"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 biggest MLS regular season match at Children's Mercy Park since Decision Day in 2018 will take place Sunday when first-place Sporting Kansas City (13-5-7, 46 points) hosts second-place Seattle Sounders FC (13-5-6, 45 points) in a titanic Western Conference showdown presented by Sun Solar. Kickoff is slated for 6 p.m. CT and tickets remain available at SeatGeek.com as a pair of MLS Cup contenders continue their battle for top spot in the West.
Sunday's contest will be shown live nationally on FS1 and the FOX Sports app with John Strong and Stu Holden on the call, while FOX Deportes will carry a Spanish broadcast of the action. Listeners can follow the match locally on ESPN 94.5 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish) and all fans can access the Sporting KC app for additional in-game updates and exclusive offers.
Over the last decade, Sporting and Seattle have proven to be two of the most successful MLS clubs and will meet again Sunday in a series that is evenly split with seven wins apiece in 19 meetings across all competitions since 2011. As anticipation builds toward the league's biggest game of the weekend, we provide a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
- Sporting won the first meeting between the clubs this season in convincing fashion, posting a 3-1 road win over Seattle on July 25 with a free kick from Johnny Russell, an excellent strike from Daniel Salloi and a first career MLS goal from Academy product Cam Duke.
- Sporting have gone 7-2-3 in the last 12 regular season meetings against Seattle since 2015.
- Sporting have won three straight meetings overall, including a pair of 3-2 wins during the 2019 regular season.
- Sporting are 4-0-2 in their last six regular season home matches against Seattle. The Sounders last won at Children’s Mercy Park on May 8, 2013.
- The last five regular season meetings between the clubs have produced 22 goals, a clip of 4.4 goals 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.
- Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 7-2-2 record, five shutouts and a 1.00 goals against average in 11 regular season appearances against Seattle.
- Since 2011, Sporting and Seattle own a dead-even 7-7-5 record in 19 meeting across all competitions.
- Seattle leads the all-time regular season series with a 9-8-4 record.
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS record: 13-5-7, 46 points
- MLS standings: 1st in West
- MLS home record: 7-1-5 (25 GF, 12 GA)
- Last five matches: 2-1-2, 8 points (T-T-L-W-W)
- Last match: Won 4-0 vs. Minnesota United FC on Sept. 15
- Sporting sit atop the Western Conference table, seeking their third first-place finish in the West over the last four seasons (2018, 2020).
- Sporting have scored two or more goals in each of their 13 wins this season and own a perfect 13-0-0 record when scoring twice in 2021.
- Conversely, Sporting are winless this year (0-5-7) when held to a goal or less.
- Sporting have scored in a club-record 28 straight regular season home matches dating back to Aug. 10, 2019, the longest active streak in MLS.
- Sporting rank third in MLS in goals scored (43) and goal differential (plus-17).
- Sporting lead MLS with 19 points and five wins from losing positions this season.
- Sporting are 12-0-5 this season when tied or leading after the 75th minute.
- Sporting have outscored opponents 16-8 after the 60th minute this season.
- Sporting lead MLS with nine wins by two or more goals. No other club has more than six.
- Sporting's 3-3-2 record when trailing at halftime is the best in MLS. Sporting are also 7-0-1 when leading at intermission.
- Forward Daniel Salloi ranks third in the Golden Boot race with 13 goals and is third in MLS with 19 combined goals and assists. Sporting are 8-0-3 when Salloi scores this year and 19-2-5 in regular season matches he has scored since 2017.
- Since the start of 2018, forward Johnny Russell is one of two MLS players (Carlos Vela) with 30 goals and 30 assists in the MLS regular season. He has scored in each of his last three home appearances at Children’s Mercy Park since Aug. 28.
- Sporting are 16-4-6 in the 26 regular season matches that Khiry Shelton has started at center forward during his Sporting career. In Shelton’s 62 regular season appearances for the club, regardless of position, Sporting are 36-13-13 with a 69% winning percentage.
- Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has tied an MLS record by posting 10 wins for the seventh consecutive regular season. He owns an 11-3-6 record this year with seven shutouts and ranks second in MLS with a 0.95 goals against average.
- Defender Luis Martins is the only Sporting player to feature in all 25 regular season matches this year. He has started in all but one of them.
- Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS in passes (2,058), successful passes (1,843) and touches (2,330) in addition to ranking first in goals added, an advanced analytic to measure a player’s on-ball contribution to both attack and defense.
Seattle Sounders FC
- MLS record: 13-5-6, 45 points
- MLS standings: 2nd in West
- MLS away record: 7-2-2 (17 GF, 9 GA)
- Last five matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-W-L-W-L)
- Last match: Lost 0-1 at Real Salt Lake on Sept. 18
- Seattle have reached MLS Cup as Western Conference champions in four of the last five seasons, hoisting the title in 2016 and 2019 and finishing as runners-up in 2017 and 2020.
- Seattle's 12-year playoff streak dating back to their inaugural season in 2009 is the longest in MLS.
- Seattle's 7-2-2 road record and plus-8 road goal differential are the best in MLS this season.
- Seattle's eight wins by a single goal are the second-most in MLS. The Sounders are 8-3 in one-goal games.
- Seattle's 20 goals conceded are the fewest in MLS. Their 0.83 goals against average is also the lowest mark in the league.
- Seattle have scored 26 of their 36 goals this season in the second half (72.2%).
- Seattle rank 24th in MLS in first-half goals per match (0.42) but lead the league in second-half goals per match (1.08).
- Seattle have outscored opponents 19-8 in the final 30 minutes of matches this season.
- Seattle have conceded just two goals in the opening 30 minutes of matches this season, the fewest in MLS.
- Seattle are 11-0-4 when scoring the first goal this season. Similarly, the Sounders are 4-0-3 when leading at halftime.
- Seattle had six MLS All-Stars participate in the MLS All-Star Game on Aug. 25 in Los Angeles: forward Raul Ruidiaz, midfielders Cristian Roldan and Joao Paulo, and defensive trio Yemar Gomez Andrade, Alex Roldan and Nouhou Tolo.
- Ruidiaz ranks second in MLS with 14 goals scored. His six game-winning goals and three multi-goal games are tied for the league lead.
- Joao Paulo is tied for eighth in MLS with eight assists and ranks 11th with 51 chances created.
- Yeimar leads MLS with 67 interceptions, 15 more than any other player. He also ranks fourth with 110 clearances and seventh with 38 tackles won.
- Yeimar and former Sporting midfielder Kelyn Rowe are the only Seattle players to feature in all 24 matches this season.
- Forward Fredy Montero is second on the team with six goals, while defender Brad Smith is third with three.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Sporting defender Luis Martins is one shy of his 50th appearance for Sporting in all competitions.