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A heated playoff race drags into the final month of the MLS regular season as Sporting Kansas City (12-12-7, 43 points) opens October with a trip to the New England Revolution (9-13-9, 36 points) on Saturday. Kickoff at Gillette Stadium is set for 6:30 p.m. CT as 38 The Spot and SKCTV air three hours of live coverage beginning at 6 p.m. CT. Listeners can follow the action on ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish) as a pair of MLS charter members square off for the first time in 2016.


No Other Pub in the Kansas City Power & Light District (1370 Grand Blvd.) will host an official watch party for the match, offering $7 specialty cocktails from Till Vodka. Both teams approach the fixture with urgency, knowing that three points would greatly help their respective bids for a playoff spot. We take a look at Sporting KC's final interconference matchup in our By The Numbers preview...


Head-to-head


  • The clubs last met in May 2015 when Sporting KC cruised to a 4-2 win at Children's Mercy Park. Benny Feilhaber led the way with a goal and two assists, while Dom Dwyer added a goal of his own. Juan Agudelo and Scott Caldwell struck for the visitors.
  • New England has won each of the last three meetings played at Gillette Stadium, prevailing 2-1 in the 2013 playoffs before claiming a pair of two-goal wins in the 2014 regular season.
  • Sporting KC's all-time record (24-16-11) and road record (11-9-6) vs. New England are both their best against any MLS charter member in the regular season.
  • Sporting KC forward Dom Dwyer has scored in each of his last two MLS appearances vs. New England.
  • New England midfielder Lee Nguyen has three goals and two assists in 11 MLS appearances vs. Sporting KC (including playoffs). All three goals came in 2014.
  • New England winger Teal Bunbury has scored in each of New England's last two home fixtures in the series, a 2-0 win in April 2014 and a 3-1 win in September 2014.
  • In three regular season appearances against Sporting KC, New England goalkeeper Brad Knighton is 0-2-1 with a 3.00 goals against average.


New England Revolution


  • 2016 MLS record: 9-13-9, 36 points (7th in East)
  • 2016 MLS home record7-4-4 (20 GF, 18 GA)
  • Last five games3-2-0, 9 points (L-W-W-W-L)
  • Last MLS match: Lost 2-0 at Columbus Crew SC on Sept. 25
  • New England has won three of its last four MLS matches (3-1-0) after winning none of its previous six (0-5-1).
  • New England is second in MLS with 10.7 chances created per game and has hit the woodwork 18 times, most in the league.
  • New England ranks 18th in both scoring offense (1.19 goals per game) and scoring defense (1.65 goals allowed per game).
  • New England has conceded a league-high nine penalty kicks in 2016.
  • Midfielder Lee Nguyen is third in MLS with 70 chances created. He leads the team in goals (six) and assists (eight).
  • Midfielder Kelyn Rowe has an assist in each of his last three MLS matches. He also scored twice in his last league appearance on Sept. 17, a 3-1 victory at Montreal.
  • Forward Kei Kamara has just one goal in eight MLS home appearances for New England this season.


Sporting Kansas City


  • 2016 MLS record: 12-12-7, 43 points (5th in West)
  • 2016 MLS road record: 3-8-4 (11 GF, 19 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-1-2, 8 points (W-L-T-T-W)
  • Last MLS match: Won 2-1 at San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 24
  • SKC snapped a 12-game road winless skid in MLS with a 2-1 victory at San Jose last Saturday.
  • SKC has conceded 19 road goals this season, the fewest in MLS.
  • SKC leads MLS with 71 chances created from set pieces and ranks second with 10 assists from set pieces.
  • SKC is tied for last in MLS with 11 away goals, having been shut out in seven of their last 10 road games.
  • SKC leads MLS with 5.9 corners per game while also allowing a league-low 3.1 corners per game.
  • Forward Dom Dwyer is tied for fourth in MLS with 15 goals and ranks third with 108 shot attempts. He has scored in three straight league games.
  • Midfielder Benny Feilhaber has seven assists in his last eight appearances. He is tied for fourth in MLS with 11 assists on the season.
  • Defender Saad Abdul-Salaam is tied for the lead among MLS defenders with six assists.


Milestones and Miscellany


  • Midfielder Paulo Nagamura is one shy of his 250th career appearance in the MLS regular season.
  • Forward Dom Dwyer is one shy of his 100th career MLS start (including playoffs).
  • Defenders Ike Opara and Saad Abdul-Salaam are one shy of their 50th regular season appearances for Sporting KC.


Team stats (2016 regular season)


MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
<strong>Sporting KC</strong>
<strong>New England</strong>
Goals scored
1.26 (15th)
1.19 (18th)
Goals conceded
1.23 (4th)
1.65 (18th)
Shots
14.5 (1st)
13.7 (6th)
Shots on goal
4.4 (14th)
4.7 (9th)
Passing accuracy
78.3 (6th)
76.8 (13th)
Possession
55.7 (1st)
48.4 (14th)
Duels won
47.7 (8th)
46.4 (14th)
Tackles won
13.7 (5th)
11.7 (17th)
Interceptions
19.1 (6th)
17.9 (9th)
Fouls committed
12.6 (10th)
12.9 (7th)
Shots faced
9.2 (1st)
13.5 (15th)

Recent #NEvSKC regular season meetings


  • Regular season record vs. New England: 24-16-11 (81 GF, 64 GA)
  • Regular season road record at New England: 11-9-6 (40 GF, 36 GA)

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<strong>Date</strong>
<strong>Result</strong>
<strong>H/A</strong>
<strong>Details</strong>
04/26/2014
L 0-2
A
Lee Nguyen and Teal Bunbury score in second-half stoppage time
09/03/2014
L 1-3
A
Bunbury nets equalizer before Nguyen bags brace
09/26/2014
L 2-3
H
Paulo Nagamura and Dom Dwyer score in losing effort at home
05/20/2015
W 4-2
A
Dom Dwyer scores; Benny Feilhaber tallies goal and two assists

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