By the Numbers presented by KDOT

By The Numbers: Sporting KC vs. San Jose Earthquakes | Oct. 25, 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.

Sporting Kansas City will open the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs against the San Jose Earthquakes at 8:30 p.m. CT Wednesday at Children's Mercy Park. Tickets for the Western Conference Wild Card match are available online at SeatGeek, including the Coca-Cola Friends & Family 4-Pack featuring four Price Chopper South Stand tickets, four 20-ounce Coca-Cola products and four hot dogs for $100.

The all-important showdown will stream live on Apple TV in English and Spanish for MLS Season Pass subscribers. Pub partners in the Sporting Pub Network will also show the match and radio coverage will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC and La Grande 1340 AM with streams in the Sporting KC app. 

Sporting enter Wednesday as one of the hottest teams in MLS, having won six of their last nine regular season matches to jump above the playoff line. Awaiting Manager Peter Vermes' men will be an Earthquakes side that went five games without a win to end the regular season campaign.

As excitement builds toward the momentous playoff encounter at Children's Mercy Park, we take a statistical look at the contest in our newest playoff edition of By The Numbers, presented by Compass Minerals.


  • Sporting are 9-2-5 against San Jose in the last 16 meetings in all competitions since September 2016.
  • Sporting have prevailed in 18 of 20 home matches against San Jose since August 2004. This includes a 16-1-3 record with two draws accounting for shootout wins in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup semifinals and 2020 MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • San Jose has one win in Kansas City since August 2004, a 5-0 victory in the regular season on Aug. 19, 2015.
  • Since August 2004, the home team in the fixture is 26-4-7 across all competitions.
  • Sporting and San Jose are meeting in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs for the fourth time. San Jose prevailed in the 2003 conference finals (3-2 extra-time win) before Sporting prevailed in the 2004 conference semifinals (3-2 aggregate win over two legs) and the 2020 conference quarterfinals (3-0 shootout win following a 3-3 draw).
  • Sporting’s five all-time postseason matches against San Jose are their fourth most against any opponent in the MLS Cup Playoffs behind LA Galaxy (9), Colorado (9) and Houston (7).
  • Sporting and San Jose most recently met in the postseason in the 2020 Western Conference First Round at Children’s Mercy Park, battling to a 3-3 draw on Nov. 22, 2020. Roger Espinoza, Ilie Sanchez and Gianluca Busio scored for Sporting, while San Jose struck through Carlos Fierro, Shea Salinas and Chris Wondolowski. Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia became the first player in MLS history to save all three penalty kicks in a 3-0 shootout victory to decide the game, with SKC converting all three spot kicks from Ilie, Johnny Russell and Khiry Shelton.
  • San Jose won the first meeting this season by a 3-0 scoreline at PayPal Park on April 15. Cristian Espinoza opened the scoring early before Jeremy Ebobisse bagged a brace, striking on both sides of halftime.
  • Sporting exacted revenge with a 3-0 regular season win of their own on Aug. 26 at Children’s Mercy Park, receiving goals from Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell and Erik Thommy.
  • Sporting own a 31-28-11 record in 70 MLS meetings with San Jose (including a 1-2-1 record in four playoff matches), scoring 93 goals (1.33 per game) and conceding 89 goals (1.27 per game).
  • Sporting forward Daniel Salloi has four goals and two assists in eight career regular season appearances against San Jose.
  • San Jose forward Jeremy Ebobisse has three goals in six career regular season starts against Sporting.
  • San Jose winger Cristian Espinoza has one goal and five assists in nine career MLS appearances against Sporting (including one playoff match).

Sporting KC Historical & Playoff Stats

  • Sporting’s seven major championships (two MLS Cups, four Open Cups and one Supporters Shield) are fourth most in MLS history behind LA Galaxy (12), D.C. United (12) and Seattle Sounders FC (8).
  • Sporting are looking to become the third club in MLS history to win three MLS Cups alongside LA Galaxy (five) and D.C. United (four). Sporting are one of five clubs in the 2023 playoff field with two MLS Cup titles (Columbus, Houston, Seattle, San Jose).
  • Sporting’s four major championships since 2012 are second most among American MLS clubs behind Seattle (5).
  • Sporting are the only club to reach the U.S. Open Cup semifinals, MLS conference semifinals or Concacaf Champions League semifinals in each of the previous six seasons since 2017.
  • Sporting are tied for second in MLS history alongside FC Dallas and LA Galaxy with 20 playoff appearances, trailing only the New York Red Bulls (24).
  • Sporting are making their 11th playoff appearance since 2011, third most in MLS during that time behind only the New York Red Bulls (13) and Seattle Sounders FC (12).
  • Sporting are 16-6-4 at home in the MLS Cup Playoffs, including a 6-4-2 record at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • Sporting have a 2-17-7 away record in the MLS Cup Playoffs with wins coming in 1996 at Dallas and 2011 at Colorado.
  • Each of Sporting’s last five playoff matches have taken place at home dating back to Nov. 29, 2018. Sporting are 1-3-1 during that stretch, suffering season-ending playoff losses at home in 2018, 2020 and 2021.
  • Since winning MLS Cup in 2013, Sporting are 2-6-4 in the MLS Cup Playoffs. The four draws include a shootout loss at Portland in 2015 and a shootout win at home against San Jose in 2020.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2023 MLS record: 12-14-8, 44 points (8th in West | 48 GF, 51 GA)
  • 2023 MLS home record: 9-6-2 (30 GF, 21 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 3-2-0 (L-W-L-W-W)
  • Sporting have become the first club in MLS history to make the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs after opening the regular season winless in their first 10 games.
  • From the start of May to the end of the 2023 regular season, Sporting led the Western Conference in points (41), wins (12) and goals per game (1.88) while ranking second in goal differential (+10). Sporting’s seven losses during that time were also tied for the fewest in the conference.
  • Sporting won six regular season matches after the Leagues Cup break (6-3-0 record), tied for second most in MLS.
  • Sporting won six of the club’s final nine regular season matches for just the third time in club history, equaling a feat first accomplished in 2013 and 2020. 
  • With a 3-1 home win over Minnesota in Saturday’s regular season finale, Sporting are unbeaten in 13 straight October home matches (11-0-2) since 2015.
  • Sporting have scored at least three goals in 10 of the club’s last 22 MLS home matches since August 2022. The team has won each of those 10 games while posting a 4-6-2 record in the other 12 home matches scoring two goals or fewer.
  • Sporting scored 30 home goals during the 2023 regular season, tied for third most since Peter Vermes became manager in 2009.
  • Sporting won two of their last four away matches to end the 2023 regular season. The team had won just three of its previous 32 regular season away games from October 2021 to July 2023.
  • In all competitions, Sporting are 9-0-2 in matches immediately following losses since April 22.
  • Sporting scored 30 first-half goals during the 2023 regular season, the most in the Western Conference and tied for second most in MLS.
  • Sporting scored 62.5% of their regular season goals in the first half, the highest clip in the league (30 of 48).
  • During the regular season Sporting ranked second in the Western Conference in goals scored in the first 15 minutes (nine) and goals scored in the first 30 minutes (18). Three of their five goals in Leagues Cup also came in the opening 30 minutes.
  • Sporting have scored first in 16 of their last 22 matches across all competitions, posting a 9-2-5 record in those 16 games.
  • Sporting were outscored 22-13 after the 60th minute during the 2023 regular season.
  • Sporting were 10-2-2 when leading at halftime and 0-8-0 when trailing at halftime during the regular season.
  • Sporting rank third in MLS in overall passing accuracy (85.1%), passing accuracy in the attacking half (80.1%) and passing accuracy in the final third (76.2%).
  • Since Aug. 14, 2021, Sporting are 6-1-4 in the regular season with all three Designated Players in the starting lineup (Alan Pulido, Johnny Russell and Gadi Kinda were DPs from 2021-2022; Pulido, Kinda and Erik Thommy are DPs in 2023). Sporting has started all three of its DPs in 11 of 83 MLS matches during that span.
  • Sporting committed 9.8 fouls per game during the regular season, second fewest in MLS. Conversely, their 2.9 fouls suffered in the attacking third per game were third most in the league.
  • A total of 30 different players have earned regular season minutes for Sporting in 2023, more than Sporting have used in any of the previous three seasons.
  • Sporting have used 29 different lineups in 39 matches this season across all competitions. In 2022, Sporting used 32 different lineups in 38 matches across all competitions.
  • Since 2010, MLS teams have scored seven goals with buildups of 30 or more passes. Sporting has scored five of the seven, including each of the last four since 2021 and two in a 3-0 home win over San Jose on Aug. 26.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia has won eight of his last 11 starts since May 13, posting an 8-7-1 regular season record after opening the year 0-4-1.
  • Since the start of his Sporting tenure in 2015, Melia’s 15 penalty kick saves in the regular season are most in MLS. He also has a 58.3% goals conceded percentage on penalty kicks (21 of 36) in the regular season, lowest in MLS regular season history among keepers with at least 20 penalties faced.
  • Melia has won all six penalty shootouts in his professional career, including a perfect 4-0 record with Sporting.
  • Forward Alan Pulido (15 goals, three assists), forward Daniel Salloi (eight goals, 10 assists) and midfielder Erik Thommy (five goals, 13 assists) are tied for the team lead in 2023 with 18 goal contributions apiece across all competitions.
  • Sporting had three players with at least 16 goal contributions in the regular season for the first time in club history: Alan Pulido (14 goals, three assists), Daniel Salloi (seven goals, nine assists) and Erik Thommy (five goals, 11 assists).
  • Pulido’s 14 goals in 2023 were the sixth most in a regular season in club history. He has a team-best 15 goals in all competitions after missing all of 2022 through injury.
  • Pulido ranks second in MLS with 13 goals since the start of June. From June 3 to Sept. 9, he became the second player in Sporting history to score 12 goals in a span of 12 consecutive regular season matches (Johnny Russell in 2021).
  • Salloi is one of four players in MLS with seven or more regular season goals in each of the last three seasons along with Hany Mukhtar, Luciano Acosta and Jesus Ferreira.
  • Salloi has become the third player in Sporting history (Preki, Johnny Russell) to have seven goals and seven assists in three or more regular seasons for the club (2018, 2021, 2023).
  • Saturday’s 3-1 win over Minnesota saw Salloi record two assists in an MLS match for the fourth time in his career.
  • Thommy leads Sporting with 13 assists in all competitions this season. He became the fifth player in club history to hit 11 assists in a single regular season alongside Preki (six times), Matt McKeon (11 in 2000), Graham Zusi (15 in 2012) and Benny Feilhaber (15 in 2015, 13 in 2016).
  • Sporting are a perfect 8-0-0 when Thommy scores in the regular season dating back to 2022. The club is also 10-1-3 in games he has scored or assisted a goal this season in all competitions.
  • Forward Johnny Russell has scored four goals in his last three MLS appearances, posting his first three-game scoring streak in MLS play since October 2021.
  • Russell scored twice in Sporting’s 3-1 home win over Minnesota on Saturday, bagging his first MLS brace since Oct. 27, 2021. His 11 career regular season goals in October are most for the month in Sporting history.
  • Russell is one of three MLS players to bag six goals every regular season since 2018 alongside Gyasi Zardes and Luciano Acosta.
  • Forward Willy Agada has scored in two of his last three MLS appearances. He has nine goals in nine career MLS starts at Children’s Mercy Park since joining the club in summer 2022.
  • Defender Jake Davis has started each of Sporting’s last 23 matches across all competitions, the longest active streak on the team.
  • Since breaking into the starting lineup on April 29, Davis ranks fourth in MLS with 39 tackles won.
  • Davis became the fourth player in club history to play 2,000 minutes in a regular season before the age of 22, logging 2,038 minutes as a 21-year-old.
  • Defender Dany Rosero has accounted for three of Sporting’s six headed goals this season in all competitions, each coming off a set piece.
  • Since the start of 2021, defender Andreu Fontas has more completed passes in the regular season (5,869) than any other MLS player has attempted passes (Ilie 5,319).
  • Sporting are 8-1-1 in MLS when the center back pairing of Andreu Fontas and Dany Rosero start together at home this season.
  • Sporting are 7-1-0 in MLS when the backline of Jake Davis, Dany Rosero, Andreu Fontas and Logan Ndenbe start together at home this season.

San Jose Earthquakes

  • 2023 MLS record: 10-10-14, 44 points (9th in West | 39 GF, 43 GA)
  • 2023 MLS away record: 2-8-7 (14 GF, 27 GA)
  • Last five MLS matches: 0-1-4 (L-T-T-T-T)
  • San Jose has reached the MLS Cup Playoffs for the third time in the last 11 seasons, the second fewest of any team to be in the league since 2013.
  • San Jose fell to Sporting on penalty kicks following a 3-3 draw in their most recent playoff match, a Western Conference first round affair at Children’s Mercy Park on Nov. 22, 2020.
  • San Jose has two playoff wins since 2005 (2-5-2 record), the fewest of any MLS team that has remained in the league since then.
  • San Jose last won a playoff match on Nov. 4, 2012, the second longest drought among MLS clubs that have been in the league since then.
  • San Jose last advanced in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Nov. 4, 2010, defeating the New York Red Bulls in the conference semifinals.
  • San Jose enters the playoffs winless in five games (0-1-4 record) and with just one win in the club’s last 10 matches since Aug. 26, the day they lost 3-0 to Sporting at Children’s Mercy Park.
  • San Jose drew their final four regular season matches by a 1-1 scoreline.
  • Eight of San Jose’s 10 wins during the regular season came by a single goal. Six of the team’s 10 losses also came by a one-goal margin.
  • San Jose had 28 of its 34 regular season matches decided by one goal or fewer.
  • San Jose went 2-8-7 away from home during the regular season, taking 1-0 wins at Seattle on May 31 and Vancouver on Aug. 20.
  • San Jose has zero MLS wins outside of the Pacific Time Zone since October 2021 and zero wins in the Central Time Zone since September 2021. The Earthquakes are 0-14-9 in their last 23 MLS matches outside of the Pacific Time Zone since the start of 2022.
  • San Jose averaged 0.82 goals per road game during the regular season, second fewest in the Western Conference.
  • San Jose went 9-1-6 when scoring first and 1-9-4 when conceding first during the regular season.
  • San Jose conceded seven penalty kicks during the regular season, tied for the second most in MLS.
  • Winger Cristian Espinoza led San Jose during the regular season in both goals (13) and assists (13). He was won of two MLS players to notch 13 goals and 13 assists during the regular season alongside Lucho Acosta (17 goals, 14 assists).
  • Espinoza scored or assisted on two-thirds of San Jose’s regular season goals this year (26 of 39).
  • Espinoza leads MLS with 101 chances created and finished the regular season one off the MLS lead with six game-winning goals. His 192 attempted crosses from open play were 74 more than any other player during the regular season.
  • Espinoza finished the regular season with 3,033 minutes played, second most among MLS field players, while starting all 34 league matches.
  • Espinoza, forward Jeremy Ebobisse and defender Rodrigues started all 34 regular season matches for San Jose.
  • Ebobisse finished second on the team with 10 goals during the regular season, while no other San Jose player had more than three. He has started in San Jose’s last 69 MLS matches dating back to Nov. 7, 2021, scoring 27 goals during that stretch.
  • Rodrigues led MLS field players during the regular season in recoveries (243) while ranking second in duels won (217), second in headed clearances (82), third in interceptions (58), sixth in total clearances (147) and eighth in tackles won (46).
  • San Jose is looking to become the third club in MLS history to win three MLS Cups alongside LA Galaxy (five) and D.C. United (four). San Jose is one of five clubs in the 2023 playoff field with two MLS Cup titles (Columbus, Houston, Seattle, Sporting).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting are two shy of 50 home goals scored in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
  • Manager Peter Vermes is tied with Bob Bradley for third in MLS history with 11 playoff appearances as a head coach.
  • Midfielder Gadi Kinda is 38 minutes shy of 5,000 career minutes played for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a perfect 6-0 record in penalty shootouts during his professional career, including a 4-0 mark at Sporting.