"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 12% of children aged 1-3 years old were not properly restrained in traffic crashes in Kansas in 2019? Visit the Drive to Zero Coalition for more information.

Sporting Kansas City's pursuit of first place in the Western Conference will continue Saturday night when Chicago Fire FC visits Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com, including Coca-Cola Family Four Packs consisting of four general admission tickets in the South Stand, four Coca-Cola products and four Domino's pizzas.

Saturday's cross-conference clash will air live on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus with three hours of live coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. The match will also stream live on BallySports.com and the new Bally Sports app while airing locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting (11-5-7, 40 points) sit within two points of first place in the West, while Chicago (6-11-5, 23 points) must catch fire over the next several weeks to keep their shaky playoff hopes alive. With plenty at stake on Saturday, 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 4-0-1 in their last five meetings against Chicago dating back to 2017.
  • Sporting are 6-0-2 in their last eight home matches against Chicago, including wins in four straight meetings.
  • Chicago haven't won at Children's Mercy Park since June 2012.
  • Chicago last visited Kansas City on Oct. 7, 2020, when Johnny Russell assisted Winston Reid's game-winner in a 1-0 victory for Sporting.
  • Sporting and Chicago last met on Oct. 17, 2020, battling to a 2-2 draw at Children's Mercy Park. Erik Hurtado and Gadi Kinda scored for Sporting, while the Fire received goals from Robert Beric and Djordje Mihailovic.
  • Chicago hold a 26-18-12 edge in the regular season series. Sporting's 26 losses to Chicago are their most against any MLS team.
  • Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia made his club debut against the Fire with a 1-0 win at Children's Mercy Park on May 3, 2015. Melia owns a 5-1-1 regular season record against Chicago with three shutouts.

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Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record: 11-5-7, 40 points
  • MLS standings: 3rd in West
  • MLS home record: 5-1-5 (19 GF, 12 GA)
  • Last five matches: 1-1-3, 6 points (T-W-T-T-L)
  • Last match: Lost 0-4 at LAFC on Sept. 3
  • Sporting are two points out of first place in the Western Conference and are seeking their third first-place finish in the West over the last four seasons (2018, 2020).
  • Sporting saw their six-game unbeaten run snapped in a 4-0 loss at LAFC last Friday.
  • Sporting have scored in a club-record 26 straight regular season home matches dating back to Aug. 10, 2019, the longest active streak in MLS.
  • Sporting are winless in their last five home matches across all competitions, taking two draws and two losses, but have just one loss in 11 league fixtures at Children's Mercy Park (5-1-5 record).
  • Sporting are tied for second in MLS with 37 goals scored.
  • Sporting lead MLS with 19 points and five wins from losing positions this season (five wins, four draws).
  • Sporting KC Academy products have accounted for 18 of 37 goals and 12 of 34 assists this season.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi leads MLS with 18 combined goals (12) and assists (6).
  • Salloi has become the third player in Sporting history to record 12 goals and six assists in a single MLS season for the club (Preki in 1996, 1997 and 2003; Eddie Johnson in 2007).
  • Forward Alan Pulido has tallied eight goals and three assists in 14 starts this season.
  • Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS by a wide margin in passes (1,843), passes completed (1,644) and touches (2,099).
  • Among players with at least 40 crosses attempted, Graham Zusi ranks sixth in MLS with a cross completion of 31.3% (20 of 64).
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has played in all 23 MLS matches this season but will miss Saturday's game with a red card suspension.

Chicago Fire FC

  • MLS record: 6-11-5, 23 points
  • MLS standings: 11th in East
  • MLS away record: 1-7-1 (6 GF, 18 GA)
  • Last five matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-W-L-L-W)
  • Last match: Won 1-0 at New York Red Bulls on Aug. 28
  • Chicago are 1-7-1 on the road this season and claimed their first away win in their most recent match, a 1-0 result at the New York Red Bulls on Aug. 28.
  • Chicago rank last in MLS with six road goals this season. The Fire have been outscored 18-6 in nine road games this year.
  • Chicago own a 5-34-15 regular season road record since the start of 2018. They have recorded just five shutouts in 54 away matches during that stretch.
  • Chicago's five regular season road wins since the start of 2018 are tied with Houston for the fewest in MLS (excluding expansion teams that have joined since 2020).
  • Chicago have missed the playoffs in nine of the last 11 seasons, reaching the postseason in 2012 and 2017 after making 11 playoff appearances in 12 years from 1998-2009.
  • Chicago's six goals scored in the first 15 minutes of matches are one shy of the MLS lead.
  • Conversely, Chicago's three goals scored after the 75th minute are second-fewest in MLS.
  • Chicago are 5-0-4 when scoring first but 1-11-0 when conceding first.
  • Goalkeeper Bobby Shuttleworth ranks fourth in MLS with 69 saves.
  • Midfielder Luka Stojanovic leads Chicago with seven goals, four more than any other player on the team.
  • Midfielder Alvaro Medran leads Chicago with five assists and 44 chances created.
  • Forward Robert Beric was tied for second in MLS with 12 goals last season but has scored just three times in 22 appearances this year.
  • Defender Francisco Calvo ranks second in MLS with 48 interceptions.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of his 100th regular season appearance for Sporting.

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