By The Numbers - Sporting KC 2020 DL Image

"By The Numbers" is a season-long series presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match. To visit the series archive, click here.
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622  The number of crashes caused by cell phone distraction in Kansas in 2018.




Major League Soccer's return to home markets delivers a scintillating matchup out of the gates as Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (4-1-0, 12 points) visit second-place Minnesota United FC (3-0-2, 11 points) on Friday at Allianz Field in St. Paul, Minnesota. The highly anticipated clash will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT with three hours of live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus and FOX Sports GO beginning at 6 p.m. CT. Listeners can also catch the action live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.


Sporting and Minnesota have both enjoyed excellent starts to a disjointed campaign, with Manager Peter Vermes' men sitting atop the West and the Loons boasting an unbeaten record. The conclusion of the MLS is Back Tournament has paved the way for a busy stretch run through the late summer and fall, as all clubs will play 18 more league matches between now and Nov. 8 to wrap up the 23-game regular season.


As excitement builds ahead of Friday's showdown, we take a statistical look at #MINvSKC in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.



Head-to-Head


  • Sporting are 5-4-2 against Minnesota in all competitions since the Loons joined MLS in 2017.
  • Sporting are a perfect 5-0-0 against Minnesota at home but a winless 0-3-2 on the road.
  • The sides last met on July 12 in the MLS is Back Tournament group stage. Sporting dominated early and took a 1-0 first-half lead through Khiry Shelton, but Minnesota struck twice in second-half stoppage time, including a 97th-minute winner from Kevin Molino, to snatch a 2-1 win.
  • In nine all-time MLS meetings, Sporting has outscored Minnesota 14-9 and outshot the loons 183-90.
  • Sporting forward Johnny Russell has five assists in five MLS appearances against Minnesota.
  • Sporting and Minnesota split the 2019 regular season series, with the home side winning both games by a one-goal margin. Minnesota also beat Sporting 4-1 at home in the 2019 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32.


Minnesota United FC


  • MLS record:3-0-2, 11 points (2nd in Western Conference)
  • MLS home record: 0-0-0 (0 GF, 0 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 3-0-2 (W-W-W-T-T)
  • MLS is Back Tournament: Finished 2nd in Group D; lost in Semifinals
  • Minnesota is off to its best five-game start to a regular season in club history.
  • Minnesota is one of four remaining unbeaten clubs in MLS (Columbus, Toronto and LAFC).
  • Minnesota ranks third in MLS with 2.4 goals per game and has scored at least twice in four of its first five regular season matches.
  • Minnesota has outscored opponents 5-0 after the 70th minute in five regular season matches this season.
  • Minnesota ranks second in MLS (behind Sporting) with a shot conversion rate of 18.5%.
  • Minnesota leads MLS with 15.6 interceptions per game.
  • Midfielder Jan Gregus is tied for second in MLS with four assists and leads Minnesota with nine chances created.
  • Midfielder Kevin Molino leads Minnesota with three goals, while midfielder Ethan Finlay is the team's only player with multiple goals (two) and assists (two).
  • Defender Chase Gasper is tied for third in MLS with 14 interceptions and leads Minnesota in duels won (31) and tackles won (9).
  • Defender Michael Boxall has played every minute of the regular season and is tied for fourth in MLS with 27 clearances.
  • Ike Opara, a former Sporting center back and the reigning MLS Defender of the Year, will miss Friday's match through injury. Starting goalkeeper Tyler Miller will also miss the rest of the season after undergoing hip surgery.



Sporting Kansas City


  • MLS record:4-1-0, 12 points (1st in Western Conference)
  • MLS away record: 1-0-0 (3 GF, 1 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 4-1-0 (W-W-L-W-W)
  • MLS is Back Tournament: Finished 1st in Group D; lost in Quarterfinals
  • Sporting’s 12 points are tied for the third-most through the first five matches of a season in club history (15 points in 2012, 13 points in 2000).
  • Sporting’s 13 goals are second-most in MLS and the most through the first five matches of a season in club history.
  • Sporting’s plus-8 goal differential is tied for the best in MLS and tied for the best through the first five matches of a season in club history.
  • Eight different Sporting players have scored a goal this season, the most in MLS.
  • Sporting has led at the 91-minute mark of all five regular season matches this season.
  • Sporting leads MLS with a shooting accuracy of 57.5% and a shot conversion rate of 18.6%.
  • Sporting has outshot all five opponents this season, recording 70 shot attempts and facing 40.
  • Sporting has faced just 8.0 shots per game, the fewest in MLS.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is second in MLS with seven combined goals (three) and assists (four). Pulido is the only player to score a goal or record an assist in all five regular season appearances this year.
  • Pulido and Khiry Shelton are the only MLS players with at least three goals scored, five chances created and 30 duels won this season.
  • Forward Johnny Russell has become one of five MLS players with 20 goals and 20 assists in the regular season since the start of 2018.
  • Defenders Graham Zusi and Roberto Puncec are the only Sporting players to play all 450 minutes of the regular season.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia’s 316-minute regular season shutout streak dating back to Feb. 29 is the longest active streak in MLS. Melia has a 3-0-0 record and a 0.26 goals against average in regular season play.


Milestones and Miscellany


  • Friday marks Sporting's first true road match since Feb. 29 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC, a period of 174 days.
  • Friday marks Sporting's first match in a home market since the March 7 home opener at Children's Mercy Park against the Houston Dynamo.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is one shy of his 100th career regular season start for Sporting.


All-time #SKCvMIN meetings (all competitions)


  • Regular season record vs. Minnesota: 4-3-2
  • All competitions record vs. Minnesota: 5-4-2
<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>H/A</strong>
<strong>Competition</strong>
05/07/2017
L 0-2
Away
Regular Season
06/03/2017
W 3-0
Home
Regular Season
06/14/2017
W 4-0
Home
U.S. Open Cup 4th Round
10/07/2017
T 1-1
Away
Regular Season
05/20/2018
T 1-1
Away
Regular Season
06/03/2018
W 4-1
Home
Regular Season
08/25/2018
W 2-0
Home
Regular Season
06/12/2019
L 1-4
Away
U.S. Open Cup 4th Round
08/22/2019
W 1-0
Home
Regular Season
09/25/2019
L 1-2
Away
Regular Season
07/12/2020
L 1-2
Neutral
Regular Season (MLS is Back)

Team Stats (2020 MLS regular season)

<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
<strong>Sporting</strong>
<strong>Minnesota</strong>
Goals scored
2.6 (2nd)
2.4 (3rd)
Goals conceded
1.0 (t-7th)
1.2 (t-11th)
Shots
14.0 (t-6th)
13.0 (13th)
Shots on goal
5.4 (t-4th)
5.4 (t-4th)
Shooting accuracy
57.5% (1st)
51.9% (8th)
Shot conversion rate
18.6% (1st)
18.5% (2nd)
Passing accuracy
83.0% (8th)
78.0 (22nd)
Possession
54.1% (7th)
43.6% (23rd)
Chances created
9.2 (11th)
8.6 (13th)
Duels won
54.4 (10th)
54.8 (7th)
Tackles won
10.2 (t-10th)
11.0 (6th)
Interceptions
10.2 (18th)
15.6 (1st)
Clearances
13.2 (t-23rd)
19.6 (6th)
Fouls committed
13.0 (13th)
13.6 (t-9th)
Fouls suffered
11.0 (t-18th)
11.4 (t-14th)
Shots faced
8.0 (1st)
14.2 (20th)