By The Numbers: Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo FC | May 11, 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.

Three days removed from a last-gasp extra-time win over Union Omaha in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32, Sporting Kansas City will return to MLS play on Saturday by hosting longtime rival Houston Dynamo FC at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is slated for 7:30 p.m. CT with tickets available at SeatGeek.com and live coverage on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting needed 120 minutes to put away a pesky Omaha side in the Open Cup at midweek and now face a quick turnaround against their MLS counterparts, who suffered an Open Cup upset on Tuesday and have not won since the end of March. As two clubs looking to regain their league form prepare to square off, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers, presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Sporting are 4-0-3 in their last seven regular season meetings against Houston. The Dynamo claimed their last regular season win in the series on May 12, 2021, prevailing 1-0 at home.
  • Sporting are 9-3-4 in their last 16 regular season meetings against Houston dating back to 2018.
  • Sporting are 5-2-3 in their last 10 meetings against Houston across all competitions, with the lone losses coming away from home in the 2023 U.S. Open Cup and 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • The clubs last met on the opening weekend of the 2024 season, battling to a 1-1 draw at Shell Energy Stadium with Erik Thommy and Gabe Segal trading second-half goals.
  • Sporting and Houston notably met in the Western Conference Semifinals of the 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 26, 2023. Houston claimed a 1-0 home win behind Franco Escobar’s first-half goal.
  • Sporting and Houston last met at Children’s Mercy Park on Sept. 23, 2023. Sporting prevailed 2-1 with first-half goals from Johnny Russell and Willy Agada.
  • Sporting have faced Houston 47 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent during that time (19-15-13 record).
  • The all-time regular season series is closely contested with SKC holding a 14-13-16 record through 43 meetings, scoring 59 goals and conceding 58.
  • Sporting and Houston have met in six previous editions of the MLS Cup Playoffs, more than any other MLS opponent for both clubs. Houston prevailed in five of the six meetings.
  • Sporting forward Alan Pulido has six goals and one assist in eight regular season appearances against Houston since 2020. His six goals against Houston are his most versus any MLS opponent.
  • Sporting forward Johnny Russell has eight goals and three assists in 17 appearances against Houston in all competitions since 2018.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2024 MLS record: 2-4-5, 11 points (10th in West | 18 GF, 19 GA)
  • 2024 MLS home record: 1-2-3 (13 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five matches: 0-3-2 (T-L-T-L-L)
  • With a 2-1 extra-time win over Union Omaha in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 on Wednesday, Sporting snapped a four-game road winless run in the competition and have now prevailed in 26 Open Cup matches since 2012, more than any other team.
  • Sporting improved to 17-5-4 against non-MLS opponents in the Open Cup and are playing for a record-tying fifth Open Cup title. No other MLS team has more Open Cup titles than Sporting’s four.
  • Sporting will now look to snap a five-match winless run in MLS play since the start of April (0-3-2 record).
  • Sporting rank sixth in MLS in total goals scored (18) and third in non-penalty goals (18) this season.
  • 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.
  • Sporting have conceded the first goal in three matches this season, tied for second fewest in MLS.
  • Forward Alan Pulido scored the latest goal in club history on Wednesday, striking in the 120th minute to seal a 2-1 extra-time win at Union Omaha in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32.
  • Pulido has scored a goal in three of his last four matches and is tied for the team lead with four goals this season in all competitions.
  • Midfielder Erik Thommy is tied with Pulido for the team lead with four goals this season in all competitions. He also ranks fourth in MLS with 52 progressive carries (dribbles that advance the ball 10 yards closer to goal or into the box).
  • Forward Marinos Tzionis scored Sporting’s equalizer against Omaha on Wednesday. Tzionis has scored three of his four career goals for Sporting in the Open Cup.
  • Tzionis also had the winning assist in Wednesday’s Open Cup match, setting up Alan Pulido in the 120th minute. It was the first game in which Tzionis has recorded both a goal and an assist since joining SKC in early 2022.
  • Defender Tim Leibold leads Sporting with 973 regular season minutes played in 2024. He ranks seventh in MLS this season with 31 tackles.

Houston Dynamo

  • 2024 MLS record: 4-4-2, 14 points (8th in West | 9 GF, 10 GA)
  • 2024 MLS away record: 2-2-0 (4 GF, 5 GA)
  • Last five matches: 1-3-1 (L-W-L-L-T)
  • Houston have scored nine goals through 10 matches this season, second fewest in MLS ahead of only New England (seven).
  • Houston have an expected goals total of 10.74, second fewest in MLS ahead of only Austin (9.66).
  • Houston have gone 283 minutes without scoring a league goal, the fourth longest drought in MLS this season.
  • Houston have failed to score in three straight MLS matches since winning 2-1 at Minnesota on April 13.
  • Houston were eliminated from the U.S. Open Cup in the Round of 32 on Tuesday, falling 10-9 on penalty kicks after a 3-3 home draw against USL Championship side Detroit City FC.
  • In all competitions, 14 of Houston’s 15 matches this season have been decided by one goal or fewer. The lone outlier was a 2-0 loss at FC Dallas on April 27.
  • Houston are the only MLS team with at least three one-goal wins and three one-goal losses.
  • Six of Houston’s 10 MLS matches and nine of the club’s 15 total matches have been tied at halftime this season.
  • After winning three straight MLS matches from March 16-30, Houston have gone 1-3-1 in MLS play since the start of April.
  • Houston rank second in MLS in average possession at 58.8%
  • Goalkeeper Steve Clark ranks fourth in MLS in goals against average (1.00) and fifth in save percentage (77.5%).
  • Forward Ibrahim Aliyu, who ranks second in MLS with 11 offsides, leads Houston with three MLS goals. No other Houston player has more than one this season.
  • Aliyu ranks fourth in MLS in progressive passes received (104) and ninth in successful take-ons (21).
  • Midfielder Artur leads Houston with three assists in MLS play and has played 899 of a possible 900 minutes during the regular season, more than any other Dynamo field player. He also ranks ninth in MLS with 68 passes into the final third.
  • Midfielder Amine Bassi ranks fourth in MLS with 28 key passes.
  • Defender Micael ranks seventh in MLS with 49 clearances.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting will play their 900th regular season match in club history on Saturday.
  • 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 97 goal contributions (58 goals, 39 assists) for Sporting in all competitions, one shy of passing Chris Klein for sole possession of fourth most in club history.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is tied for ninth in Sporting history with 31 regular season goals alongside Benny Feilhaber, Mo Johnston and Graham Zusi.
  • Forward Marinos Tzionis is one shy of his 50th regular season appearance for Sporting.
  • Midfielder Erik Thommy has appeared in 57 straight regular season matches, tied for the sixth longest streak in club history (Chris Brown 80, Mark Chung 74, Davy Arnaud 67, Ilie Sanchez 64, Daniel Salloi 63, Remi Walter 57).