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Sporting Kansas City returns home and welcomes fellow MLS charter club Columbus Crew to Children’s Mercy Park on Saturday, April 23. Tickets are available for purchase via SeatGeek.com as Sporting hosts Columbus at Children's Mercy Park for the first time since 2018.
For the first time this season, Sporting KC has back-to-back home matches with FC Dallas coming to town the week after the match with Columbus. Sporting is 2-1 at home with clean sheet wins against Western Conference rivals Houston Dynamo and Real Salt Lake.
Below, we provide a statistical preview of Saturday evening’s eventful match between Sporting Kansas City and the Columbus Crew.
- Sporting and Columbus will meet on Saturday for the first time since June 23, 2019, the longest time between matchups for the two MLS originals (1,035 days).
- Sporting won the most recent meeting against Columbus with a 1-0 road victory behind Felipe Gutierrez’s game-winner.
- Children’s Mercy Park last hosted Columbus on May 27, 2018, when the sides played to a 0-0 draw.
- Sporting are unbeaten in their last four meetings with Columbus (2-0-2) and haven’t lost to the Crew since Aug. 2015.
- Sporting are 7-1-2 in the last 10 regular season meetings with Columbus dating back to the 2013 season. At one point in that span, Sporting had a five-match win streak against the Crew.
- Sporting are 26-22-8 in the regular season series dating back to MLS’s inception, including a 14-9-3 record at home.
- Sporting are 5-1-1 in seven regular season matches against Columbus at Children’s Mercy Park. The Crew’s lone win at the stadium came in July 2012.
Sporting Kansas City
- 2022 MLS record: 2-6-0, 6 points (12th in Western Conference)
- 2022 MLS home record: 2-1-0, 0 points (3 GF, 2 GA)
- 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs: Lost to Real Salt Lake in Western Conference Semifinals
- All-time Honors: Two MLS Cups (2000, 2013), four Open Cups (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017), one Supporters' Shield (2000).
- Sporting’s six points are their fewest through eight matches since 2011 when the club started 1-1-1 before rallying to finish atop the Eastern Conference standings with a 13-9-12 record.
- Sporting rank third in MLS in successful passes in the attacking third (756).
- Sporting rank third in MLS with 99 shot attempts and have outshot their opponents 99-91.
- Sporting rank second in MLS with 226 possessions won in the midfield third.
- Since July 2020, Sporting are 22-0-1 in the regular season when leading in the 75th minute.
- Midfielder Remi Walter leads MLS in distance covered (57.4 miles) and ranks second among field players in recoveries (76). His two goals this year have already equaled his career-high for a single league season dating back to 2013.
- Defender Andreu Fontas leads MLS with 557 successful passes, 86 more than any other player. He also leads the league in touches (741) and ranks 10th in clearances (35).
- Defender Graham Zusi ranks second in MLS in touches (739), second in distance covered (52.8 miles) and fourth in recoveries in the defensive third (37).
- Since joining MLS in 2018, forward Johnny Russell ranks third in the league with 72 combined goals (41) and assists (31) in the regular season.
- Forward Daniel Salloi ranks second in the MLS regular season in non-penalty goals (17) and goals from open play (15) since the start of 2021. Salloi ranks fifth in MLS with 15 shots from inside the box.
- 2022 MLS record: 2-3-2, 8 points (9th in Eastern Conference)
- 2022 MLS road record: 0-1-2, 2 points (4 GF, 5 GA)
- 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs: N/A
- All-time Honors: Two MLS Cups (2008, 2020), one Open Cup (2002), three Supporters' Shield (2004, 2008, 2009).
- Columbus began the season unbeaten in their first four matches (2-0-2) but have lost each of their last three in shutout fashion.
- Columbus has outshot opponents 119-58 through seven matches but only have a plus-one advantage in goals scored (10 GF, 9 GA).
- Columbus enter Saturday on a 270-minute scoreless streak and have failed to score a first-half goal in five straight games.
- Columbus have lost four straight matches in all competitions after falling 2-1 at USL Championship side Detroit City FC on Tuesday.
- Columbus leads MLS in shots per game (17) while ranking second in passing accuracy (84.1%) and third in possession (58.6%).
- Midfielder Lucas Zelarayan is one off the MLS lead with four goals and tops the league with 28 chances created. He also ranks fourth with 22 fouls suffered.
- Since the start of 2020, Zelarayan has seven goals from direct free kicks in the regular season, four more than any other player.
- Columbus defender Pedro Santos ranks fourth in MLS with 16 tackles won.
- Columbus has seen very little roster rotation during the early stages of 2022, as nine different players have started all seven regular season matches for the club: goalkeeper Eloy Room; defenders Steven Moreira, Jonathan Mensah, Milos Degenek and Pedro Santos,
Milestones and Miscellany
- Sporting are one goal shy of their 700th home goal all-time in the regular season.
- Sporting are three goals shy of 400 goals scored at Children’s Mercy Park in competitive matches (excluding friendlies).
- Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of his 500th professional appearance for club and country.
- Midfielder Roger Espinoza is one shy of passing Matt Besler for second-most regular season appearances in club history (currently tied at 294).
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of passing Jimmy Conrad for the seventh-most regular season starts in club history (currently tied at 203). He is also six shy of 600 career saves for Sporting in regular season play.