By the Numbers presented by KDOT

By The Numbers: Sporting KC vs. Chicago Fire | June 24, 2023


"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.

Two teams coming off dramatic road results on Wednesday night will meet in Kansas City this Saturday as Sporting hosts the Chicago Fire on Matchday 21 of the MLS regular season campaign.

Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT at Children's Mercy Park, where the two sides took the field 12 years ago this month for the inaugural match at the world-class venue. A dozen years later, Sporting KC Manager Peter Vermes and Chicago Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas will once again be back on the sidelines as the former Olympic teammates go head-to-head.

Tickets are available at with Apple TV streaming the match free on MLS Season Pass in addition to local radio broadcasts on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

With the stage set for a cross-conference clash on Saturday night, we take a statistical look at the match-up in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Chicago is the only Eastern Conference team Sporting has played every year dating back to the Fire’s inaugural season in 1998. Saturday marks the 59th all-time regular season meeting.
  • Sporting KC has won five of the team’s last seven games against the Fire with a 5-1-1 record in the match-up dating back to 2017.
  • Sporting has won six straight regular season home games against Chicago dating back to 2014 and is unbeaten in nine straight regular season home games against Chicago dating back to 2012. Sporting KC is 7-1-3 all-time at Children’s Mercy Park in the regular season against Chicago.
  • The clubs last played in Kansas City on September 11, 2021 as Sporting KC secured a 2-0 victory at Children’s Mercy Park with goals from Jose Mauri and Johnny Russell inside the first six minutes.
  • The clubs last met on March 19, 2022 at Soldier Field with Chicago winning 3-1 on a brace from Kacper Przbylko and a penalty from Shaqiri, who also assisted both Przbylko goals.
  • Chicago Fire interim head coach Frank Klopas is 3-6-2 in the regular season against Sporting KC in his coaching career, with his last win in the series coming on Aug. 23, 2013. Klopas is 1-3-2 at Children’s Mercy Park in the regular season all-time with his lone win coming on June 29, 2012.
  • Klopas was the second player in Kansas City's team history and scored in the club’s inaugural match on April 13, 1996. Klopas played two seasons in Kansas City from 1996-1997 – playing 49 regular season games with seven goals and 11 assists - before finishing his professional career with the Chicago Fire.
  • Sporting KC Technical Director and Vice President of Player Personnel Brian Bliss joined the club in January 2016 after serving as the Chicago Fire Technical Director for two seasons in 2014 and 2015. Bliss was the Fire’s interim head coach for the last five matches of the 2015 season.
  • Kansas City defeated Chicago by 1-0 scorelines in the 2000 MLS Cup and 2004 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finals while also edging the Fire for the 2000 Supporters’ Shield title.
  • Sporting’s four U.S. Open Cup titles are tied with Chicago for the most among MLS clubs.
  • Chicago is 3-0-0 this season against the Western Conference. Sporting KC is 0-2-1 against the Eastern Conference this season.
  • Sporting leads MLS with 275 shots and ranks second with 101 shots on goal. Chicago ranks second to last in MLS with 177 shots and last in the league with 51 shots on goal.
  • Sporting Kansas City and Chicago have each dropped a league-high 13 points from winning positions this year.
  • Johnny Russell has five goal contributions (2 goals, 3 assists) in five career regular season appearances against Chicago.
  • Daniel Salloi has four goal contributions (1 goal, 3 assists) in five career regular season appearances against Chicago. His three assists against Chicago are tied for his most against any MLS opponent.
  • Khiry Shelton has four career assists against Chicago, tied for his most against any MLS opponent.
  • Graham Zusi has four goals against Chicago, tied for his most against any MLS opponent.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2023 MLS record: 5-9-6, 21 points (11th in West | 23 GF, 29 GA)
  • 2023 MLS home record: 4-4-1 (15 GF, 12 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 2-1-2 (W-T-W-L-T)
  • Since the start of May, Sporting leads the Western Conference in wins (five) and points (18).
  • Since the start of May, Sporting Kansas City leads Major League Soccer in goals scored (20).
  • Sporting are 6-0-1 when scoring multiple goals this season in all competitions and 0-10-5 when scoring one or fewer.
  • Sporting Kansas City is the only team in MLS to have played on every matchday this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City has conceded the most goals in the Western Conference this season and has one shutout in the club’s last 14 regular season matches.
  • Sporting Kansas City’s 10 goals in the first 30 minutes of matches are tied for most in MLS this year. Sporting’s eight goals conceded in the first 30 minutes of matches are also tied for most in MLS.
  • Alan Pulido has scored in four straight MLS regular season matches, which is tied for the longest active streak in MLS currently. Pulido has scored in four straight league matches for the first time in his professional career.
  • Pulido becomes the seventh different player in team history to score in four straight regular season games. Only two players have scored in five or more consecutive regular season matches: Johnny Russell (eight straight games in 2021) and Preki (five straight games in 1996).
  • Pulido has six goals in the past four games, becoming the fourth player in club history to score six goals in a four-match span.
  • Pulido leads MLS with seven total goal contributions since the start of June (six goals, one assist) and leads Sporting with 11 goal contributions in all competitions this season (eight goals, three assists).
  • Among players with 20 career regular season goals for the club, Pulido’s .53 goals per 90 minutes is the best rate in club history and Pulido’s .44 goals per game rate is second best in club history.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi is one of three Western Conference players with seven goals and seven primary assists since the start of August 2022 alongside Cristian Espinoza (San Jose) and Carlos Vela (LAFC).
  • Salloi is second on Sporting KC with 10 goal contributions this season in all competitions (five goals, five assists). He's second in MLS in successful crosses from open play (17), sixth in expected assists (4.7) and seventh in chances created (38).
  • Salloi is the only player in MLS to start 20 matches this season and he leads all MLS players with 1,764 minutes played in 2023.
  • Salloi and Erik Thommy are the only players in MLS to play in 20 matches this season. The duo rank fifth in MLS with 21 shots on goal this season.
  • Thommy ranks seventh in MLS with 55 shots this season and he leads Sporting with six assists in all competitions. Sporting are 5-0-0 when he scores a goal in MLS play.
  • Thommy has two goals and five assists since the start of May. His five assists since the start of May are second most in MLS.
  • Midfielder Remi Walter leads MLS field players with 144 recoveries this season.
  • Sporting Kansas City defender Dany Rosero is suspended for Saturday’s match due to caution accumulation after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season against LA on Wednesday.

Chicago Fire

  • 2023 MLS record: 4-6-8, 20 points (11th in East | 24 GF, 28 GA)
  • 2023 MLS away record: 2-5-2 (10 GF, 15 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 1-2-2 (T-T-L-L-W)
  • At 19 years of age, Chris Brady is the youngest goalkeeper in MLS this year to record a shutout.
  • At 38 years of age, Kei Kamara is the oldest player in MLS this year to score a goal or record an assist.
  • With five goals in 2023, Kamara has 144 career regular season goals. His next goal will tie Landon Donovan for second most in League history.
  • Of his 144 regular season goals, 39 have been game-winning goals which ranks fourth most in MLS history – one shy of Jeff Cunningham for third.
  • In addition, Kamara’s 22 multi-goal games are third most in MLS history.
  • Kamara played five seasons in Kansas City under Peter Vermes from 2009-2013 with 38 goals and 20 assists in 113 regular season appearances. Kamara’s last match at Children’s Mercy Park was Sept. 21, 2019 when he scored for the Colorado Rapids to spark a three-goal comeback.
  • Brian Gutierrez’s seven assists in 2023 are fifth most in MLS this year.
  • Defender Rafael Czichos is the only Chicago player to appear in all 18 MLS matches this season.
  • Chicago has the second highest tackle success rate in MLS this season (67.89%).
  • Chicago is 0-5-3 when conceding the first goal in 2023.
  • Chicago has conceded 11 goals after the 75th minute in 2023, most in MLS.
  • Chicago’s next regular season win will be the club’s 300th all-time.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting are two shy of 350 regular season goals at Children’s Mercy Park and four shy of 450 goals at Children’s Mercy Park in all competitions.
  • Manager Peter Vermes has won a combined 294 MLS matches as a player or a coach, tied with Bruce Arena for the most in league history (regular season and playoffs).
  • Vermes has coached 538 matches for Sporting in all competitions, the most by an MLS coach with one club, and ranks third all-time with 457 MLS regular season matches coached (Sigi Schmid 548, Bruce Arena 540).
  • Vermes has been involved in a league-record 690 MLS matches as a player or head coach.
  • Vermes ranks fourth all-time among MLS head coaches in both regular season wins (188) and playoff appearances (10).
  • Forward Daniel Salloi has 42 regular season goals for Sporting, sixth most in club history and one shy of Davy Arnaud and Josh Wolff in fourth.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has made 285 regular season starts for Sporting, tied with Matt Besler for second most in club history.
  • Espinoza ranks fourth in club history with 44 regular season assists, one shy of tying Chris Klein for third.
  • Assistant coach Kerry Zavagnin has been with Sporting for 24 consecutive seasons, setting the MLS record for most seasons with one club as a player or coach (player from 2000-2008 and assistant since 2009).