By the Numbers presented by KDOT

By The Numbers: Sporting KC vs. LAFC | June 17, 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.

One of the hottest teams in MLS will host the reigning champions on Saturday as Sporting Kansas City welcomes LAFC to world-class Children's Mercy Park for a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff in the Soccer Capital of America. Tickets are available at with match broadcasts on MLS Season Pass via Apple TV, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Manager Peter Vermes' men have enjoyed a strong run of form since the start of May, catching fire on the attacking side amidst a four-game home winning streak. The MLS Cup holders, meanwhile, have hit a rough patch as LAFC has failed to score in four consecutive matches across all competitions.

With a marquee battle beckoning on Saturday night, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Sporting and LAFC last met on May 17 in Los Angeles, playing to a 1-1 draw as Denis Bouanga and Johnny Russell traded first-half goals. The result snapped Sporting’s three-game losing streak in the series.
  • Sporting are winless in the last four meetings and last beat LAFC on Aug. 4, 2021, securing a 4-1 road victory to become the first visiting team ever to score four goals against LAFC.
  • Sporting last hosted LAFC on July 23, 2022, suffering a 2-0 loss as Cristian Arango and Gareth Bale—both of whom have since left MLS—scored second-half goals.
  • Sporting own a 4-5-1 record in 10 regular season meetings, including a 2-2-0 mark at Children’s Mercy Park with home wins in 2018 and 2021 and home losses in 2019 and 2022.
  • LAFC have scored 15 of their 20 goals in the series in the second half, while Sporting have scored eight of their 14 in the first half.
  • Sporting forward Daniel Salloi has three goals and one assist in nine regular season appearances against LAFC, including two goals in four games at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • LAFC forward Carlos Vela has two goals and one assist in four regular season appearances at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Sporting’s four regular season wins against LAFC are tied for third most since LAFC joined MLS in 2018 as an expansion team (San Jose 6, LA Galaxy 5).
  • LAFC midfielder Ilie Sanchez enjoyed five standout seasons at Sporting from 2017-2021, amassing 11 goals and 13 assists with starts in 161 of 171 total appearances.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2023 MLS record: 5-8-5, 20 points (9th in West | 20 GF, 25 GA)
  • 2023 MLS home record: 4-3-1 (14 GF, 10 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 3-1-1 (L-W-W-T-W)
  • Since the start of May, Sporting lead the Western Conference in wins (five) and points (17). No other Western Conference team has more than 12 points during that time.
  • Since the start of May, Sporting lead MLS in goals (17) and ranks second in goals per game (2.13). The club scored just three goals from Week 1 through the end of April, the fewest through 10 games of a regular season in MLS history.
  • Sporting have won four consecutive home matches at Children’s Mercy Park after starting the season with a 0-3-1 home record.
  • Sporting’s 13 home goals since May 13 are tied for their most during any home winning streak of four or more regular season matches in club history (May to July 2003). The club scored just once in its first four home games this year.
  • Sporting are 6-0-0 when scoring multiple goals this season in all competitions and 0-9-5 when scoring one or fewer.
  • Sporting scored three second-half goals in last Saturday’s 4-1 win over Austin FC after scoring a total of six second-half goals in the club’s first 17 games of the season.
  • Sporting have scored four goals in five of the club’s last 14 regular season home games dating back to Aug. 6, 2022. Sporting own a 10-3-1 home record during that stretch.
  • Sporting have conceded five penalty kicks this season, the most in MLS. The club has earned only one penalty kick, which was saved in a 2-1 road loss to FC Dallas on March 18.
  • Sporting striker Alan Pulido was named MLS Player of the Matchday after becoming the third player in club history to score two goals and record a game-winning assist in last Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Austin FC. He and Daniel Salloi are tied for the team lead with four MLS goals and five goals in all competitions.
  • Among players with at least 50 appearances for Sporting in all competitions, Pulido ranks second in club history in goal contributions per game (0.62) and third in goal contributions per 90 minutes (0.76). He has 20 goals and 11 assists in 50 competitive appearances for the club.
  • Since the start of 2020, Sporting are 25-12-9 in the regular season when Pulido plays (1.83 points per game and 1.78 goals per game). The team is 20-28-13 when he does not play (1.2 points per game, 1.25 goals per game).
  • Since 2021, Sporting are 5-0-3 when all three Designated Players start and 12-4-6 when all three play (Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido since 2020; Johnny Russell from 2021-2022 and Erik Thommy since 2023).
  • In 2023 alone, Sporting are 4-2-2 (1.6 goals per game) when all three Designated Players play and 1-6-3 (0.7 goals per game) without at least one of the three (Kinda, Pulido and Thommy).
  • Since the start of 2020, Sporting are 21-8-7 when both Pulido and Kinda play in the regular season (1.97 points per game, 1.92 goals per game). The team is 14-20-11 in games without both of them (1.18 points per game, 1.2 goals per game).
  • With midfielder Nemanja Radoja on the field this season, Sporting are 4-2-4 with a +4 goal differential. Without him, Sporting are 1-6-1 with a -9 goal differential.
  • 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 has scored in three of Sporting’s last four home matches and his next regular season goal will tie Josh Wolff and Davy Arnaud for fourth most in club history (43).
  • Salloi leads Sporting with nine goal contributions this season in all competitions (five goals, four assists). He leads MLS in progressive carries (70) and progressive passes received (287) while ranking second in successful crosses from open play (17), fourth in carries into the penalty area (25), seventh in shots on target (20), seventh in expected assists (4.3) and eighth in chances created (36).
  • Midfielder Erik Thommy leads Sporting with five assists in all competitions. He is one of nine Western Conference players with five goals and five primary assists in the regular season since the start of August 2022. Sporting is 5-0-0 when he scores a goal in MLS play.
  • Thommy has two goals and four assists in his last eight MLS appearances since the start of May. He ranks 10th in MLS in shots (48) and ninth in shots on target (19).


  • 2023 MLS record: 7-3-5, 26 points (3rd in West | 23 GF, 15 GA)
  • 2023 MLS away record: 2-2-3 (8 GF, 9 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 1-2-2 (T-W-T-L-L)
  • Reigning MLS Cup champions and Supporters’ Shield winners LAFC enter Saturday on a four-game, 360-minute goalless drought in all competitions since the start of June.
  • LAFC are winless in three straight MLS matches since June 7. The club has not gone winless in four straight league matches since a stretch from Sept. 19 to Oct. 3, 2021.
  • LAFC have lost to Houston Dynamo FC in each of their last two matches, suffering a 4-0 road setback on June 10 and a 1-0 home defeat on June 14, their first home defeat in MLS since Decision Day 2022 last October.
  • LAFC have lost two MLS away matches this season (2-2-3 record). Only FC Cincinnati (3-1-4) and Orlando City SC (4-1-2) have lost fewer MLS road games in 2023.
  • LAFC’s three league defeats this season are two fewer than any other Western Conference team. Only FC Cincinnati (12-1-4) have lost fewer games in 2023.
  • LAFC have been awarded seven penalty kicks in 15 regular season matches this season, the most in MLS. The team has conceded just two penalties.
  • LAFC lead MLS in shots per game (16.4), shots on target per game (5.6) and total shots from fast breaks (14). They have also faced the second fewest shots per game (10.3).
  • LAFC have scored five goals in the first 15 minutes of MLS matches this season, tied for the most among Western Conference clubs.
  • LAFC are 7-0-1 when scoring first in the regular season and 11-0-2 when scoring first in all competitions. The team is 0-3-1 in the regular season when conceding first and 0-6-2 when conceding first in all competitions.
  • LAFC nearly become the second MLS team (Seattle in 2022) to win the modern edition of the Concacaf Champions League, falling 3-1 o aggregate to Club Leon in the tournament finals on May 31 and June 4.
  • Since the start of 2022, LAFC lead MLS in regular season wins (28) while ranking second behind Philadelphia in points per game (1.90), goals per game (1.82) and goal differential (+36).
  • Since joining the league in 2018, LAFC lead MLS with a .616 regular season winning percentage (86-46-41 record).
  • LAFC forward Denis Bouanga is tied for the MLS lead with 10 goals and has a team-best 17 goals in all competitions, including seven in LAFC’s run to the Concacaf Champions League finals. He is tied for second in MLS with 24 shots on target.
  • LAFC forward Carlos Vela is tied for the MLS lead with three game-winning assists and has a team-best five MLS assists. Since the start of 2018, Vela leads MLS in regular season goals (73) and combined goals and assists (125).
  • Vela, midfielder Ilie Sanchez, and wingers Kwadwo Opoku and Stipe Biuk have appeared in all 15 MLS matches for LAFC this season. Opoku will miss Saturday’s match on a red card suspension.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting are one shy of their 900th home goal in all competitions in club history.
  • Sporting are three shy of 350 regular season goals at Children’s Mercy Park and five shy of 450 goals at Children’s Mercy Park in all competitions.
  • 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 Gadi Kinda is one shy of his 50th start for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Defender Andreu Fontas is one shy of his 100th start for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Forward Khiry Shelton is one shy of his 100th start in his MLS regular season career.
  • Forward Johnny Russell ranks third in club history in both regular season goals (50) and goals across all competitions (55), trailing only Preki (71/81) and Dom Dwyer (57/67).
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has made 285 regular season starts for Sporting, tied with Matt Besler for second most in club history.