"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 a dominant 3-1 win over the Colorado Rapids, second-place Sporting Kansas City (6-3-2, 20 points) will host their second home match of the week on Saturday when star-studded LAFC (3-3-3, 12 points) visits Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is slated for 4:30 p.m. CT and a limited number of tickets for the marquee battle are available at SeatGeek.com while supplies last. The contest will also be shown nationally on ESPN, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app while airing locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).
Saturday's scintillating encounter features a free-scoring Sporting side that finished first in the West last season against an LAFC outfit that notably advanced to the 2020 Concacaf Champions League finals before falling in heartbreaking fashion to Tigres UANL. We take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
- Sporting and LAFC have split their all-time regular season series with two wins apiece.
- 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.
- The clubs haven’t met in almost two years but will do so three times this summer (June 26, Aug. 4 and Sept. 3).
- Daniel Salloi, Roger Espinoza and Ilie Sanchez all scored for Sporting in wins over LAFC during the 2018 regular season.
- LAFC forward Diego Rossi had two goals and two assists across two appearances against Sporting during the 2019 regular season.
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS record: 6-3-2, 20 points
- MLS standings: 2nd in West
- MLS home record: 4-0-2 (13 GF, 6 GA)
- Last five matches: 3-1-1 (W-W-T-L-W)
- Last match: Won 3-1 vs. Colorado Rapids on June 23
- Sporting lead MLS in goals (20), expected goals (23.4) and goals per match (1.82).
- Sporting have scored three goals in four of their last six matches, all of which have resulted in victory.
- Sporting have set a club record by scoring in 21 straight regular season home matches dating back to Aug. 10, 2019.
- Sporting are on pace for 62 points in the regular season, one point shy of the club's all-time record set in 2012.
- Sporting lead MLS in both shots per game (17.4) and chances created per game (12.3).
- Sporting lead MLS with 31 big chances this season.
- Sporting are an unbeaten 4-0-2 at home this season, outscoring opponents 13-6.
- Sporting lead MLS this season with 13 points and four wins from losing positions. No other club has more than six points and two wins from losing positions in 2021.
- Sporting rank second in MLS in passing accuracy (85.4%) and fifth in average possession (55.4%).
- Forward Daniel Salloi ranks third in MLS with six goals and is tied for second with nine combined goals and assists. He also leads the league with 66 touches in the opponent's box.
- Midfielder Felipe Hernandez opened his MLS scoring account in Wednesday's 3-1 win over Colorado, also assisting Salloi's second goal before halftime.
- Sporting are the only MLS team to have two players with five goals. Salloi has six and Alan Pulido has five.
- With an assist on Wednesday, captain Johnny Russell now ranks eighth in club history with 26 regular season assists.
- Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS by a wide margin in passes (876), passes completed (795) and touches (990).
- Defender Jaylin Lindsey has scored or assisted in each of this last three starts (goals on May 22 and June 19 and an assist on June 23).
- MLS record: 3-3-3, 12 points
- MLS standings: 8th in West
- MLS away record: 0-2-1 (2 GF, 5 GA)
- Last five matches: 2-2-1 (L-W-L-T-W)
- Last match: Won 2-0 vs. FC Dallas on June 23
- LAFC have dropped nine points from winning positions this season, the most in MLS.
- LAFC are winless in their last seven MLS road matches (including playoffs) dating back to last season. LAFC won at RSL on Oct. 4, 2020, and have gone 0-5-2 away from home since then.
- LAFC have played their last four matches at home and haven't played on the road since falling 2-0 at Seattle on May 16.
- LAFC have scored the first goal in seven of their nine matches this season have won just three of them.
- LAFC have scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season, tied for the second-most in MLS.
- LAFC have conceded nine of their 10 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 211 goals at a clip of 2.13 per game, the best in MLS.
- LAFC boast a 49-24-26 regular season record since 2018.
- LAFC's plus-73 goal differential over the last four seasons is 20 better than any other MLS club.
- Forward Carlos Vela scored his first goal of the season in Wednesday's 2-0 home win over FC Dallas. He leads MLS with 53 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 45 goals and 20 assists in the regular season. He led MLS with 14 goals as an MLS Best XI selection last year and has a team-best three goals this season.
- Defender Jesus David Murillo ranks third in MLS in clearances (53) fifth in interceptions (22).
- Murillo, defender Eddie Segura and midfielder Eduard Atuesta have started all nine matches for LAFC this season. Atuesta was a 2019 MLS Best XI selection.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Sporting defender Amadou Dia is one shy of his 50th career MLS appearance (regular season and playoffs).
- Saturday's match will be played on forward Khiry Shelton's 28th birthday.
- On Wednesday, goalkeeper Tim Melia made his 200th start and appearance for Sporting in all competitions.
- On Wednesday, Manager Peter Vermes coached his 400th MLS match for Sporting (regular season and playoffs).