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Sporting Kansas City is set to host D.C. United at Children's Mercy Park on Tuesday night, renewing a matchup that dates back to the first year of Major League Soccer. The match begins at 7:30 p.m. CT with coverage on 38 The Spot starting 30-minutes before the first kick.
The last time these two met came on May 12, 2019 at Audi Field where D.C. escaped with a 1-0 victory on a Paul Arriola goal. A year prior on March 31, 2018, Sporting defeated The Red and Black 1-0 on a Felipe Guttierez goal, assisted by Khiry Shelton, in the third minute. Over four years later, a new look D.C. team comes to Kansas City with Wayne Rooney in charge.
Below is a numerical look into the midweek match between Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United.
- Sporting and D.C. will meet for the first time since May 12, 2019, after squaring off in each of the first 24 MLS regular seasons from 1996-2019. D.C. won the last meeting by a 1-0 scoreline on home soil.
- D.C. is visiting Children’s Mercy Park for the first time since March 31, 2018, when they suffered a 1-0 defeat behind an early goal from Sporting’s Felipe Gutierrez.
- Sporting are 1-4-3 in the last eight regular season meetings since 2014, including a win and two losses at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting has scored only twice during this eight-game span.
- The last 11 meetings between the clubs since 2013 have produced a total of 13 goals, a clip of just 1.18 goals per match. The last four meetings since 2016 have produced just three goals (three 1-0 scorelines and a goalless draw).
- Sporting forward Khiry Shelton has a goal and four assists in six regular season appearances versus D.C.
- Sporting defender Graham Zusi has a goal and four assists in 14 regular season appearances versus D.C.
- Ola Kamara is the only player on the current D.C. roster to score against Sporting in the regular season, bagging three goals in four career appearances against the club.
Sporting Kansas City
- 2022 MLS record: 8-15-7, 31 points (12th in Western Conference)
- 2022 MLS home record: 6-6-2 (17 GF, 16 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 are 3-1-2 since the start of August with a winning percentage of 66.7%, the best clip in the Western Conference.
- Sporting have posted shutouts in two of their last three matches.
- Sporting rank second in MLS since the start of August with 7.3 shots on goal per match, behind only Philadelphia at 7.5 per game.
- Sporting have trailed for a total of only 64 minutes during their last six matches since the start of August.
- Sporting are 7-3-2 when scoring first and 1-12-2 when conceding first this season. Similarly, Sporting are 4-2-1 when leading at halftime and 0-8-3 when down at halftime.
- Sporting would be eliminated from playoff contention if they fail to beat D.C. United on Tuesday.
- Forward Johnny Russell, who leads Sporting with eight regular season goals and 10 goals in all competitions, has become the first player in Sporting history to score six goals in five consecutive regular seasons.
- Last month, forward Willy Agada became the third player in Sporting history to bag five goals in his first five MLS appearances for the club (Miklos Molnar in 2000, Felipe Gutierrez in 2018).
- Agada is one of only three MLS newcomers to record seven goal contributions in their first seven regular season matches this year along with Taxi Fountas (DC) and Federico Bernardeschi (Toronto).
- Forward Daniel Salloi has the all-time club record with his 13th career game-winning goal in the regular season after scoring the decisive strike in a 1-0 victory over San Jose on Aug. 27.
- Midfielder Remi Walter ranks fourth in MLS in distance covered (200.2 miles) and fourth among field players in recoveries (219). His three goals are a career-high for a single league season dating back to 2013. Walter is the only Sporting player to start in all 30 MLS matches this year and ranks seventh among MLS field players in minutes played (2,615).
- 2022 MLS record: 7-17-6, 27 points (14th in Western Conference)
- 2022 MLS road record: 5-5-4 (20 GF, 18 GA)
- 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs: N/A
- All-time Honors: Four MLS Cups (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004), three US Open Cups (1996, 2008, 2013), four Supporters' Shields (1997, 1999, 2006, 2007)
- D.C. ranks last in MLS in points (27), goal differential (-27), wins (seven) and shots per game (10.3). Their 17 losses are tied with Charlotte for the most in MLS, while their 59 goals conceded are the most in the Eastern Conference.
- Despite their position at the bottom of the table, D.C. enters Tuesday unbeaten in three matches with a 2-1 road win over New York City FC on Aug. 31 and consecutive 0-0 draws against Colorado on Sept. 4 and Real Salt Lake on Sept. 10.
- D.C.’s current three-game unbeaten run is its longest of the regular season.
- D.C. went 497 regular season minutes without scoring a goal from Aug. 3-31, the longest drought in MLS this season.
- D.C. are 3-10-2 on the road but have secured results in each of their last two away games, a 2-1 road win at NYCFC and a 0-0 draw at RSL on Saturday.
- D.C. are 5-3-1 when scoring the first goal and 2-14-2 when conceding the first goal this season. They are 4-1-0 when leading at halftime and 1-10-1 when trailing at the break.
- Forwards Taxi Fountas (11 goals) and Ola Kamara (nine goals) have combined for 20 of D.C.’s 32 regular season goals this year.
- Fountas, who has missed the last three games in concussion protocol, leads D.C. with 11 goals and 14 goal contributions this season. However, he has gone six straight regular season appearances without a goal or an assist since the start of August.
- Midfielder Chris Durkin leads D.C. with five assists this season (Julian Gressel had seven assists for the club prior to joining Vancouver via trade in July). Durkin’s five assists are an MLS career-high.
- Veteran center back Steve Birnbaum leads D.C. in regular season appearances (28), starts (28) and minutes played (2,490). No other D.C. player has more than 21 starts. Birnbaum leads MLS in aerial duels won (137), ranks fifth in interceptions (52), ninth in total duels won (178) and 10th in clearances (109).
Milestones and Miscellany
- Midfielder Cam Duke is one shy of his 50th regular season appearance.
- Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of 50 goals in MLS competitions. Additionally, his 91 goals and assists in all competitions are sixth most in club history, one shy of tying Davy Arnaud in fifth and two shy of tying Benny Feilhaber in fourth.
- Forward Daniel Salloi’s 37 regular season goals are eighth most in club history, one shy of tying Kei Kamara in seventh and two shy of tying Chris Klein in sixth.
- Midfielder Roger Espinoza has 42 regular season assists for Sporting, one shy of tying Benny Feilhaber for fourth most in club history.