By The Numbers: Sporting KC at LAFC | March 9, 2024

"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.

After opening the season with a pair of tense 1-1 draws, Sporting Kansas City (0-0-2, 2 points) will hit the road this weekend for a daunting trip to Western Conference powerhouse LAFC (1-1-0, 3 points) at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles. Kickoff is slated for 9:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting has yet to trail its opponent after 180 minutes of action this season, taking leads against Houston and Philadelphia prior to conceding second-half equalizers in both contests. Manager Peter Vermes' men will be eager to take all three points this time around, but the task at hand is formidable. LAFC, champions of MLS in 2022 and runners-up last season, have made BMO Stadium a West Coast fortress in recent years and will be just as hungry to bounce back after falling 3-0 in blizzard-like conditions last weekend against Real Salt Lake

As two perennial contenders prepare to lock horns in Hollywood, we offer a statistical preview in our newest edition of By The Numbers presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Sporting trails the all-time series with a 4-6-1 record in 11 regular season meetings, including an 0-4-1 record since Sept. 3, 2021.
  • Sporting won the first two meetings between the clubs in 2018 prior to losing six of the last nine.
  • Sporting are 2-3-1 at BMO Stadium with wins in August 2018 and August 2021.
  • Sporting are the only club with more than one regular season road win at BMO Stadium. LAFC are 61-13-23 in 97 regular season matches at the venue with losses to 12 different teams.
  • Sporting’s four regular season wins against LAFC are most among MLS clubs outside of the Pacific Time Zone (LA Galaxy 7, San Jose 6, Portland and Vancouver 5).
  • The last meeting at BMO Stadium resulted in a 1-1 draw on May 17, 2023. Denis Bouanga and Johnny Russell traded goals inside the first 20 minutes.
  • The most recent meeting saw LAFC prevail 2-1 at Children’s Mercy Park on June 17, 2023. Alan Pulido gave SKC a first-half lead before LAFC rallied in the second half behind goals from Denil Maldonado and Carlos Vela.
  • LAFC have scored 17 of their 22 goals against Sporting in the second half, including eight past the 75th minute.
  • Sporting forward Daniel Salloi has three goals and one assist in 10 appearances against LAFC.
  • Sporting forward Alan Pulido has three goals and one assist in five appearances against LAFC.
  • Salloi and Pulido’s three goals apiece against LAFC are tied for most all-time in the regular season series between the teams (Cristian Arango Carlos Vela had three apiece before leaving LAFC).
  • Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 4-4-0 record against LAFC with one shutout and a 1.98 goals against average.
  • LAFC midfielder Eduard Atuesta has one goals and three assists in six regular season appearances against Sporting.
  • LAFC defender Aaron Long has recorded four assists in 162 regular season matches, two of which have come in seven appearances against Sporting.
  • LAFC midfielder Ilie Sanchez enjoyed five standout seasons at Sporting from 2017-2021, amassing 11 goals and 13 assists in 171 appearances across all competitions.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2024 MLS record: 0-0-2, 2 points (8th in West | 2 GF, 2 GA)
  • Weeks 1-2: Tied 1-1 at Houston; Tied 1-1 vs. Philadelphia
  • Sporting have yet to trail this season, having scored first in their 1-1 draws against Houston on Feb. 24 and Philadelphia on March 2.
  • Sporting have opened a regular season with consecutive draws for the second time in club history and the first time since 2017, when the club reached the MLS Cup Playoffs and won the U.S. Open Cup.
  • Sporting have scored first in 20 of their last 28 matches in all competitions since May 31, 2023.
  • According to Sportec, Sporting had seven shot attempts from inside the box last Saturday against Philadelphia after conjuring just one shot attempt inside the area in Week 1 against Houston.
  • According to Sportec, Sporting had 11 touches inside the opponent’s box last Saturday after having just two such touches in Week 1.
  • Sporting lead MLS with 69 successful long balls this season while also ranking first in long ball completion percentage (64.5%).
  • Remi Walter has scored goals in back-to-back regular season home matches for Sporting, having scored in the 2023 regular season finale and last weekend’s 1-1 draw against Philadelphia.
  • Walter also scored in Sporting’s 2022 home opener, a 1-0 win over Houston. Last Saturday against Philadelphia, he became the first Sporting player to score in multiple home openers at Children’s Mercy Park since the stadium opened in 2011.
  • Defender Jake Davis recorded his third career MLS assist in last Saturday’s 1-1 draw. All three have come in his last seven regular season home appearances at Children’s Mercy Park since July 2023.
  • Jake Davis recorded his third career MLS assist for Sporting. All three have come in his last seven regular season home appearances at Children’s Mercy Park since July 2023.
  • Davis has started in each of Sporting’s last 29 matches in all competitions since May 28, 2023.
  • Midfielder Erik Thommy, who had Sporting’s go-ahead goal in a 1-1 draw at Houston on Feb. 24, has scored in back-to-back regular season road appearances dating back to last season.
  • Sporting are unbeaten at 8-0-1 when Thommy scores in the regular season. He has appeared in each of the club’s last 52 MLS matches (including playoffs) since debuting on July 23, 2022.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is 10-4-3 in his last 17 MLS starts since May 7, 2023 (including playoffs).
  • Since the start of his Sporting tenure in 2015, Melia’s 15 penalty kick saves in the regular season are most in MLS. He also has a 58.3% goals conceded percentage on penalty kicks (21 of 36) in the regular season, lowest in MLS regular season history among keepers with at least 20 penalties faced.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi led Sporting last season with 22 goal contributions in all competitions (10 goals 12 assists). Salloi is in his first year as a Designated Player and his first year wearing the No. 10 jersey.
  • Salloi has appeared in 58 straight MLS matches (including playoffs) for Sporting since June 2022, the longest active streak on the team.
  • Forward Johnny Russell is one of two MLS players (Gyasi Zardes) to score six goals every regular season since 2018.
  • Salloi and Russell are two of six MLS players with seven or more goals in each of the last three regular seasons since 2021 alongside Hany Mukhtar, Lucho Acosta, Jesus Ferreira and Josef Martinez.


  • 2024 MLS record: 1-1-0, 3 points (7th in West | 2 GF, 4 GA)
  • Week 1 Result: Won 2-1 vs. Seattle; Lost 0-3 at Real Salt Lake
  • In 2023, LAFC became the fourth club to win consecutive Western Conference championships (LA Galaxy in 2001-2002 and 2011-2012, Houston Dynamo in 2006-2007, Seattle in 2016-2017 and 2019-2020). LAFC won MLS Cup in 2022 before losing the final to Columbus last December.
  • LAFC lost three finals during the 2023 campaign—the Concacaf Champions League Final against Club Leon, the Campeones Cup against Tigres UANL and MLS Cup against Columbus.
  • LAFC played 53 competitive matches in all competitions during the 2023 season, setting the record for an MLS club during a single year.
  • Since entering MLS in 2018, LAFC leads the league with 94 regular season wins (94-54-46 record).
  • Since the start of 2022 under head coach Steve Cherundolo, LAFC has a 30-1-3 regular season record when scoring first and 6-19-6 when conceding first.
  • Forward Denis Bouanga won the 2023 MLS Golden Boot with 20 regular season goals. He finished the year with 38 goals in all competitions, tied with former LAFC teammate Carlos Vela (2019) for most goals with an MLS team in a calendar year. He also added 14 assists last year in all competitions.
  • Bouanga leads LAFC this season with an expected goal total of 1.23 and is tied for third in MLS with 11 shot attempts.
  • Bouanga is tied for second in LAFC history with seven match-winning goals in the regular season.
  • Defender Ryan Hollingshead has 10 goals in 64 regular season appearances for LAFC.
  • Midfielder Eduard Atuesta leads LAFC with five key passes through Week 2. He is beginning his second stint with the club after totaling seven goals and 23 assists in 98 regular season appearances from 2018-2021, a stretch highlighted by the 2019 Supporters’ Shield title.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who played five seasons for Sporting from 2017-2021, led LAFC in 2023 with 51 appearances in all competitions.
  • Goalkeeper Hugo Lloris is one of 16 MLS players all-time to win the FIFA World Cup, having done so as France’s starter in 2018. Lloris, Atlanta midfielder Thiago Almada and Inter Miami duo Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets are the four active MLS players who have won a FIFA World Cup.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Forward Johnny Russell has 56 regular season goals for Sporting, one shy of tying Dom Dwyer for second most in club history.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi has 77 goal contributions (45 goals, 32 assists) in the regular season, one shy of tying Davy Arnaud for fifth most in club history.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is one shy of his 350th professional club appearance.
  • Forward Willy Agada is one shy of his 50th goal at the professional club level.