"Beyond The Box Score" is a weekly series presented by Compass Minerals that takes a statistical dive into every Sporting match, bringing to light the intriguing numbers and factoids that don't appear in the typical box score. To visit the series archive, click here.



The end result may have left Manager Peter Vermes' side with a twinge of frustration, but anyone who watched Saturday's 1-1 draw against Austin FC will have no concerns about Sporting Kansas City's ability to generate high-quality looks in the attacking third.


Daniel Salloi recorded his fourth goal of the season as Sporting (5-2-2, 17 points) battled back to split the points with Austin (2-4-2, 8 points) in a scorching and breathless encounter at Children’s Mercy Park.


The 150th MLS sellout in stadium history saw Austin FC take a first-half lead through Cecilio Dominguez, but Sporting’s overall dominance was rewarded in the 71st minute when Salloi found the back of the net. The 24-year-old Sporting KC Academy product is tied for third in MLS with six combined goals and assists this season, highlighting the magnitude of his impressive bounce-back campaign after going goalless in 2020.


Joining Salloi on the list below is fellow teammate Alan Pulido, who missed Saturday's contest while on international duty with Mexico.


MOST GOALS AND ASSISTS IN MLS THIS SEASON

<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>Club</strong>
<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Assists</strong>
<strong>G+A</strong>
Javier Hernandez
LA Galaxy
7
1
8
Raul Ruidiaz
Seattle Sounders FC
6
1
7
Alan Pulido
Sporting KC
5
1
6
Jesus Medina
New York City FC
5
1
6
Daniel Salloi
Sporting KC
4
2
6
Rubio Rubin
Real Salt Lake
4
2
6
Damir Kreilach
Real Salt Lake
3
3
6
Carles Gil
NE Revolution
1
5
6

"Daniel came (into the new season) with the right mentality," Vermes said after the match. "I say it all the time, it’s not the goals. It’s the other work that he does that then creates the chances for you. You make your own luck and that’s what he’s doing."


Austin FC goalkeeper Brad Stuver made a career-high nine saves, single-handedly salvaging a point for the outmatched visitors, but was unable to prevent Sporting from extending their regular season home scoring streak to 20 matches. The historic run began on Aug. 10, 2019 and ties a Kansas City record first set from 2011-2012.


SPORTING KC: LONGEST HOME SCORING STREAKS
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

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<strong>Games</strong>
<strong>First match</strong>
<strong>Final match</strong>
20 *
08/10/2019
06/12/2021
20
06/17/2011
04/14/2012
17
07/14/2001
07/27/2002
15
04/13/1996
09/07/1996
14
06/03/2018
04/27/2019
14
03/18/2017
09/24/2017

*denotes active streak


Salloi was one of several Sporting players to ask questions of the opposing defense this weekend. An endless siege on the Austin goal characterized most of the afternoon, with Vermes' men racking up 32 total shot attempts over the course of 90 minutes. That total is the most by an MLS team this season and two shy of tying Sporting's regular season club record.


Kansas City has totaled 34 shots on three different occasions within the last five years and had 36 shots in an MLS is Back Tournament knockout round matchup against Vancouver Whitecaps FC last summer in Florida.


SPORTING KC: MOST SHOTS IN AN MLS MATCH

<strong>Shots</strong>
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Opponent</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>Competition</strong>
36
07/26/2020
vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
T 0-0
MLS is Back
34
05/15/2015
vs. Orlando City SC
W 2-1
Regular Season
34
04/20/2018
vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
W 6-0
Regular Season
34
10/06/2018
vs. LA Galaxy
T 1-1
Regular Season
32
11/06/2013
vs. New England Revolution
W 3-1
Playoffs
32
06/12/2021
vs. Austin FC
T 1-1
Regular Season

Similarly, Sporting's chance creation on Saturday was as prolific as it has been all season. The team's 23 chances created were the fourth-most in a Kansas City regular season match since Opta began tracking the stat in 2010. Captain Johnny Russell, who was credited with an assist on Salloi's strike, had a game-high five chance creations, while Salloi and in-form center back Andreu Fontas provided three apiece.


"The number of high-quality chances that we had was a different level," Vermes said postgame. "I’m really proud that our performances, in the last three to four games, have been tremendous and they’re steady and there is a consistency to it. That’s what you’re striving for. That part I’m really, really happy with."


SPORTING KC: MOST CHANCES CREATED IN A MATCH DURING THE OPTA ERA (MLS REGULAR SEASON, 2010-PRESENT)

<strong>Chances</strong>
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Opponent</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
30
05/15/2016
vs. Orlando City SC
W 2-1
27
04/20/2018
vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
W 6-0
25
10/06/2018
vs. LA Galaxy
T 1-1
23
06/12/2021
vs. Austin FC
T 1-1
22
06/03/2017
vs. Minnesota United FC
W 3-0

Russell's assist catapulted the Scottish winger into elite company. He is now tied with Mark Chung for ninth on team’s all-time regular season assists chart and has become just the eighth player in Kansas City history with 25 goals and 25 assists in regular season play for the club.


PLAYERS WITH 25 GOALS + 25 ASSISTS FOR SPORTING KC (MLS REGULAR SEASON)

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<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Assists</strong>
<strong>Appearances</strong>
Preki
71
98
218
Graham Zusi
29
66
298
Chris Klein
39
45
200
Benny Feilhaber
31
43
167
Davy Arnaud
43
35
240
Mo Johnston
31
28
149
Josh Wolff
43
26
144
Johnny Russell
25
25
87

Just over a quarter of the way through the 2021 campaign, Sporting will be encouraged by the fact that no other MLS club has bagged more goals or manufactured more "big chances," defined by Opta as a situation where a player should reasonably be expected to score. The team sits one point out of first place in the early Supporters' Shield race behind Western Conference counterparts Seattle Sounders FC, who have yet to lose a game this year.


MOST GOALS IN MLS THIS SEASON 

<strong>Club</strong>
<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Big Chances</strong>
<strong>Record (W-L-T)</strong>
Sporting Kansas City
16
27
5-2-2
Seattle Sounders FC
14
17
5-0-3
New York City FC
13
14
3-2-2
Colorado Rapids
12
16
4-2-1
New England Revolution
11
21
5-1-2
San Jose Earthquakes
11
18
3-5-0
LA Galaxy
11
14
5-2-0
Houston Dynamo FC
11
13
3-3-2

Lastly, we would be remiss to overlook a major milestone of longevity for one of the most recognizable faces in Sporting history.


Veteran right back Graham Zusi, who was forced to exit a few minutes before halftime through injury, made his record-breaking 349th appearance for Sporting in all competitions. With a start on Saturday, Zusi passed Austin FC defender and longtime Sporting teammate Matt Besler, who went the full 90 and anchored a spirited defensive performance from Los Verdes.


MOST APPEARANCES FOR SPORTING KC IN ALL COMPETITIONS (ALL-TIME)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>Matches</strong>
<strong>Years with SKC</strong>
1
Graham Zusi
349
2009-present
2
Matt Besler
348
2009-2020
3
Roger Espinoza
310
2008-2012; 2015-present
4
Kerry Zavagnin
291
2000-2008
5
Davy Arnaud<br> Nick Garcia
273<br> 273
2002-2011<br> 2000-2007
7
Seth Sinovic
257
2011-2019

Unbeaten in four straight matches, Sporting will now prepare for a challenging trip to the Pacific Northwest and a date with the Portland Timbers (3-4-0, 9 points) on Saturday at Providence Park. The Western Conference clash will kick off at 9:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, BallySports.com, the Bally Sports app, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

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