"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 27 crashes were caused by drunk driving during the Labor Day holiday weekend in Kansas in 2019? Visit the Drive to Zero Coalition for more information.
Sporting Kansas City (11-4-7, 40 points) will continue their pursuit of first place in the Western Conference on Friday when they face LAFC for the third time this season. Kickoff at Banc of California is set for 9 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, UniMas, TUDN, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.
Unbeaten in five straight away matches and boasting shutouts in each of their last three road games, Sporting can take first place in the West if they complete the season sweep against LAFC, having defeated the club on June 26 in Kansas City and on Aug. 4 in Los Angeles. The hosts, meanwhile, are mired in a team-record eight-game winless run and desperately need points in order to climb above the playoff line.
With plenty at stake on Friday, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
- Sporting have won both previous matches against LAFC this season, prevailing 2-1 at home on June 26 and 4-1 away on Aug. 4.
- Sporting forwards Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi have scored in both meetings against LAFC this season. Salloi will miss Friday's match while on international duty with Hungary.
- Pulido, Salloi, Luis Martins and Gadi Kinda scored goals in the 4-1 win on Aug. 4, delivering LAFC their heaviest home loss in club history. Defender Graham Zusi had two assists in the victory.
- Sporting leads the all-time series against LAFC with a 4-2-0 record.
- Sporting swept the 2018 series with two wins before LAFC returned the favor with two victories of their own in 2019.
- Only the LA Galaxy (five wins) have more regular season victories against LAFC than Sporting's four.
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS record: 11-4-7, 40 points
- MLS standings: 2nd in West
- MLS away record: 6-3-2 (18 GF, 10 GA)
- Last five matches: 1-0-4, 7 points (T-W-T-T-T)
- Last match: Tied 1-1 vs. Colorado Rapids on Aug. 28
- Sporting's two losses since May 15 are tied for the fewest in MLS (9-2-6 record since then).
- Sporting are unbeaten in their last six matches since Aug. 4, claiming two wins and four draws.
- August 2021 was the fifth time Sporting have finished an entire month unbeaten in six regular season matches.
- Sporting are unbeaten in their last six road matches, one shy of tying the club record.
- Sporting are 4-0-2 in their last six road matches with four shutouts, 11 goals scored and only two conceded.
- Sporting have posted shutouts in three straight road matches, one shy of tying the club record.
- Sporting rank second in MLS with 37 goals and fourth with a plus-15 goal differential.
- Sporting lead MLS with 19 points and five wins from losing positions this season.
- Sporting have earned shutouts in three of their last five MLS matches since Aug. 7.
- Sporting KC Academy products have accounted for 18 of 37 goals and 12 of 34 assists this season.
- Forward Alan Pulido has tallied eight goals and three assists in just 13 starts this season.
- Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS by a wide margin in passes (1,729), passes completed (1,546) and touches (1,971).
- Midfielder Roger Espinoza and defender Luis Martins are the only Sporting players to feature in all 22 MLS matches this season.
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia has posted shutouts in three of his last five appearances and in three consecutive road games. He ranks third in MLS with a 0.88 goals against average.
- MLS record: 6-9-6, 24 points
- MLS standings: 11th in West
- MLS home record: 4-2-5 (19 GF, 17 GA)
- Last five matches: 0-4-1, 1 point (L-L-L-L-T)
- Last match: Tied 3-3 vs. LA Galaxy on Aug. 28
- LAFC are on a club-record eight-game winless run since July 21, posting three draws and five losses.
- LAFC are 0-4-1 in their last five matches. They snapped a four-game losing streak with a 3-3 home draw against rivals LA Galaxy last Saturday.
- LAFC rank second in MLS in both shots per match (12.0) and chances created per match (11.6). However, their shot conversion rate of 8.36% ranks 22nd.
- LAFC rank second in MLS with 38 big chances missed.
- Seven of LAFC's nine losses have come by a single goal. The team is 3-7 in one-goal games this season.
- LAFC have dropped 19 points from winning positions, the most in MLS.
- LAFC have won only six of the 13 matches in which they have scored first (6-3-4 record). Conversely, they are 0-6-2 when conceding first.
- Forward Diego Rossi leads LAFC with six goals but is unlikely to feature as he closes in on a transfer to Turkish club Fenerbahce.
- Jose Cifuentes and Carlos Vela have bagged five goals apiece, second most on the team. Vela leads MLS with 91 combined goals (57) and assists (34) in the regular season since joining LAFC in 2018.
- Defender Jesus David Murillo ranks third in MLS with 46 interceptions and eighth with 84 clearances.
- Midfielder Eduard Atuesta ranks fourth in MLS in passes (1,391), second in touches (1,890) and sixth in recoveries (183).
- Forward Brian Rodriguez scored twice in LAFC's 3-3 draw against the Galaxy on Saturday.
Milestones and Miscellany
- In last Saturday's draw against Colorado, forward Johnny Russell tied defender Graham Zusi for ninth in club history with his 29th regular season goal.
- Last Saturday, midfielder Roger Espinoza broke his tie with Preki for second most fouls suffered in club regular season history (363).
- Last Saturday, Graham Zusi broke his tie with Davy Arnaud for second most shots in club regular season history (453).