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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The quarterfinal stage of the historic MLS is Back Tournament begins Thursday night in Walt Disney World as Sporting Kansas City and the Philadelphia Union go head-to-head at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT with live coverage on ESPN, ESPN Deportes, the ESPN app, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

Sporting and Philadelphia both boast a strong run of form in Florida, having navigated a three-game group stage before narrowly advancing from the Round of 16. Sporting edged Vancouver Whitecaps FC on penalties in their knockout stage opener on Sunday, some 24 hours after the Union nicked a 1-0 win over the New England Revolution.

With the stakes even higher and a semifinal spot on the line, we take a statistical look at Thursday's showdown in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.


  • Sporting holds a slight edge in the all-time series with a 7-6-6 record in all competitions.
  • Sporting has prevailed in both tournament-style matches between the clubs, taking a 2-0 victory in the 2012 U.S. Open Cup semifinals and winning the 2015 U.S. Open Cup Final in a penalty shootout following a 1-1 draw.
  • Sporting and Philadelphia haven't met since March 10, 2019. Since then, both teams have faced every other club in MLS except 2020 expansion sides Inter Miami CF and Nashville SC.
  • The most recent meeting in March 2019 saw Sporting prevail 2-0 with an Ilie Sanchez penalty and a late own goal.
  • Sporting defender Graham Zusi has five career goals against Philadelphia in all competitions.

Philadelphia Union

  • 2020 MLS regular season record: 2-1-2, 8 points (4th in Eastern Conference)
  • MLS is Back Tournament group stage: 2-0-1 (2nd in Group A)
  • MLS is Back Tournament form guide: W-W-T-W
  • Round of 16: Won 1-0 vs. New England Revolution on July 25
  • Philadelphia set regular season club records in 2019 in wins (16), points (55) and goals (58) before claiming their first-ever playoff win last October.
  • After falling 2-0 at FC Dallas in the club's 2020 opener on Feb. 29, Philadelphia hasn't trailed in five straight matches.
  • Three of Philadelphia's five goals in the MLS is Back Tournament have come in the 63rd minute.
  • Philadelphia ranks second in MLS with 12.8 tackles won per game.
  • Philadelphia's seven regular season goals have been scored by seven different players.
  • Goalkeeper Andre Blake leads MLS with 27 saves in regular season play.
  • Defenders Ray Gaddis and Mark McKenzie are the only two Philadelphia field players to play every minute of the season thus far. McKenzie is tied for fourth in MLS with 11 tackles won in regular season play.
  • Forward Sergio Santos leads Philadelphia with two goals in all competitions, including the winner in the club's 1-0 Round of 16 win over New England.
  • Defender Warren Creavalle is tied for second in MLS with 14 interceptions in regular season play.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2020 MLS regular season record:4-1-0, 12 points (1st in Western Conference)
  • MLS is Back Tournament group stage: 2-1-0 (1st in Group D)
  • MLS is Back Tournament form guide: L-W-W-T
  • Round of 16: Tied 0-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on July 26 (won 3-1 in penalties)
  • Sporting ranks second in MLS with 13 goals scored during the regular season.
  • Sporting's 13 goals scored are the most through the first five games of a regular season in club history.
  • Sporting's plus-8 regular season goal differential (13-5) is tied for the best mark in MLS.
  • Sporting leads MLS with a shot conversion rate of 18.6% in regular season play.
  • Sporting has outshot all six opponents this season, recording 106 shot attempts and facing 48 in all competitions.
  • Sporting has faced 8.0 shots per game this season, the second-fewest in MLS.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is the only MLS player to score a goal or record an assist in each of the first five regular season games this season.
  • Pulido's seven combined goals (three) and assists (four) are the second-most in regular season play.
  • Pulido and Khiry Shelton are the only MLS players with at least three goals, five chances created and 30 duels won during the regular season
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia leads the league with a 406-minute active shutout streak dating back to Feb. 29, the longest of his MLS career.
  • Melia boasts a 5-0 record in penalty shootouts throughout his 13-year professional career, including a 3-0 mark with Sporting. He has saved 10 penalties in MLS matches since 2016, five more than any other goalkeeper.
  • In the Round of 16 against Vancouver, forward Johnny Russell became the third player during the MLS Opta era (since 2010) to record five shots and 10 chances created in a single game.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • In the Round of 16 against Vancouver, forward Daniel Salloi became the first Homegrown Player to reach 100 appearances for Sporting in all competitions.

Recent #PHIvSKC meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Philadelphia: 6-6-5 (20 GF, 22 GA)
  • Tournament record vs. Philadelphia: 1-0-1 (3 GF, 1 GA)
W 3-2
Sporting scores in 91st and 94th minutes to complete comeback
T 1-1
Open Cup Final
Sporting wins U.S. Open Cup Final in PK shootout after Krisztian Nemeth scores in regulation
L 0-2
Roland Alberg and Tranquillo Barnetta score late goals
T 1-1
Alberg and Diego Rubio trade second-half goals
L 0-2
Jay Simpson scores twice in the final 20 minutes
W 2-0
Ilie penalty and late own goal seal Sporting win

Team Stats (2020 MLS regular season)

<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
Goals scored
2.6 (2nd)
1.4 (t-11th)
Goals conceded
1.0 (t-5th)
1.4 (t-11th)
14.0 (t-5th)
10.4 (17th)
Shots on goal
5.4 (t-4th)
3.8 (t-16th)
Shooting accuracy
57.5% (2nd)
51.4% (9th)
Shot conversion rate
18.6% (1st)
13.5% (9th)
Passing accuracy
83.0% (7th)
76.3 (24th)
54.1% (6th)
43.8% (23rd)
Chances created
9.2 (10th)
7.2 (20th)
Duels won
54.4 (10th)
53.8 (11th)
Tackles won
10.2 (t-10th)
12.8 (2nd)
10.2 (18th)
9.4 (t-22nd)
13.2 (t-23rd)
22.4 (t-4th)
Fouls committed
13.0 (12th)
13.8 (t-7th)
Fouls suffered
11.0 (17th)
9.4 (t-24th)
Shots faced
8.0 (2nd)
13.4 (18th)