By the Numbers presented by KDOT

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvHOU | Aug. 25, 2020

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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39.1%  The percentage of motorcycle occupants who were wearing helmets at time of crash in 2018 in Kansas.

On the heels of a well-earned 2-1 road win over Minnesota United FC on Friday, Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (5-1-0, 15 points) will make their highly anticipated return to Children's Mercy Park on Tuesday for a showdown with winless rivals Houston Dynamo (0-2-4, 4 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT. Three hours of live coverage will begin at 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO, while Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM will carry local radio broadcasts.

Led by 12th-year manager Peter Vermes, Sporting are off to their third-best six-game start and club history and boast one of the league's highest-scoring attacks. The Dynamo, meanwhile, are still in search of their first victory this season and will look to avoid a repeat result from when the sides met previously met at Children's Mercy Park in March.

Tuesday's contest will be held at a reduced capacity of approximately 14% with extensive safety protocols in place. Tickets for the game are available exclusively to Sporting Kansas City Season Ticket Members via lottery and no single-game tickets will be sold by the club on or at the stadium box office.

Without further ado, we take a statistical look at the long-awaited showdown in our newest edition of By The Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.


  • Sporting are 4-0-2 in their last six regular season meetings against Houston dating back to October 2017, posting four shutouts during that stretch.
  • Sporting has won three straight home meetings against Houston and owns a 5-4-7 regular season home record against the Dynamo.
  • The clubs last met on March 7 when Sporting cruised to a 4-0 win behind goals from Alan Pulido, Roger Espinoza, Gadi Kinda and Khiry Shelton.
  • Thirteen of the 32 regular season matches between the clubs have resulted in draws. Houston holds a 10-9-13 advantage.
  • Sporting and Houston have drawn six of the last 10 regular season meetings at Children's Mercy Park dating back to 2012. Sporting are 3-1-6 during that stretch.
  • Houston forward Mauro Manotas has scored seven goals in nine competitive appearances against Sporting.
  • Sporting has faced Houston 33 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent, and posted an 13-10-10 record during that stretch.

Houston Dynamo

  • MLS record:0-2-4, 4 points (4th in Western Conference)
  • MLS away record: 0-1-0 (0 GF, 4 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 0-2-3 (L-T-L-T-T)
  • Last Match: Tied 0-0 vs. FC Dallas on Friday, Aug. 21
  • Houston is the only team without a win in MLS. Their six-game winless drought to start the season is tied for the longest such streak in club history (2008).
  • Houston has a 4-26-5 regular season road record since the start of 2018, recording just two shutouts in that 35-game stretch.
  • Houston has been outscored 6-1 in the final 30 minutes of matches this season.
  • Houston ranks fifth in MLS with 10.5 chances created per game.
  • Houston ranks second-to-last in MLS with a shooting accuracy of 37.3%.
  • Forwards Alberth Elis and Darwin Quintero are two of five MLS players, alongside Sporting's Johnny Russell, with at least 20 goals and 20 assists in the regular season since 2018.
  • Midfielder Memo Rodriguez ranks third in MLS with 23 shots. He is tied for the team lead with two goals and has started all six matches this season.
  • Defender Adam Lundkvist leads MLS with 17 tackles won and ranks third with 15 fouls committed.

Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record:5-1-0, 15 points (1st in Western Conference)
  • MLS home record: 1-0-0 (4 GF, 0 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 4-1-0 (W-L-W-W-W)
  • Last Match: Won 2-1 at Minnesota United FC on Friday, Aug. 21
  • Sporting’s 15 points are the third-most through the first six matches of a season in club history (18 points in 2012, 16 points in 2000).
  • Sporting’s 15 goals are tied for the most in MLS and the club's plus-9 goal differential is the second-best in the league.
  • Eight different Sporting players have scored a goal this season, the most in MLS.
  • Sporting has led at the 91-minute mark of all six regular season matches this season.
  • Sporting ranks second in MLS in shooting accuracy (58.5%) and a shot conversion rate (18.5%).
  • Sporting has faced just 8.7 shots per game, the second-fewest in MLS.
  • Forward Alan Pulido is third in MLS with seven combined goals (three) and assists (four). His four assists are tied for second in MLS.
  • Pulido and midfielder Gadi Kinda are two of five MLS players with at least three goals and two assists this season.
  • In Friday's win over Minnesota, 18-year-old midfielder Gianluca Busio completed 43 of 47 passes, recorded a game-high five interceptions and became the youngest MLS player to go the full 90 minutes this season.
  • In his MLS debut on Friday, center back Winston Reid recorded a game-high seven clearances, the most by a Sporting player this season.
  • Defender Graham Zusi is the only Sporting player to feature in all 540 minutes of the regular season.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a 4-0-0 record as a starter this season. His 0.41 goals against average and .909 save percentage are both the lowest in MLS among keepers with at least five appearances.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Tuesday marks Sporting's first true home match since March 7 versus Houston, a period of 171 days.
  • Forward Gerso Fernandes is one shy of his 100th MLS appearance for Sporting (including playoffs).
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is one shy of his 100th career regular season start for Sporting.

Recent #SKCvHOU meetings (all competitions)

  • Regular season record vs. Houston: 9-10-13
  • All-competitions record vs. Houston: 14-16-14
W 3-2
Mauro Manotas bags first-half brace, but hosts rally behind goals from Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton
L 2-4
Open Cup
Johnny Russell and Yohan Croizet score early and late, but Houston advances behind braces from Mauro Manotas and Romell Quioto
W 1-0
Gianluca Busio assists Diego Rubio's second-half winner
T 1-1
Yohan Croizet and Alberth Elis trade second-half goals in cagey stalemate
W 1-0
Johnny Russell nets early header on assist from Graham Smith
W 4-0
Alan Pulido, Roger Espinoza, Gadi Kinda and Khiry Shelton score in dominant Children's Mercy Park home opener

Team Stats (2020 regular season)

(Per Opta; MLS rank in parenthesis)

<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
Goals scored
2.50 (t-1st)
1.00 (t-15th)
Goals conceded
1.00 (t-7th)
1.83 (t-21st)
13.5 (t-9th)
14.3 (5th)
Shots on goal
5.2 (t-4th)
3.7 (21st)
Shooting accuracy
58.5% (2nd)
37.3% (25th)
Shot conversion rate
18.6% (1st)
10.2% (21st)
Passing accuracy
82.4% (9th)
79.5 (21st)
52.1% (9th)
45.5% (22nd)
Chances created
9.0 (12th)
10.5 (5th)
Duels won
53.5 (11th)
50.5 (16th)
Tackles won
10.2 (t-12th)
11.7 (3rd)
10.2 (19th)
11.3 (14th)
14.8 (23rd)
20.7 (5th)
Fouls committed
13.5 (8th)
14.2 (7th)
Fouls suffered
11.7 (12th)
11.3 (16th)
Shots faced
8.7 (2nd)
14.2 (22nd)