Beyond The Box Score: Real Salt Lake breaks its duck at Children's Mercy Park

Sporting Kansas City has welcomed 18 MLS opponents to Children’s Mercy Park since the stadium opened in 2011. And entering the weekend, all but one had scored a regular season goal at the the state-of-the-art venue.

Rivals Real Salt Lake were the lone outlier heading into Saturday’s clash between unbeaten teams. In four previous regular season visits to Children’s Mercy Park, the Claret-and-Cobalt emerged with zero goals and five total shots on target.

That dry spell ended as Jeff Cassar’s side earned a 2-1 victory on Saturday, but not before Sporting Kansas City penned Real Salt Lake into the Children’s Mercy Park record books. In addition to being the last MLS team to score at the stadium (excluding New York City FC and Orlando City FC, who have yet to play at Children’s Mercy Park), RSL extended its record for the longest regular season goal draught at the venue to 388 minutes.

Justen Glad’s header in the 29th minute was Real Salt Lake’s first regular season goal in Kansas City since August 2010, snapping a 445-minute scoreless spell that spanned six games. It was Sporting Kansas City’s third longest home shutout streak against a single opponent in club history. Glad's first career tally also happened to be Sporting KC's 1,000th goal allowed across all competitions.


<strong>Shutout streak</strong>
<strong>Date started</strong>
<strong>Date ended</strong>
479 minutes
San Jose Earthquakes
458 minutes
New York Red Bulls
445 minutes
Real Salt Lake
343 minutes
New Englan Revolution
314 minutes
Colorado Rapids

Another statistical rarity to come from Saturday’s contest? Sporting Kansas City was flagged offside eight times, three shy of a club record and their most in a regular season match since Oct. 25, 2008 — or 234 games ago.

“To me, it’s a great lesson,” Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes said of the defeat, “because I think that we have had a lot of teams in years past that have come here and have played in a low block and then they try and counter. It’s nothing we haven’t seen in the past. The difference is that we just weren’t prepared to deal with it. This is just something that we are going to have to work on. When teams do that, we have to be faster with the ball.”