By The Numbers: Sporting KC at Real Salt Lake | May 4, 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.

A longtime Western Conference rivalry will resume Saturday when Sporting Kansas City (2-3-5, 11 points) vists first-place Real Satl Lake (5-2-3, 18 points). Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. CT at America First Field in Sandy, Utah, with a free stream available via MLS Season Pass on Apple TV. Pub partners in the Sporting Pub Network will also show all of the action and radio coverage will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB, La Grande 1340 AM and SiriusXM FC.

After a home-heavy start to the 2024 campaign, Sporting are now in the midst of a travel-filled month of May. Manager Peter Vermes' men were victorious on their most recent trip to Salt Lake last fall, earning a pivotal win that helped the club into the playoffs, and will look for similar success this time around against an RSL side that has enjoyed a strong start to the year. We take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers presented by Compass Minerals.


  • The most recent matchup between the clubs came on Oct. 7, 2023, when Sporting prevailed 3-2 at America First Field. Erik Thommy, Johnny Russell and Alan Pulido gave Sporting a 3-0 lead before Real Salt Lake bagged two late consolation goals through Brayan Vera and Jefferson Savarino.
  • Sporting and Real Salt Lake settled for a 2-2 draw in the first meeting of 2023 last July in Kansas City. Russell and Daniel Salloi gave Sporting a 2-0 halftime lead before RSL battled back behind second-half goals from Danny Musovski and Anderson Julio.
  • Both meetings between Sporting and Real Salt Lake in 2023 saw each team score multiple goals.
  • Real Salt Lake lead the all-time regular season series with a 16-13-9 record through 38 meetings.
  • Sporting are 5-11-6 in their last 22 regular season meetings against Real Salt Lake since 2014, including a 2-7-2 record at America First Field.
  • Sporting have two MLS road wins at Real Salt Lake in the previous 10 seasons, a 2-0 victory on Nov. 8, 2020, and a 3-2 victory on Oct. 7, 2023.
  • Sporting notably defeated Real Salt Lake in the 2013 MLS Cup at Children’s Mercy Park, prevailing 7-6 on penalties after a 1-1 draw. Sporting also eliminated RSL in the 2018 Western Conference Semifinals, winning 5-3 on aggregate goals.
  • The most recent playoff match saw Real Salt Lake earn a 2-1 comeback road win over Sporting in the Western Conference Semifinals on Nov. 28, 2021.
  • Sporting forward Johnny Russell has seven goals and five assists in 14 appearances against Real Salt Lake across all competitions, including goals in both meetings last season.
  • Sporting forward Alan Pulido has four goal contributions (two goals, two assists) in four regular season appearances against Real Salt Lake.
  • Real Salt Lake forward Cristian Arango has three goals and two assists in five regular season appearances against Sporting.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2024 MLS record: 2-3-5, 11 points (10th in West | 18 GF, 18 GA)
  • 2024 MLS away record: 1-1-2 (5 GF, 4 GA)
  • Last five matches: 1-2-2 (W-T-L-T-L)
  • Sporting rank fourth in MLS in total goals scored (18) and third in non-penalty goals (18).
  • Sporting lead MLS with 11 first-half goals this season.
  • Sporting have outperformed their expected goal total by 5.9 goals, the third most in MLS (18 goals scored, 12.1 expected goals).
  • Sporting rank second in MLS with a shooting accuracy of 42.3%, with 52 shots on target from 123 total shot attempts.
  • From March 16 to April 20, Sporting scored two or more goals in six straight regular season matches for the first time since the inaugural MLS season in August 1996. That streak ended in last Saturday’s 2-1 loss at Minnesota United FC.
  • Sporting have one loss in four away matches this season (1-1-2 record). Only Philadelphia and Vancouver are unbeaten away from home in 2024.
  • Sporting have conceded the opening goal just twice this season, tied for the fewest in MLS.
  • Sporting have played 227 successful long balls this season, 42 more than any other team, and rank fourth in MLS in long ball accuracy at 51.1%.
  • Midfielder Erik Thommy has three goals in his last three games and a team-leading four goals on the season.
  • Thommy, who leads MLS with 51 progressive carries this season, has appeared in 56 straight regular season matches since debuting for Sporting on July 23, 2022, the seventh longest streak in club history.
  • Thommy has outperformed his expected goal total by 2.7, the most of any player in MLS this season.
  • Forward Alan Pulido has scored in back-to-back matches and is tied with Willy Agada for second on the team with three goals this season.
  • Pulido is scored in three straight MLS matches once previously, from May 16-29 in 2021.
  • Forward Willy Agada has scored or assisted a goal in four of Sporting’s last six matches since making his first start of the season on March 23. Agada has equaled his MLS career-high with two assists, tied for the team lead in 2024 with Jake Davis, Memo Rodriguez and Daniel Salloi.

Real Salt Lake

  • 2024 MLS record: 5-2-3, 18 points (1st in West | 17 GF, 9 GA)
  • 2024 MLS home record: 2-1-1 (7 GF, 3 GA)
  • Last five matches: 3-0-2 (W-T-T-W-W)
  • RSL occupy first place in the Western Conference after 10 matches, buoyed by a 3-1-2 record away from home. In 2023, RSL had a losing home record (6-7-3) but went a conference-best 8-5-4 on the road to finish fifth in the West.
  • RSL have conceded nine goals through 10 matches, tied for the fewest in MLS, and own the league’s best goals against average at 0.90.
  • RSL are tied for second in MLS in goal differential at plus-8 (17 goal scored, nine conceded).
  • RSL are 3-1-2 this season when scoring the first goal and 2-1-0 when conceding the first goal. The team is 3-0-1 when leading at halftime and 2-1-0 when trailing at the break.
  • RSL rank second in MLS with 30 offsides.
  • Forward Chicho Arango ranks second in MLS in goals (eight) and total goal contributions (15) while leading the league in assists (seven).
  • Arango has scored or assisted on 15 of RSL’s 17 goals this season. He has scored or assisted in eight of the team’s last nine matches.
  • Arango ranks second in MLS in shots (60) and ranks third in shots on target (19) while leading the league in offsides (12).
  • Midfielder Andres Gomez has scored in two straight matches and is second on the team with four goals this season. In 2023, he had just one goal in 30 regular season appearances.
  • Midfielder Braian Ojeda leads MLS with 29 fouls suffered.
  • Midfielder Diego Luna is tied for fifth in MLS with five assists.
  • Defender Alexandros Katranis has scored or assisted in four of his seven MLS appearances this season, including each of the last two (two goals, two assists).
  • Defender Emeka Eneli is the only RSL player who has played all 900 minutes this season.
  • Goalkeeper Zac MacMath ranks second in MLS with a 0.88 goals against average, posting a 4-1-2 record. He is also fifth in the league in save percentage (81.0%).

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 ranks eighth in club history with 34 regular season assists, one shy of Davy Arnaud in seventh and two behind Johnny Russell in sixth.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is tied for ninth in Sporting history with 31 regular season goals alongside Benny Feilhaber, Mo Johnston and Graham Zusi.