Highlights: Sporting KC 2-1 LAFC | October 28, 2018

In a conference-clinching 2-1 victory over LAFC on Sunday, Sporting Kansas City put the finishing touches on a record-setting regular season.


Roger Espinoza's long-range masterclass and Daniel Salloi's clinical game-winner did the trick in a pulsating Decision Day finale at Children's Mercy Park, sealing first place in the Western Conference and a Knockout Round bye to the conference semifinals of the Audi 2018 MLS Cup Playoffs.


A third straight victory to end the regular season catapults Sporting KC into the playoffs with plenty of momentum. Manager Peter Vermes' side will begin their MLS Cup pursuit on the road this Sunday, playing either FC Dallas, Portland or Real Salt Lake in the first leg of the Western Conference semifinals. Children's Mercy Park will then host the decisive second leg on Sunday, Nov. 11, marking the first time Sporting KC has hosted a playoff tilt since the 2013 MLS Cup. Tickets for that match are on sale now at SeatGeek.com.


But before we cast our eyes on the 2018 playoffs, let's take a statistical look at what became the best attacking season in Sporting KC's regular season history. Vermes' men set team records for goals, away goals, goal difference, assists, shots and chances created while also finishing high in shots on goal, points and wins.


SPORTING KC: MOST REGULAR-SEASON GOALS

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Games</strong>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
2018
65
34
1.91
2
1996
61
32
1.91
3
1997
57
32
1.78
4
2005
52
32
1.63
5
2003
48
30
1.60

SPORTING KC: MOST REGULAR-SEASON ROAD GOALS

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Goals</strong>
<strong>Games</strong>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
2018
31
17
1.82
2
2005
29
16
1.81
3
2007
23
15
1.53
4
1997
22
16
1.38
5
2014
23
17
1.35

SPORTING KC: BEST REGULAR-SEASON GOAL DIFFERENCE

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>GF</strong>
<strong>GA</strong>
<strong>GD</strong>
1
2018
65
40
25
2
2000
47
29
18
3
2013
47
30
17
4
2012
42
27
15
5
2011
50
39
11

SPORTING KC: MOST REGULAR-SEASON ASSISTS

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Assists</strong>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
2018
69
2.03
2
2000
67
2.09
3
1997
64
2.00
4
1996
59
1.84
5
1998
53
1.66

SPORTING KC: MOST REGULAR-SEASON SHOTS

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Shots</strong>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
2018
583
17.1
2
2012
542
15.9
3
1996
514
16.1
4
2017
514
15.1
5
501
501
14.7

SPORTING KC: MOST REGULAR-SEASON SHOTS ON GOAL

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<b>SOG</b>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
1996
250
7.8
2
1997
222
6.9
3
2018
207
6.1
4
1998
201
6.3
5
2007
181
6.0

SPORTING KC: MOST CHANCES CREATED
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, 2010-PRESENT)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Chances</strong>
<strong>Per Game</strong>
1
2018
462
13.6
2
2012
392
11.5
3
2013
382
11.2
4
2017
377
11.1
5
2011
355
10.4

SPORTING KC: MOST POINTS IN A REGULAR SEASON
(POST-SHOOTOUT ERA, 2000-PRESENT)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<strong>Points</strong>
<strong>Record</strong>
1
2012
63
18-7-9
2
2018
62
18-8-8
3
2013
58
17-10-7
4
2000
57
16-7-9
5
2011<br> 2015
51<br> 51
13-9-12<br> 14-11-9

SPORTING KC: MOST WINS IN A REGULAR SEASON
(POST-SHOOTOUT ERA, 2000-PRESENT)

<strong>#</strong>
<strong>Season</strong>
<b>Wins</b>
<strong>Record</strong>
1
2012<br> 2018
18<br> 18
18-7-9<br> 18-8-8
3
2013
17
17-10-7
4
2000
16
16-7-9
5
2004<br> 2014<br> 2015
14<br> 14<br> 14
14-9-7<br> 14-13-7<br> 14-11-9

Sporting KC won't know their conference semifinal opponent until the conclusion of the single-elimination Knockout Round on Thursday night. They will face the lowest-seeded team to advance from the Knockout Round, with No. 4 FC Dallas hosting No. 5 Portland Timbers on Wednesday and No. 3 LAFC hosting No. 6 Real Salt Lake on Thursday. Kickoff times and broadcast details for conference semifinal first legs will also be confirmed Thursday evening.