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Beyond the Box Score: #SKCvNE

11 August 2:02 am

Beyond the Box Score: #SKCvNE

By Kurt Austin

All goals count the same on the scoresheet, but not all goals are created equal. Take for instance, Sporting Kansas City's second goal in Saturday's 3-0 victory over the New England Revolution. Kei Kamara makes the near post run, holds off Kevin Alston and connects with Soony Saad's cross to place a powerful header past Bobby Shuttleworth for his seventh goal of the season. But let's rewind the tape to appreciate this goal in all its glory...

From the moment Oriol Rosell puts the ball back into play with a free kick at the 48:30 mark, Sporting Kansas City maintains 65 seconds of uninterrupted possession and successfully completes 22 passes over that span with all 10 field players touching the ball. In other terms, New England goes over a minute in the run of play without a single touch of the ball prior to conceding the goal while Sporting KC sprays it around the park nearly two dozen times with contributions from every positional player sans the goalkeeper.

To fully appreciate the degree of difficulty in such a sequence, consider this. Prior to Saturday, the most impressive buildup to a Sporting KC goal this season was 12 passes and 37 seconds of possession on Claudio Bieler's tap in against Toronto last month. So impressive, in fact, that it was recently named the top play of the month by MLSSoccer.com.

Check out the full breakdown below for possessions and passes completed for every Sporting KC goal scored this season:

Game Goal Scorer Minute # Passes Possession
3/2 vs PHI Graham Zusi 41 0 passes 2 seconds
3/2 vs PHI Oriol Rosell 66 1 pass 2 seconds
3/2 vs PHI Claudio Bieler 83 10 passes 34 seconds
3/9 vs TOR Claudio Bieler 77 2 passes 7 seconds
3/30 vs MTL Claudio Bieler 5 2 passes 8 seconds
3/30 vs MTL Graham Zusi 80 1 pass 9 seconds
4/5 vs DC Claudio Bieler 89 1 pass 4 seconds
4/17 vs NY Aurelien Collin 13 1 pass 2 seconds
4/27 vs POR Chance Myers 1 1 pass 3 seconds
4/27 vs POR Chance Myers 29 3 passes 5 seconds
5/5 vs CHV Claudio Bieler 47 1 pass 6 seconds
5/5 vs CHV Claudio Bieler 57 0 passes 1 second
5/5 vs CHV Graham Zusi 65 10 passes 30 seconds
5/5 vs CHV C.J. Sapong 87 3 passes 9 seconds
5/12 vs HOU Aurelien Collin 73 1 pass 4 seconds
5/19 vs DC Ike Opara 60 1 pass 2 seconds
5/26 vs HOU Kei Kamara 68 11 passes 27 seconds
6/1 vs MTL Claudio Bieler 49 0 passes 1 second
6/22 vs DAL Kei Kamara 43 0 passes 1 second
6/22 vs DAL Own Goal 57 0 passes 1 second
6/29 vs CLB Kei Kamara 34 2 passes 8 seconds
6/29 vs CLB Claudio Bieler 50 4 passes 11 seconds
6/29 vs CLB Kei Kamara 80 1 pass 3 seconds
7/3 vs VAN Aurelien Collin 35 0 passes 1 second
7/7 vs CHI Benny Feilhaber 6 0 passes 1 second
7/7 vs CHI Graham Zusi 8 1 pass 6 seconds
7/13 vs TOR Soony Saad 21 6 passes 27 seconds
7/13 vs TOR Soony Saad 51 0 passes 1 second
7/13 vs TOR Claudio Bieler 63 12 passes 37 seconds
7/20 vs RSL Soony Saad 67 1 pass 1 second
7/20 vs RSL Ike Opara 97 1 pass 4 seconds
8/3 vs NY Kei Kamara 45 0 passes 1 second
8/3 vs NY Dom Dwyer 92 1 pass 4 seconds
8/10 vs NE Kei Kamara 27 4 passes 16 seconds
8/10 vs NE Kei Kamara 50 22 passes 65 seconds
8/10 vs NE Benny Feilhaber 92 0 passes 1 second

Kamara's goal is a model example for a Sporting Kansas City squad that has become the League leader in possession this season. According to Opta, Sporting Kansas City (56.84) narrowly edges out both Portland (56.26) and Real Salt Lake (56.24) in team possession for 2013 and is on pace to best the top marks from both the 2011 (Chivas USA 55.35) and 2012 (Houston 55.92) campaigns.