By the Numbers - Aug. 4, 2021

"By The Numbers" is a season-long series presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match. To visit the series archive, click here.

Traffic Safety By The Numbers: Did you know that costs due to alcohol-related crashes in Kansas in 2019 totaled over $2.3 billion? Visit the Drive to Zero Coalition for more information.

The race for first place in the Western Conference will continue in earnest Wednesday when second-place Sporting Kansas City (9-4-3, 30 points) visits fifth-place LAFC (6-5-5, 23 points) at Banc of California Stadium. Kickoff is slated for 9:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app as well as Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

As two of the West's perennial title contenders, Sporting and LAFC most recently met on June 26 as Sporting posted a dramatic 2-1 comeback victory at Children's Mercy Park. LAFC have shown signs of gaining steam in recent weeks, however, and could pull within four points of Sporting with a win on Wednesday.

Without further ado, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting leads the all-time series against LAFC with a 3-2-0 record.
  • Sporting took two wins in 2018, prevailing 2-0 away on Aug. 11 and 2-1 at home on Oct. 28.
  • LAFC took two wins in 2019, prevailing 2-1 at home on March 3 and 5-1 away on July 3.
  • Sporting and LAFC most recently met on June 26 when Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi scored second-half goals to spark a 2-1 comeback victory. Kim Moon-Hwan scored early for LAFC.
  • The clubs will go head-to-head for the third time this season on Sept. 3 when Sporting pays a second visit to Banc of California Stadium.
  • Only three MLS clubs have three or more regular season wins against LAFC all-time: LA Galaxy (five), Sporting (three) and Seattle (three).

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Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record: 9-4-3, 30 points
  • MLS standings: 2nd in West
  • MLS away record: 4-3-0 (12 GF, 9 GA)
  • Last five matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-W-T-W-L)
  • Last match: Lost 1-2 vs. FC Dallas on July 31
  • Since the start of 2020, Sporting's .625 regular season road winning percentage (9-5-2 record) and plus-8 road goal differential are the best in MLS.
  • Sporting rank third in MLS in goals (29) and goals per match (1.81). They have been shut out just once this season.
  • Sporting are 7-2-2 in their last 11 matches since May 16.
  • Sporting are on pace for 64 points in the regular season, which would eclipse the club record of 63 set in 2012.
  • Sporting rank second in MLS in shots per match (16.4) and chances created per match (11.9).
  • Sporting lead MLS with 17 points and five wins from losing positions this season. No other club has more than nine points and two wins from losing positions.
  • Sporting have outscored opponents 14-4 in the final 30 minutes of matches this season. Their plus-10 goal differential during that interval is the best in MLS.
  • Sporting leads MLS in passing accuracy at 85.7% and ranks second in possession at 54.7%.
  • Sporting KC Academy products have scored or assisted in Sporting's last 11 matches.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi leads MLS with 13 combined goals (nine) and primary assists (four). He also leads the league with five game-winning goals.
  • Forward Johnny Russell has scored in three of his last four appearances.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has a 9-2-2 record as a starter this season and a 17-5-5 record as a starter since the beginning of 2020.
  • Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS by a wide margin in passes (1,285) and passes completed (1,160) while also ranking second in touches (1,485).
  • Defender Luis Martins is the only Sporting player to start all 16 matches this season.

LAFC

  • MLS record: 6-5-5, 23 points
  • MLS standings: 5th in West
  • MLS home record: 4-1-4 (15 GF, 10 GA)
  • Last five matches: 2-1-2, 8 points (W-W-L-T-T)
  • Last match: Tied 2-2 vs. Minnesota United FC on July 28
  • LAFC have dropped 14 points from winning positions this season, the most in MLS.
  • LAFC opened July with three straight wins but have taken just two points from their last three matches, including back-to-back 2-2 home draws against Vancouver and Minnesota.
  • LAFC have scored the first goal in 12 of 16 matches this season have won just six of them.
  • LAFC have conceded 14 of their 19 goals this season in the second half.
  • LAFC have yet to score or allow more than two goals in a match this season.
  • Since joining MLS in 2018, LAFC have scored 222 regular goals at a clip of 2.09 per game, the best in MLS.
  • LAFC boast a 52-26-28 regular season record since 2018. Their .623 winning percentage during that time is the best in MLS.
  • LAFC's plus-75 goal differential over the last four seasons is 14 better than any other MLS club.
  • Forward Carlos Vela has scored in four straight matches. He leads MLS with 57 regular season goals since the start of 2018, including a league-record 34 during his MLS MVP campaign in 2019.
  • Since joining LAFC in 2018, forward Diego Rossi has 47 goals and 21 assists in the regular season. He led MLS with 14 goals as an MLS Best XI selection last year and is tied for the team lead with five goals in 2021.
  • Defender Jesus David Murillo ranks second in MLS in interceptions (35) and fifth in clearances (70).
  • Midfielder Jose Cifuentes has scored or assisted in seven of his last nine appearances. He has five goals and three assists this year.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Manager Peter Vermes is one shy of his 200th coaching win for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of tying Graham Zusi for ninth place on Sporting's all-time regular season goals chart with 29.

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