SportingKC.com’s Beyond the Box Score series was made for matches like these.


Rampant Sporting Kansas City hit six past Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Friday night at Children’s Mercy Park, rewriting the record books in an emphatic performance that became all the more pronounced when the visitors were reduced to nine men just before halftime.


But make no mistake, even before Efrain Juarez and Yordy Reyna saw straight red cards for violent conduct, Manager Peter Vermes’ men had built a 3-0 lead within a half-hour and were well on their way to going seven points clear atop the Western Conference standings.


Johnny Russell’s hat-trick stole the headlines Friday night, and fairly so, but the Scot’s scintillating salvo only scratches the surface of what became Sporting KC’s most dominant victory ever.


Without further ado, let’s visit each of the statistical milestones from a historic night in Kansas City, Kansas.


Goals Galore


Sporting KC’s 6-0 triumph tied club records for largest margin of victory and most goals scored in a competitive match. The offensive explosion gives Sporting KC an MLS-best 20 goals through eight regular season matches this year, having scored 40 in all of 2017. The last time Sporting KC hit six goals in an MLS match? That would be June 20, 1999.


SPORTING KC: MOST GOALS IN A MATCH
(ALL COMPETITIONS, ALL-TIME)

<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>Competition</strong>
05/02/1996
W 6-4 vs Columbus Crew SC
MLS regular season
06/21/1997
W 6-1 vs D.C. United
MLS regular season
06/20/1999
W 6-0 vs New York Red Bulls
MLS regular season
08/03/2005
W 6-1 vs Des Moines Menace
U.S. Open Cup
07/01/2015
W 6-2 vs FC Dallas
U.S. Open Cup
04/20/2018
W 6-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
MLS regular season

SPORTING KC: MOST GOALS THROUGH EIGHT GAMES
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Record</strong>
20
2018
5-1-2
17
2000<br> 2003<br> 2005
6-0-2<br> 3-1-4<br> 3-2-3
16
2007
5-2-1
13
1996
3-5-0
12
1997<br> 2012
4-4-0<br> 7-1-0

On an individual level, Johnny Russell’s hat-trick was Kansas City’s eighth in MLS regular season history. The 28-year-old did the deed in just 48 minutes, making his treble the earliest ever by a Sporting KC player. Incredibly enough, Russell is now tied for the MLS lead with five goals alongside teammate Felipe Gutierrez — who came off the bench Friday after missing two games through injury — and Atlanta United FC striker Josef Martinez.


SPORTING KC HAT-TRICK HEROES
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Opponent</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>Third Goal</strong>
Vitalis Takawira
05/16/1998
at New England Revolution
W 3-1
85th minute
Preki
09/05/1998
vs. San Jose Earthquakes
W 5-1
80th minute
Davy Arnaud
07/03/2004
vs. FC Dallas
W 5-1
90th minute
Eddie Johnson
05/26/2007
at New England Revolution
W 4-3
82nd minute
Eddie Johnson
06/02/2007
vs. New York Red Bulls
W 3-2
85th minute
Birahim Diop
10/23/2010
vs. San Jose Earthquakes
W 4-1
76th minute
Gerso Fernandes
05/17/2017
vs. Seattle Sounders FC
W 3-0
69th minute
Johnny Russell
04/20/2018
vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
W 6-0
48th minute
Beyond The Box Score: Sporting KC hangs half a dozen in historic hammering of hapless Whitecaps -

Shots, Shots, Shots


More often than not, a two-man advantage leads to one-way traffic. On this occasion, Vancouver goalkeeper Stefan Marinovic was on the receiving end of Sporting KC’s ceaseless assault. Marinovic had performed admirably at Children’s Mercy Park just seven months earlier, posting a clean sheet in a 1-0 victory, but his fortunes were drastically reversed this time around.


The Whitecaps suffered their worst defeat of all-time as Vermes’ side amassed 34 shot attempts and 14 shots on target — both club records in the regular season and the most by any MLS team this year. Vancouver, meanwhile, mustered just five shots and tested goalkeeper Tim Melia only once — albeit forcing him to make a brilliant save to deny Reyna in the early stages.


Moreover, Sporting KC’s 23 shots in the second half were the most in any half in MLS history. Their 34 total shots were third-most, tying the team’s output in a 2-1 win over Orlando City SC in May 2016, and their plus-29 shot discrepancy was the team's largest ever.


MOST SHOTS IN A MATCH
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

<strong>Shots</strong>
<strong>Team</strong>
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
38
New York Red Bulls
06/03/1998
L 2-1 vs. Tampa Bay Mutiny
36
FC Dallas
08/19/1998
L 2-1 at Miami Fusion
34
Sporting KC<br> Sporting KC
05/15/2016<br> 04/20/2018
W 2-1 vs. Orlando City SC<br> W 6-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
32
Portland Timbers
09/07/2014
T 3-3 vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Oh, Behave


It’s not hard to understand why Sporting KC committed just three fouls throughout the night, their fewest ever in an MLS match. When a team has the ball as much as the hosts did on Friday — Sporting KC enjoyed 79.6 percent possession, the second-highest mark in an MLS match during the Opta era — there simply aren’t many instances where committing a foul is even possible.


MOST POSSESSION IN A MATCH
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, 2010-present)

<strong>Poss.</strong>
<strong>Team</strong>
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
82.8%
Atlanta United FC
03/18/2017
W 4-0 vs. Chicago Fire
79.6%
Sporting KC
04/20/2018
W 6-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
78.2%
Sporting KC
05/10/2014
W 3-0 at Montreal Impact
77.8%
San Jose Earthquakes
09/07/2014
W 3-2 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC
75.8%
Atlanta United FC
09/13/2017
W 7-0 vs. New England Revolution

Helping Hands


With tons of goals come tons of assists. Such was the case on Friday when Sporting KC was credited for seven total helpers, second most in an MLS match in team history. Individual shout-outs belong to Roger Espinoza and Graham Zusi, who stamped their names onto the box score within the first 20 minutes.


Espinoza assisted each of Russell’s first two goals, taking his total to five assists on the season. That, remarkably, equals Espinoza’s career-high just eight games into the campaign and vaults him to the top of the MLS assist charts in 2018.


Zusi, meanwhile, moved into a tie with D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno for eighth-most game-winning assists in MLS history at 26.


MOST GAME-WINNING ASSISTS
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

<strong>GWA</strong>
<strong>Player</strong>
<strong>GP</strong>
41
Landon Donovan<br> Steve Ralston
340<br> 378
40
Brad Davis
392
33
Carlos Valderrama
175
30
Cobi Jones
306
29
Preki
242
28
Mauricio Cienfuegos
206
26
Jaime Moreno<br> Graham Zusi *
340<br> 226
25
Kyle Beckerman *<br> Marco Etcheverry
438<br> 191

*Denotes active MLS player


Major League Soccer’s top-scoring outfit will look to extend their seven-game unbeaten run next Saturday, April 28, when they visit the New England Revolution for a cross-conference clash at Gillette Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 6:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO. The game’s official watch party will take place at No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District, featuring $4 Bud Light drafts and an all-you-can-eat buffet with bottomless soda ($20) or domestic draft beers ($30).