His three saves on Saturday are the second most for a postseason match in his MLS career.
- Nielsen's four career playoff shutouts are second most in team history behind Tony Meola (7).
- Sporting KC has held opponents to a goal or fewer in 29 of the team's 37 MLS matches this season.
- Six Sporting KC players to have started all eight of the team's playoff matches in the last three seasons: Jimmy Nielsen, Matt Besler, Aurelien Collin, Chance Myers, Seth Sinovic and Graham Zusi. Prior to Saturday, C.J. Sapong had started every postseason game in his three-year MLS career.
- Seth Sinovic has started and played every minute in each of the team's last 19 MLS matches, the longest active games played streak on the team. Sinovic leads all players with 3,523 minutes played in all competition this season.
- Sporting Kansas City has played 43 games in all competition this season (MLS, MLS Cup Playoffs, U.S. Open Cup and CONCACAF Champions League).
- Paulo Nagamura surpassed 17,000 minutes played in his MLS career (including postseason) on Saturday. No other active Sporting KC player has more than 10,000 minutes played in an MLS career.
- Peter Vermes is now 4-3-1 as a coach in the postseason.
- More than 100 Sporting Kansas City supporters traveled to Houston on Saturday for the match.
- The Boulevard Members Club at Sporting Park hosted the team's official watch party on Saturday.
- Saturday's match was nationally televised on NBC with Arlo White, Kyle Martino and Russ Thaler on the commentary team. The game also streamed for free online via NBC Sports Live Extra.
- Locally, the match was broadcast on ESPN 1510 AM and La Gran D 1340 AM. ESPN 1510 AM also aired The Final Whistle: Sporting KC Postgame show immediately afterward.
- The Sporting KC Show will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB from 7-8 p.m. CT on Monday.
Sporting Kansas City travels to face the Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at BBVA Compass Stadium. The two teams have met the last three years in the postseason but this will be the first time it's a two-legged affair in the Conference Championship round. Sporting KC were unbeaten at Houston in two regular matches with a 1-0 victory on May 12 and 0-0 draw on October 9.
A few in-depth stats
- Sporting KC's 1-0 victory on May 12 at Houston snapped their 36 match home unbeaten streak (all competitions)
- Dating back to last season's playoffs, Sporting KC are unbeaten in their last four matches vs Houston
- Houston is 4-1-1 in the semifinals (Conference Championship) round all-time
- Sporting KC's road record is an MLS best 8-5-4 this season
Head To Head (MLS Playoffs)
Home Matches: 1-1-0 (1 goals scored, 2 goals conceded)
Away Matches: 0-2-0 (0 goals scored, 4 goals conceded)
Team Leaders (Regular Season)
|Sporting KC||Stat||Houston Dynamo|
|Claudio Bieler 10||GOALS||Giles Barnes 9|
|Graham Zusi 8||ASSISTS||Brad Davis 9|
|Claudio Bieler 70||SHOTS||Will Bruin 98|
|Oriol Rosell 66||FOULS||Kofi Sarkodie 38|
|Jimmy Nielsen 68||SAVES||Tally Hall 95|
|Jimmy Nielsen 0.88||GAA||Tally Hall 1.21|
Season Stats (Regular Season)
|Sporting KC||Houston Dynamo|
|Shots (on goal)||501 (155)||472 (143)|
|Fouls Committed (Suffered)||511 (452)||372 (377)|
|Duels Success (Avg)||50.41%||49.75%|
|Passing Accuracy (Avg)||77.61%||76.89%|
All-Time Postseason Matches
|11/04/2012||2-0||L||BBVA Compass Stadium|
Go in-depth behind Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 loss against the New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on Saturday with the match's fast facts.
- With the 4-3 victory on aggregate, Sporting KC advances to the Eastern Conference Championship to face the Houston Dynamo.
- Houston defeated the New York Red Bulls in the Eastern Conference Semifinals on Wednesday. With New York's loss, Sporting KC will now have home field advantage throughout the remainder of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
- Aurelien Collin scored Sporting KC's first goal on Wednesday night. The goal is Collin's second of the 2013 MLS postseason and third during the playoffs in his MLS career.
- Collin has now scored in back-to-back matches, earning one goal in each leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Revolution.
- Paulo Nagamura returned to Sporting Kansas City's starting lineup for the first time since Sept. 7 after suffering a left ankle injury.
- Sporting KC started eight players on Wednesday that also started the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals in New England. Nagamura, Benny Feilhaber and Dom Dwyer replaced Lawrence Olum, Teal Bunbury and Jacob Peterson.
- The start on Wednesday was Dwyer's first in the MLS postseason since joining Sporting Kansas City.
- Lawrence Olum missed Wednesday's match after suffering a fractured fibula in the first leg of the Eastern Conference semifinals.
- The loss snapped a seven-game unbeaten streak for the New England Revolution in all competitions. Prior to Wednesday, New England's last loss came on Sept. 14 at the Chicago Fire.
- The New England Revolution have not won in Kansas City since 2008, spanning a total of eight games in Major League Soccer.
- Defender Seth Sinovic scored Sporting Kansas City's second goal of the match on Wednesday.
- Sinovic's goal was the second of his Sporting KC career with both goals coming in the postseason in back-to-back home playoff matches at Sporting Park. He also scored in 2012 against the Houston Dynamo in the second leg of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
- Both of Sinovic's goals have been game-winning goals.
- Assists on Sinovic's goal were credited to Graham Zusi and Aurelien Collin.
- The assist was Zusi's ninth of 2013 in MLS competition (including playoffs) and fourth during his postseason career with Sporting KC.
- Zusi has 35 assists during his MLS career when including the postseason.
- Zusi's game-winning assist was the 17th of his career and third in the postseason.
- The assist for Collin marks his first in the MLS postseason and third of his MLS career when including the postseason.
- Claudio Bieler scored Sporting KC's third and final goal on Wednesday, breaking the 3-3 tie on aggregate.
- Bieler led Sporting Kansas City in goals during the 2013 MLS regular season. His goal on Wednesday was his 11th in 2013 in MLS competition.
- The appearance was Bieler's first for Sporting KC in the MLS postseason.
- Benny Feilhaber earned the assist on Bieler's goal.
- The assist marked Feilhaber's first point in MLS postseason competition.
- The assist was Feilhaber's 5th in 2013 and 14th of his MLS career. The other nine were secured while playing with his former team, the New England Revolution.
- Seth Sinovic and Benny Feilhaber both earned points for Sporting KC on Wednesday and coincidentally both players were formerly on the New England Revolution.
- Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi each had six chances created on Wednesday night, most among all players.
- Benny Feilhaber had five shots on Wednesday, a single-game career high.
- Dom Dwyer and Aurelien Collin led all players in pass completion percentage with 92.3%.
- Chance Myers had 10 open crosses on Wednesday, most among all players. Zusi followed right behind with nine.
- Matt Besler had 142 touches on Wednesday, most among all players.
- Oriol Rosell had nine interceptions on Wednesday, most among all players. Rosell also led all players in MLS for interceptions at the conclusion of the MLS regular season with 130.
- Matt Reis had to leave the match in the second extra time period due to injury. The early prognosis is a torn quad muscle. Reis will undergo more testing upon his return to New England.
- Sporting KC's attendance on Wednesday was 19,031 -- marking the 34th consecutive MLS sellout at Sporting Park.
- Sporting KC will travel to BBVA Compass Stadium on Saturday to face the Houston Dynamo in the first leg of the Eastern Conference Championship at 1:30 p.m. CT on NBC.
- The Boulevard Members Club will host the team's official watch party at Sporting Park. The event will be free and open to the general public.
- Sporting KC was knocked out of the playoffs by the Houston Dynamo in each of the last two seasons (2011 & 2012).
Sporting Kansas City concludes the Eastern Conference Semifinals vs New England with the second leg on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. New England has a 2-1 lead from the first leg but the overall aggregate score after the second leg will determine who advances to the Eastern Conference Final.
A few in-depth stats
- Sporting KC is unbeaten in their last seven home matches against New England
- New England is 10-9-4 in the quarterfinal round, with a -4 goal difference
- Sporting KC's record in playoff matches when scoring the first goal is 14-5-3
- New England goalkeeper Matt Reis is sixth all-time among MLS goalkeepers with 20 matches started
- Sporting KC is averaging 1.32 goals scored per match in playoffs, New England is averaging 1.00
All-Time Records (MLS Cup Playoffs)
Sporting KC: 15-18-5 (5-3-3 at home)
New England: 13-14-8 (3-4-3 on the road)
All-Time Leaders (MLS Cup Playoffs)
|Sporting KC||Stat||NE Revolution|
|Zavagnin/Garcia 23||GAMES PLAYED||Jay Heaps 28|
|Preki 8||GOALS||Taylor Twellman 10|
|Klein/Preki 4||ASSISTS||Ralston/Cancela 4|
|Tony Meola 62||SAVES||Bobby Shuttleworth 64|
All-Time Stats (MLS Cup Playoffs)
|Sporting KC||NE Revolution|
|Goals Scored (Allowed)||50 (52)||36 (40)|
|Shots (on goal)||467 (200)||373 (171)|
|Fouls Committed (Suffered)||609 (592)||575 (552)|