By the Numbers - Oct. 3, 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.

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Hot off an impressive 3-1 road win over FC Dallas on Wednesday, Sporting Kansas City (14-6-7, 49 points) will continue their pursuit of first place in the Western Conference on Sunday afternoon when they welcome rivals Houston Dynamo FC (5-11-12, 27 points) to Children's Mercy Park.

The match will kick off at exactly 3 p.m. CT and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com as Sporting hosts its final home fixture until Oct. 27. Kansas City NWSL goalkeeper Adrianna Franch will be in attendance to lead the "I Believe" chant and match sponsor UMKC will distribute Sporting KC tote bags for fans at the conclusion of the game.

For supporters watching from home, Sunday's contest will air live regionally on Bally Sports Kansas City Plus and Bally Sports Midwest Plus with three hours of live coverage beginning at 2:30 p.m. CT. Spanish broadcasts will also be shown nationally on UniMas and TUDN and an English stream will run on Twitter at @TUDNUSA. Local radio broadcasts will air on ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

With plenty at stake on Sunday, we visit five major narratives surrounding the matchup in the space below.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting are 6-3-2 in their last 11 regular season meetings against Houston dating back to October 2017, posting four shutouts during that stretch.
  • The teams most recently met on May 29 when Sporting posted a wild 3-2 win in the first game back at full capacity at Children's Mercy Park. Gianluca Busio, Alan Pulido and Gadi Kinda scored for Sporting, while Houston received goals from Matias Vera and Maxi Urruti.
  • Houston won the first meeting between the clubs this season by a 1-0 scoreline at BBVA Stadium, taking all three points on a 56th-minute goal from Urruti.
  • Sporting forward Alan Pulido has four goals and an assist in five career appearances against Houston.
  • Houston leads the all-time series in the regular season (13-11-13) and in all competitions (19-16-14).
  • Sporting have faced Houston 38 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent, and posted a 15-13-10 record during that stretch.
  • Over the last decade, Sporting have met Houston in four editions of the MLS Cup Playoffs (2011, 2012, 2013, 2017) and five editions of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup (2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record: 14-6-7, 49 points
  • MLS standings: 2nd in West
  • MLS home record: 7-2-5 (26 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (L-W-T-L-W)
  • Last match: Won 3-1 at FC Dallas on Sept. 29
  • Sporting’s 47 goals are third most in MLS and most in the Western Conference.
  • Sporting have committed the fewest fouls (263) and been awarded the fewest cautions (37) of any team in MLS.
  • Sporting’s five wins when allowing the first goal are most in MLS. Sporting have the best record in MLS when allowing the first goal at 5-4-4.
  • Sporting are 8-0-1 when leading at halftime in 2021. Their three wins when trailing at halftime are second-most in MLS (3-4-2 record)
  • Sporting have scored in 29 consecutive regular season home matches dating back to August 2019, the longest active streak in MLS.
  • Sporting are 14-0-0 when scoring two or more goals in 2021 and 0-6-7 when scoring one or fewer.
  • Sporting are 13-0-5 when tied or leading in the 75th minute.
  • Sporting have eight three-goal games in 2021, one shy of a single-season high.
  • Sporting have used the fewest subs in MLS in 2021 (69).
  • Forward Daniel Salloi’s 15 goals are third-most in MLS. Salloi’s five game-winning goals are also third-most in MLS.
  • Salloi’s 21 goal contributions (15 goals, six assists) are third most in MLS. He leads MLS with 15 non-penalty goals in 2021.
  • Sporting are 20-2-5 in the regular season and 10-0-3 in 2021 when Salloi scores.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia ranks third in MLS with 12 goalkeeper wins.
  • Since joining KC in 2015, Melia leads MLS with 59 regular season shutouts. His .682 winning percentage this season (12-4-6) is the best by an SKC keeper in an MLS season during the non-shootout era (minimum of five wins).
  • Forward Johnny Russell has scored in four consecutive MLS matches, the longest active streak in MLS and tied for the second-longest in club history.
  • When forward Alan Pulido scores, Sporting are 11-1-0 in the regular season.
Salloi Non PK Goals

Houston Dynamo FC

  • MLS record: 5-11-12, 27 points
  • MLS standings: 12th in West
  • MLS away record: 0-8-6 (12 GF, 24 GA)
  • Last five matches: 2-1-2, 8 points (W-T-W-L-T)
  • Last match: Tied 0-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sept. 29
  • Houston’s five wins in 2021 are second fewest in MLS and fewest in the West.
  • Houston’s 12 draws in 2021 are second most in MLS and most in the West.
  • Houston is the only team in MLS this year without a road win. The team’s six road draws are second most in MLS in 2021.
  • Houston have earned the third most corner kicks in MLS in 2021 (154).
  • Houston have been caught offside second most of any team in MLS (53).
  • Houston’s eight goals in the first 15 minutes of games are second most in MLS.
  • Houston have scored four goals in the final 30 minutes of matches this year, fewest in MLS. Houston’s 11 second half goals are also fewest in MLS.
  • Houston’s nine goals allowed in the first 15 minutes of games are most in MLS.
  • Houston are 0-9-3 when allowing the first goal and 0-6-1 when trailing at half.
  • Houston ranks last in MLS in possession (44.33%).
  • Midfielder Fafa Picault leads MLS with 26 offside infractions, ranks second in MLS in duels and ranks fourth in MLS with nine cautions.
  • Defender Tim Parker has played every minute this season for Houston and leads MLS in minutes played (2,520), games played (28) and games started (28).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Roger Espinoza’s next start will be his 250th in his MLS regular season career.
  • Peter Vermes’ next win will tie Dominic Kinnear for fourth most in MLS history.
  • Sporting forward Daniel Salloi’s next game-winning goal will tie Chris Klein for third most in club history and will tie for most in a single season in club history.
  • Daniel Salloi’s next goal will tie him for third most in a single season in team history. Salloi’s next non-penalty goal will tie the single-season team record set by Dom Dwyer in 2016 and tie the league record for most non-penalty goals in a season by a Homegrown Player (set by Gyasi Zardes in 2014 and 2018).
  • Sporting defender Graham Zusi’s next game-winning assist will tie him for sixth-most in MLS history with Preki and Kyle Beckerman.
  • Zusi’s next goal or assist will see him reach the century mark for MLS regular season goals and assists. Only 11 active MLS players and 50 total MLS players all-time have 100 combined regular season goals and assists.