"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.

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Arguably the most consequential match of the 2021 MLS regular season to date will unfold Sunday night when second-place Sporting Kansas City (8-3-3, 27 points) visits first-place Seattle Sounders FC (9-1-5, 32 points) in a titanic Western Conference clash at Lumen Field.

Supporters can catch Sunday's highly anticipated encounter live on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest, BallySports.com and the Bally Sports app with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT. The contest will also air live locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting and Seattle have been two of Major League Soccer's most impressive sides through the first three months of the 2021 campaign and are slated to meet on three occasions over the next three months. Needless to say, Sunday's battle could prove to be a huge tone setter as both clubs continue the race for first place in the wild West.

With plenty to be excited about this weekend, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting have gone 6-2-3 in their last 11 regular season meetings against Seattle since 2015.
  • From 2009-2014, Sporting had a single win in nine meetings against Seattle with a 1-7-1 record.
  • The Sounders lead the regular season series with a 9-7-4 record, including a 5-3-2 mark at Lumen Field.
  • Sporting and Seattle last met on Aug. 4, 2019, at Lumen Field, with the visitors emerging victorious 3-2 behind a Felipe Gutierrez brace and an Erik Hurtado match-winner.
  • Sporting have won each of the last two meetings by a 3-2 scoreline, with Johnny Russell scoring a hat trick the last time Seattle visited Kansas City on May 26, 2019.
  • The last four meetings between Sporting and Seattle since 2018 have produced 18 total goals, a clip of 4.5 per match.
  • Prior to 2018, the first 16 regular season meetings in the series produced just 29 goals at a clip of 1.8 per match.
  • Seattle have scored 10 of their 23 goals in the regular season series after the 75th minute.
  • Seattle forward Raul Ruidiaz has scored in two of his last three appearances against Sporting.
  • Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 6-2-2 record, five shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average in 10 regular season appearances against Seattle.
  • Sporting beat Seattle on penalties in the 2012 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final at Children's Mercy Park, while Seattle beat Sporting 1-0 in the lone playoff meeting between the sides en route to their 2016 MLS Cup title.

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Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record: 8-3-3, 27 points
  • MLS standings: 2nd in West
  • MLS away record: 3-3-0 (9 GF, 8 GA)
  • Last five matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (L-W-W-W-T)
  • Last match: Tied 1-1 vs. San Jose Earthquakes on July 21
  • Sporting rank second in MLS in goals (25) and goals per match (1.79). They have been shut out just once this season.
  • Sporting are 6-1-2 in their last nine matches since May 16 and 3-0-1 in their last four since June 23.
  • Sporting are on pace for 66 points in the regular season, which would eclipse the club record of 63 set in 2012.
  • Sporting lead MLS in both shots per game (16.9) and chances created per game (11.9).
  • Sporting's 8-5-2 regular season road record since the start of 2020 is the best in MLS. Their eight road wins during that time are second most behind New England.
  • Sporting lead MLS with 17 points and five wins from losing positions this season. No other club has more than eight points and two wins from losing positions.
  • Sporting have outscored opponents 12-4 in the final 30 minutes of matches this season. Their plus-8 goal differential during that interval is tied for the best in MLS.
  • Sporting leads MLS in passing accuracy at 85.6%.
  • Sporting KC Academy products have scored or assisted in Sporting's last nine matches.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi ranks third in MLS with 11 combined goals (eight) and assists (three). He is also tied for the MLS lead with four game-winning goals this season.
  • Forward Khiry Shelton boasts a 26-9-11 regular season record as a Sporting starter dating back to 2018. Additionally, Sporting are 14-3-6 in the 23 regular season matches Shelton has started at center forward.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has an 8-1-2 record as a starter this season and a 16-4-5 record as a starter since the beginning of 2020.
  • Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS by a wide margin in passes (1,110), passes completed (997) and touches (1,262).

Seattle Sounders FC

  • MLS record: 9-1-5, 32 points
  • MLS standings: 1st in West
  • MLS home record: 5-0-3 (16 GF, 4 GA)
  • Last five matches: 2-1-2, 8 points (T-T-W-L-W)
  • Last match: Won 1-0 at Austin FC on July 22
  • Seattle sits atop the Supporters' Shield standings with 32 points, two ahead of second-place New England and five ahead of third-place Sporting.
  • Seattle is unbeaten in eight home matches this season with a 5-0-3 record, five shutouts, 16 goals scored and four conceded.
  • Seattle's one loss this season is two fewer than any other team.
  • Since losing 2-1 to Portland on Sept. 6, 2020, Seattle have gone unbeaten in 17 MLS home matches at Lumen Field (including playoffs) with 13 wins and four draws.
  • Since losing 3-2 to Sporting on Aug. 4, 2019, Seattle have gone 22-1-8 in 31 MLS home matches at Lumen Field (including playoffs).
  • Seattle has scored 16 goals in eight home matches at a clip of two per game, tied for the best home scoring rate in MLS.
  • Seattle's nine goals conceded and 0.60 goals against average this season are the lowest in MLS.
  • Seattle began the year with a 13-game unbeaten streak, the longest run to begin a regular season in MLS history.
  • Just like Sporting, Seattle have outscored opponents 12-4 in the final 30 minutes of matches this season. Their plus-8 goal differential during that interval is tied for the best in MLS.
  • Four of Seattle's nine goals conceded this season have come after the 75th minute.
  • Seattle boasts a 5-1 record in one-goal games. Their five one-goal wins are second most in MLS.
  • Seattle have conceded the first goal in just three of 15 matches this season. They are 8-0-3 when scoring first and 1-1-1 when conceding first.
  • Forward Raul Ruidiaz leads the MLS Golden Boot race with 11 goals. Ruidiaz has scored in nine of Seattle's 15 matches this season and is tied with Salloi atop the MLS charts with four game-winning goals. He also leads the league in shots (55) and shots on goal (22).
  • Midfielder Joao Paulo is tied for fifth in MLS with a team-best five assists. He ranks third in MLS with 35 chances created.
  • Left back Brad Smith has three goals and three assists this season.
  • Defender Yeimar Gomez Andrade leads MLS in both interceptions (43) and clearances (81). He also leads the team in duels won (71) and tackles won (19).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Forward Daniel Salloi became the third youngest player to hit 100 regular season appearances for Sporting in Wednesday's 1-1 home draw against San Jose.

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