Sunday's 2-1 defeat at Vancouver Whitecaps FC felt like an opportunity missed for Sporting Kansas City.

After first-place Seattle Sounders FC and third-place Colorado Rapids took losses on Saturday, the door had opened for second-place Sporting to not only clinch a playoff spot with a win or a draw, but close Seattle's gap at the top of the table to two points while also creating a bit more separation between the chasing Rapids.

Instead, Sporting's wait for a playoff berth will last a few more days and the club remains five points out of first place with five regular season matches still to play.

Despite the setback, which snapped Sporting's six-game unbeaten run against Vancouver and a three-match winning streak at BC Place, Sunday's contest did see one of the league's hottest attacking players etch his name into the Kansas City history books.

With 43 minutes on the clock, Sporting captain Johnny Russell received a pass from Daniel Salloi and sent a fantastic curler in off the post to cut his team's deficit in half. By doing so, Russell became the first player in Sporting history to score in six consecutive MLS regular season matches.

Sporting Legend Preki had previously held the club's record for longest regular season scoring streak, set during the month of June in Major League Soccer's inaugural 1996 campaign.

LONGEST REGULAR SEASON GOAL SCORING STREAKS
(SPORTING KC, ALL-TIME)

  • 6 matches | Johnny Russell | 09/11/21 to 10/17/21
  • 5 matches | Preki | 06/01/96 to 06/20/96
  • 4 matches | Felipe Gutierrez | 03/10/18 to 03/31/18
  • 4 matches | Dom Dwyer | 09/09/16 to 10/01/16
  • 4 matches | Dom Dwyer | 08/29/14 to 09/26/14
  • 4 matches | Dom Dwyer | 05/10/14 to 05/23/14
  • 4 matches | Eddie Johnson | 05/26/07 to 07/22/07

With goals in his last six appearances, Russell is now tied with Ola Kamara of D.C. United for the longest scoring streak in MLS this season.

LONGEST REGULAR SEASON GOAL SCORING STREAKS
(2021 MLS REGULAR SEASON)

  • 6 matches | Johnny Russell | Sporting Kansas City | Sept. 11 to Oct. 17
  • 6 matches | Ola Kamara | D.C. United | July 3 to Aug. 15
  • 5 matches | Damir Kreilach | Real Salt Lake | Sept. 18 to Oct. 16
  • 5 matches | Gustavo Bou | New England Revolution | May 22 to July 3
  • 5 matches | Cristian Arango | LAFC | Aug. 28 to Sept. 19

With an assist on Russell's strike, Salloi padded a 2021 statistical resume that ranks among the very best in MLS. The 25-year-old league MVP candidate now has 24 combined goals and assists on the year, two more than any other MLS player. In a tremendous season marked by consistency, Salloi has now scored or assisted in 15 of his last 22 league appearances.

MOST GOAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN 2021 MLS REGULAR SEASON

  • 24 | Daniel Salloi | Sporting Kansas City | 16 goals, 8 assists
  • 22 | Ola Kamara | D.C. United | 17 goals, 5 assists
  • 22 | Damir Kreilach | Real Salt Lake | 14 goals, 8 assists
  • 22 | Hany Mukhtar | Nashville SC | 13 goals, 9 assists
  • 21 | Gustavo Bou | New England Revolution | 14 goals, 7 assists

Salloi's 24 combined goals and assists are one shy of tying Benny Feillaber's 25, which would be tied for fourth-most in club history and only trailing Preki's three cheat-code seasons in 1996, 1997 and 2003.

MOST GOAL CONTRIBUTIONS IN AN MLS REGULAR SEASON
(SPORTING KC, ALL-TIME)

  • 31 | Preki | 1996 | 18 goals, 13 assists
  • 29 | Preki | 2003 | 12 goals, 17 assists
  • 29 | Preki | 1997 | 12 goals, 17 assists
  • 25 | Benny Feilhaber | 2015 | 10 goals, 15 assists
  • 24 | Daniel Salloi | 2021 | 16 goals, 8 assists
  • 23 | Dom Dwyer | 2014 | 22 goals, 1 assist
  • 23 | Preki | 1998 | 10 goals, 13 assists

Moving forward, Sporting can clinch a playoff berth as early as Wednesday—with 12 MLS matches on the mid-week agenda—before traveling to face first-place Seattle at 2:30 p.m. CT on Saturday. The colossal clash will be broadcast nationally in Spanish on Univision and TUDN in addition to local telecasts on Bally Sports Kansas City and Bally Sports Midwest.