By The Numbers: Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake | June 19, 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.

Sporting will play for a second successive home win on Wednesday when Western Conference leaders Real Salt Lake visit Children's Mercy Park for a compelling midweek clash in the Midwest. Kickoff is set 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.

Wednesday's contest will serve as the newest chapter of a rivalry that climaxed in 2013 when Sporting edged Salt Lake on penalties to hoist the MLS cup on home soil. This time around, Manager Peter Vermes' men will be looking to replicate the recipe that yielded victory over Seattle Sounders FC on June 8. RSL, meanwhile, is aiming to extend a remarkable 14-game unbeaten run that spans over three months.

We take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By The Numbers, presented by Compass Minerals.


  • The most recent matchup between the clubs saw RSL earn a 1-0 home win behind Chicho Arango’s 81st-minute goal off a Brayan Vera set piece.
  • The teams last met in Kansas City on July 12, 2023, playing to a 2-2 draw at Children’s Mercy Park. Johnny 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 RSL last season saw each team score multiple goals, with SKC earning a 3-2 road win last October behind goals from Russell, Erik Thommy and Alan Pulido.
  • RSL leads the all-time regular season series with a 17-13-9 record through 39 meetings.
  • Sporting is 7-5-6 in 18 regular season home meetings against RSL, including one win and one draw since the start of 2022.
  • Sporting is 5-12-6 in its last 23 regular season meetings against RSL since 2014, including a 2-4-4 record in 10 games at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Sporting notably defeated RSL 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 RSL earn a 2-1 comeback win over Sporting in the Western Conference Semifinals on Nov. 28, 2021, at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Sporting forward Johnny Russell has seven goals and five assists in 15 appearances against RSL across all competitions, including goals in both meetings last season.
  • Sporting forward Alan Pulido has four goal contributions (two goals, two assists) in five regular season appearances against RSL.
  • RSL forward Cristian Arango has six goal contributions (four goals and two assists) in six regular season appearances against Sporting.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2024 MLS record: 3-10-5, 14 points (13th in West | 28 GF, 36 GA)
  • 2024 MLS home record: 2-4-3 (17 GF, 19 GA)
  • Last five matches: 1-4-0 (L-L-L-W-L)
  • Sporting ranks fifth in MLS with 1.56 non-penalty goals per game.
  • Sporting ranks 10th in MLS with 1.56 goals per match, fourth most during the club’s 14-year Sporting KC era dating back to 2011.
  • Sporting leads MLS with nine goals from outside the box and has taken 49% of its shot attempts from outside the box, the highest percentage in MLS.
  • Sporting has scored eight goals off set pieces this season, tied for the second most in MLS. The team has also conceded seven goals off set pieces, fifth most in MLS.
  • Sporting has been shut out just twice during the 2024 regular season, tied for the second fewest in MLS behind only Colorado (one).
  • Sporting has outperformed its expected goal total by 8.8 goals this season, the second most in MLS (28 goals scored, 19.2 expected goals).
  • Sporting has fielded 12 different starting lineups in its last 12 matches across all competitions. Sporting has utilized 16 different starting lineups in 20 total matches this season.
  • Sporting has conceded the first goal in nine of its last 11 matches across all competitions after doing so just once in the first nine games of 2024.
  • In Saturday’s 4-2 loss to the LA Galaxy, forward Stephen Afrifa came off the bench to score his first career MLS goal and his second goal for Sporting in all competitions. He opened his SKC scoring account in a 4-0 Open Cup win over FC Tulsa on May 21. Afrifa has two goals in his last four appearances in all competitions.
  • In Saturday’s match against the Galaxy, defender Robert Castellanos scored his first goal of the season and his second career goal for Sporting, having opened his account in a 4-1 home win over Austin on June 10, 2023. Castellanos has scored each of his three career MLS goals off restarts (two from set pieces and one off a throw-in).
  • With an assist in Saturday’s match against the Galaxy, forward Johnny Russell has four goal contributions in his last five starts dating back to May 18.
  • Forward Alan Pulido and midfielder Erik Thommy are tied for the Sporting lead with four goals this season in all competitions.
  • Forward Willy Agada ranks fifth in MLS in both expected goals per 90 minutes (0.74) and shot attempts per 90 minutes (4.84). He is tied with Russell and Marinos Tzionis for third on the team with three goals this season in all competitions.
  • Midfielder Memo Rodriguez leads Sporting with four assists this season. He also ranks sixth in MLS in successful take-on percentage (70%).
  • Midfielder Nemanja Radoja leads Sporting in regular season minutes (1,502) and starts (17) as well as minutes (1,690) and starts (19) in all competitions.

Real Salt Lake

  • 2024 MLS record: 9-2-7, 34 points (1st in West | 36 GF, 19 GA)
  • 2024 MLS away record: 3-1-6 (16 GF, 12 GA)
  • Last five matches: 2-0-3 (W-T-T-W-T)
  • RSL is unbeaten in 14 regular season matches since March 23, going 8-0-6 during that stretch. RSL last lost on March 9 in a 2-1 home defeat to the Colorado Rapids.
  • RSL is unbeaten in nine MLS away matches (3-0-6) since losing its 2024 season opener at Inter Miami CF on Feb. 21.
  • RSL’s unbeaten streak includes a 98th-minute equalizer at FC Dallas on May 25 and a 99th-minute equalizer at Seattle on May 29.
  • RSL has lost just three of its last 23 regular season road matches since May 2023, going 10-3-10 during that stretch.
  • RSL leads MLS with a plus-17 goal differential (36 goals scored, 19 goals conceded).
  • RSL’s two MLS defeats this season are the fewest in the league.
  • RSL occupies first place in the Western Conference with 34 points, four points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders inter Miami CF.
  • RSL ranks second in MLS with 2.0 goals per match, behind only Inter Miami CF.
  • RSL is the only team with zero goals scored in the first 15 minutes of matches this season.
  • Conversely, RSL is tied for the MLS lead with 11 goals after the 75th minute, having outscored opponents 11-5 during that interval. Similarly, RSL has outscored opponents 10-4 in the final 15 minutes of the first half.
  • RSL has outscored opponents 17-7 after the 60th minute this season.
  • Six of RSL’s nine wins this season have come by multiple goals.
  • RSL is 3-1-2 this season when conceding the first goal, the best such record in MLS.
  • Forward Chicho Arango leads MLS with 16 goals, three more than any other player. He is also tied with Lionel Messi for the MLS lead with 25 goal contributions, adding nine assists (fourth most in MLS).
  • Arango has scored or assisted on 25 of RSL’s 36 goals this season, a clip of 69.4%.
  • Forward Andres Gomez is one shy of the MLS lead with four game-winning goals this season, while Arango is second in the league with four game-winning assists.
  • Gomez has eight goals and six primary assists this season. His six primary assists are sixth most in MLS.
  • Midfielder Emeka Eneli is the only RSL player to start all 18 MLS matches this season. He ranks sixth in MLS in interceptions (29) and eighth in fouls suffered (35).
  • Defender Justen Glad ranks third in MLS in blocks (29), while goalkeeper Zac MacMath ranks sixth in MLS in save percentage (77.6%).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Manager Peter Vermes is two shy of 200 regular season wins as a head coach. He would be the third head coach in MLS history to reach that milestone (Bruce Arena 262, Sigi Schmid 240).
  • Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of 150 goals in his professional club career.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is tied for ninth in Sporting history with 31 regular season goals alongside Benny Feilhaber, Mo Johnston and Graham Zusi.
  • Midfielder Nemanja Radoja is one shy of his 50th appearances for Sporting all competitions.