By the Numbers presented by KDOT

By The Numbers: Sporting KC at Portland | Feb. 27, 2023

By the Numbers - Feb. 25 at Portland

"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.

At long last, the 2023 MLS campaign has arrived.

Sporting Kansas City will kick off their 28th season in earnest by visiting the Portland Timbers in a 9:00 p.m. CT showdown at Providence Park. The highly anticipated matchup will stream for free on the Apple TV app in both English and Spanish, while Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM will provide local radio broadcasts.

As two ambitious clubs in the Western Conference, Sporting and Portland will be eager to bounce back in 2023 after missing the playoffs uncharacteristically last season. Both sides have experienced lofty championship highs over the last decade, with Sporting capturing four major titles since 2012 and Portland making three MLS Cup appearances in the last eight years. Needless to say, this compelling Week One clash presents each team with an excellent opportunity to open the new year on the right foot.

In the space below, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our first 2023 edition of By the Numbers presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Sporting leads the all-time regular season series with an 8-6-6 record, including a 4-5-2 mark and five shutouts in 11 games at Providence Park.
  • Sporting last visited Providence Park on May 14, 2022, tying a club record with seven goals conceded in a 7-2 loss. Sporting had conceded just nine goals in their first 10 regular season visits to Portland prior to the lopsided defeat.
  • Sporting exacted revenge by posting a 4-1 home win over Portland on Aug. 21, 2022, receiving a brace from Willy Agada and additional goals from Andreu Fontas and Erik Thommy.
  • The two head-to-head meetings last season produced 14 total goals, 10 of which came in the second half.
  • Portland are 4-1-3 in the last eight meetings between the clubs, including both legs of the 2018 Western Conference finals.
  • Sporting are 0-3-2 in their last five visits to Providence Park and haven’t won at the stadium since April 15, 2017.
  • Portland midfielder Sebastian Blanco has five goals and three assists in 11 MLS appearances against Sporting (including playoffs) and scored goals in both meetings last 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 finished the 2022 regular season with a 6-2-2 record, the best mark in the Western Conference from the start of August to the end of the year.
  • Sporting are tied for first in MLS history with 15 season-opening wins, posting a 15-8-4 record in Week 1.
  • Sporting have won an MLS-best 10 road openers, posting a 10-13-4 record in their first away matches of the season since 1996.
  • 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 went 0-3-3 in its last six away games of the season and finished the year with a 2-10-5 road record.
  • Sporting scored three goals in the first 15 minutes of matches last season. Only Portland (two) had fewer during that interval.
  • Forward Willy Agada won Sporting KC golden boot honors in 2022 with eight goals and two assists in only 12 MLS appearances. His 0.67 goals per match last year were tied for second most in a single regular season in club history. Among players with at least 500 minutes last season, Agada 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). He has scored in each of Sporting’s last two season openers, a 2-1 win at the New York Red Bulls in April 2021 and a 3-1 loss at Atlanta United FC in February 2022.
  • Defender Ben Sweat had a 9-7-2 record in 18 regular season starts last season, the only Sporting player to post a winning record with at least 12 starts.
  • At 21 years old, John Pulskamp was the second-youngest MLS goalkeeper to post three or more shutouts last season behind 18-year-old Chicago keeper Gaga Slonina, who is now with English club Chelsea. Pulskamp posted a 5-4-3 record as a starter in 2022.

Portland Timbers

  • 2022 MLS record: 11-10-13, 46 points (8th in Western Conference)
  • 2022 MLS home record: 8-3-6, (28 GF, 19 GA)
  • 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs: Did not qualify
  • All-Time Honors: 2015 MLS Cup, 2020 MLS is Back Tournament
  • Portland missed the postseason for the fifth time in the club’s 12-year history in 2022, finishing one point below the playoff line in eighth place.
  • Portland were one of two MLS clubs to finish with a winning record (11-10-13) yet miss the playoffs last season, alongside Eastern Conference side Columbus Crew.
  • Portland led MLS with 95 yellow cards last year, 20 more than any other season in club history.
  • Portland scored 26 of their 53 goals last season after the 60th minute and 74% of their goals (39 of 53) in the second half, the largest percentage of second-half goals in MLS.
  • Portland had eight wins and three losses in matches decided by a single goal last season. Their .727 win percentage in those games was second best in MLS.
  • Portland midfielder Dairon Asprilla led the team with 10 goals in 2022 and has hit 10 goals in each of the last two regular seasons.
  • Portland midfielder Yimmi Chara led Portland field players last year in regular season appearances (34), starts (33), minutes (2778), assists (nine) and key passes (49). He was also tied for fourth in MLS with five game-winning assists.
  • Midfielder Diego Chara has started at least 76% of Portland’s regular season matches every year since the club joined MLS in 2011. His 338 regular season appearances for Portland are second-most ever by one-club MLS players behind Sporting’s Graham Zusi (341).
  • Portland acquired Brazilian playmaker Evander in December on a club-record transfer fee from Danish side FC Midtjylland, where he recorded 50 goals and 38 assists in 167 games across all competitions from 2018-2022.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • The Feb. 27 kickoff serves as the earliest regular season match in Sporting history. It is also the first time Sporting and Portland will meet in an MLS season opener.
  • 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.