"By The Numbers" presented by Compass Minerals is a season-long series that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match. To visit the series archive, click here.
With Week 1 of the 2023 MLS season in the rearview, Sporting Kansas City (0-1-0, 0 points) will venture west to face the Colorado Rapids (0-1-0, 0 points) at 8:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
The Western Conference battle will stream live on Apple TV for MLS Season Pass subscribers and will be shown at Sporting's official watch party at No Other Pub (1370 Grand Blvd.) in the Kansas City Power & Light District, highlighted by a happy hour starting at 6:30 p.m. CT. Radio coverage will also air locally in English on Sports Radio 810 WHB and in Spanish on La Grande 1340 AM with streams available via the Sporting KC app.
Sporting and Colorado suffered shutout defeats in their 2023 curtain raisers, with Manager Peter Vermes' men narrowly falling 1-0 in Portland and the Rapids getting shelled 4-0 in Seattle. Saturday presents a welcome opportunity for both sides to bounce back as the calendar turns to March. In the space below, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers presented by Compass Minerals.
- Sporting are 4-1-3 against Colorado over the last four seasons, including a 2-1 home win and a 2-0 road loss in 2022.
- Sporting and Colorado have drawn four of the last five meetings at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park dating back to 2018.
- Sporting own a 5-19-12 regular season road record against Colorado and haven’t won at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park since March 29, 2014. Sporting have gone 0-5-4 at the stadium since 2015 and have won just three times at Colorado this millennium (2000, 2004, 2014).
- Forward Daniel Salloi has five goals in six regular season appearances against the Rapids but has never faced Colorado on the road.
- The teams last met on May 18, 2022, at Children’s Mercy Park as Salloi scored twice to spark a 2-1 win for Sporting.
- Sporting and Colorado have squared off 86 times in all competitions, making the Rapids the most frequent opponent in Kansas City history. Sporting holds a series advantage with 35 wins, 30 losses and 21 ties, including a 29-25-18 record in the regular season.
Sporting Kansas City
- 2022 MLS record: 11-16-7, 40 points (12th in Western Conference)
- 2022 MLS road record: 2-10-5 (17 GF, 37 GA)
- 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify
- All-Time Honors: Two MLS Cups (2000, 2013), four Open Cups (2004, 2012, 2015, 2017), one Supporters' Shield (2000)
- Sporting conceded seven shot attempts in their season-opening 1-0 loss at the Portland Timbers on Monday, the second fewest of any MLS team in Week 1.
- Sporting had 27 crosses from open play in their season opener, second most in MLS during Week 1, but only three were completed successfully.
- Sporting haven’t won a regular season road match since July 9, 2022, when they defeated CF Montreal by a 2-1 scoreline. The club has gone 0-4-3 in its last seven MLS away matches since July 13, 2022.
- Since the start of 2022, Sporting are 10-3-2 when scoring first and 1-14-2 when conceding first in MLS regular season play. Similarly, Sporting are 7-2-1 when leading at halftime and 0-10-3 when trailing at halftime.
- Midfielder Erik Thommy led Sporting in shots (four) and shots on goal (two) in the Week 1 loss at Portland.
- Defender Graham Zusi led MLS in Week 1 with eight crosses from open play. He also ranked second with 21 successful passes in the attacking third.
- Midfielder Remi Walter and forward Khiry Shelton had 12 recoveries each on Monday, tied for the sixth most in MLS in Week 1.
- Shelton was tied for second in MLS during Week 1 with five successful dribbles.
- Walter, Shelton and Thommy were tied for second in MLS during Week 1 with three possessions won in the attacking third.
- Walter has started 43 consecutive regular season matches for Sporting since Sept. 29, 2021. That is the third-longest active streak among MLS field players behind Jakob Glesnes (74) and Darlington Nagbe (68).
- At 21 years old, John Pulskamp was the youngest goalkeeper to start an MLS match in Week 1. He has an 8-7-4 record as a starter in the regular season.
- Forward Willy Agada won Sporting KC golden boot honors in 2022 with eight goals and two assists in only 12 MLS appearances. Among players with at least 500 minutes last season, he ranked fifth in MLS with 0.78 goals per 90 minutes.
- Forward Daniel Salloi has led Sporting in each of the last two regular seasons in total goal contributions, amassing 12 in 2022 (seven goals, five assists) and 24 in 2021 (16 goals, eight assists).
- 2022 MLS record: 11-13-10, 43 points (10th in Western Conference)
- 2022 MLS home record: 10-2-5, (29 GF, 15 GA)
- 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify
- All-Time Honors: One MLS Cup (2010)
- Colorado has not lost at home since July 4, 2022. The Rapids are 5-0-3 in their last eight matches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, including a run of three straight wins from September to October last year.
- Colorado finished with a 10-2-5 home record during the 2022 regular season.
- Over the last three seasons combined, the Rapids are 22-4-15 in regular season matches at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
- Colorado suffered a 4-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC in their season opener on Feb. 26, the heaviest loss of any MLS team in Week 1 and the heaviest season-opening loss in club history.
- According to Opta, Seattle’s 4.11 expected goals against Colorado last Sunday were the most by an MLS team in Week 1.
- Colorado were outdueled 66-39 in their Week 1 loss at Seattle.
- Colorado finished atop the Western Conference standings in 2021 but missed the playoffs last season, finishing 10th in the West with an 11-13-10 record.
- Colorado conceded 57 goals last season, tied for the fourth most in MLS.
- Former Sporting striker Diego Rubio led Colorado in goals (16) and chances created (47) last year but is expected to miss the first month of this season with a knee injury.
- Goalkeeper William Yarbrough has started in each of Colorado’s last 42 regular season matches since Oct. 10, 2021.
- Midfielder Michael Barrios led Colorado with eight assists last year and appeared in all 34 regular season matches of 2022.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Defender Graham Zusi, who has become the first player ever to spend 15 seasons with one MLS club, is one shy of his 350th start for Sporting in all competitions.
- Forward Daniel Salloi’s 13 career game-winning goals are tied with Dom Dwyer and Preki for the most in club regular season history. Salloi's 38 regular season goals are tied with Kei Kamara for sixth in club history, one shy of Chris Klein in fifth.
- Midfielder Roger Espinoza is tied with Benny Feilhaber for fourth in club history with 43 regular season assists, two shy of tying Chris Klein for third.
- Assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin has been with Sporting for 24 consecutive seasons, first as a player from 2000-2008 and serving in his current role since 2009. That sets the MLS record for most seasons with one club as a player or coach.