"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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10%  The percentage of children ages 1-3 that were not using safety belts at the time of a crash in Kansas in 2018.




With a ticket punched to the 2020 Audi MLS Cup Playoffs, second-place Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 points) will continue their pursuit of the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference when they host regional rivals Minnesota United FC (8-5-6, 30 points) in Sunday’s regular season home finale at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. CT with tickets available at SeatGeek.com and live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.


Under the guidance of Manager Peter Vermes, second-place Sporting went 5-1-1 during the month of October and can clinch a home playoff game and top-four finish with a win or a draw on Sunday. The Loons are in a similarly strong run of form, unbeaten in six games dating back to Sept. 27 and occupying fourth place at 1.58 points per game.


As Sporting and Minnesota prepare to lock horns for the fourth time this year, we take a statistical look at the high-stakes matchup in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.


Head-to-Head


  • In all competitions, Sporting are a perfect 6-0-0 against Minnesota at Children's Mercy Park. 
  • In six previous home matches against Minnesota, Sporting has outscored the Loons 15-1 and posted five shutouts.
  • Sporting are 7-4-2 against Minnesota in all competitions since the Loons joined MLS in 2017.
  • The sides first met this season 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. On Aug. 21, midfielder Gadi Kinda scored early and the teams traded own goals as Sporting prevailed 2-1 for their first MLS win on Minnesota soil.
  • The most recent meeting on Sept. 13 saw Johnny Russell bag the game-winner in the 80th minute off a Graham Zusi assist.
  • Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 6-2-1 regular season record against Minnesota, posting four shutouts and a 0.67 goals against average.


Minnesota United FC


  • MLS record:8-5-6 (30 points)
  • MLS Standings: 4th in West (1.58 points per game)
  • MLS away record: 3-4-2 (13 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 3-0-2, 11 points (W-T-T-W-W)
  • Last Match: W 2-1 vs. Colorado Rapids on Oct. 28
  • Minnesota are 3-0-3 in their last six games and have not lost since Sept. 23. Their six-game unbeaten run is tied with Philadelphia for the longest active streak in MLS.
  • Minnesota have conceded just three goals during their six-game unbeaten run.
  • Minnesota are 7-0-2 when scoring first this season but 1-5-1 when conceding first.
  • Minnesota rank second in MLS in both duels won per game (55.3) and interceptions per game (14.4).
  • Playmaker Kevin Molino leads Minnesota with seven goals, while midfielder Robin Lod is close behind with six.
  • Midfielder Emanuel Reynoso ranks second on Minnesota with four assists and leads the team with 28 chances created in 11 appearances. He has yet to open his MLS scoring account.
  • Former Sporting striker Kei Kamara has one goal and one assist in six appearances since joining Minnesota last month from the Colorado Rapids.
  • Defender Michael Boxall has played every minute of the regular season, starting 19 matches and ranking eighth in MLS in both clearances (83) and interceptions (38).
  • Goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair has posted five shutouts in 11 appearances with a 5-2-4 regular season record and a 0.91 goals against average.



Sporting Kansas City


  • MLS record:11-6-3 (36 points)
  • MLS Standings: 2nd in West (1.80 points per game)
  • MLS home record: 5-3-1 (18 GF, 12 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-L-T-W-W)
  • Last Match: Won 1-0 at FC Cincinnati on Oct. 28
  • Sporting can clinch a home playoff match and a top-four finish in the West with a win or a draw on Sunday.
  • After collecting 10 wins during a 34-game regular season in 2019, Sporting has eclipsed that total with 11 wins in 20 matches this year.
  • During the month of October, Sporting was tied for the MLS lead with five wins and 16 points (5-1-1 record). It marked the second time Sporting has earned five regular season wins in a single month since the dawn of Major League Soccer's non-shootout era.
  • Sporting have scored in 19 of their 20 regular season matches this season, including all nine home games.
  • Sporting have outscored opponents 17-8 after the 60th minute this season.
  • Fifteen of Sporting's 20 regular season matches this season have been decided by one goal or less (7-5-3 record).
  • Sporting rank third in MLS in shots per game (15.1) and second in fewest shots faced per game (9.5).
  • Sporting are the only MLS team to have five players with at least four regular season goals (Johnny Russell 6, Alan Pulido 6, Gadi Kinda 6, Khiry Shelton 4 and Erik Hurtado 4).
  • Among MLS players with at least 10 appearances, forward Alan Pulido ranks second in MLS with 0.92 combined goals and assists per game (six goals and five assists in 12 appearances).
  • Pulido (six goals, five assists) and midfielder Gadi Kinda (six goals, four assists) are two of six MLS newcomers with 10 or more combined goals and assists.
  • Forward Erik Hurtado has played the fewest minutes of any player with at least four goals this season (331).
  • Forward Johnny Russell has five goals and three assists in nine home appearances this season at Children's Mercy Park.
  • Defender Roberto Puncec has played the full 90 minutes in all six of Sporting's shutouts this season.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a 0.538 goals conceded percentage on penalties, the lowest in MLS history among keepers who have faced at least 10 penalty kicks. Only 14 of the 26 penalties he has faced in the regular season have been successful.


Milestones and Miscellany


  • Manager Peter Vermes has become the first head coach in MLS history to lead a single club to nine playoff appearances.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza is 76 minutes shy of 20,000 minutes in his MLS regular season career.


All-time #SKCvMIN meetings (all competitions)


  • Regular season record vs. Minnesota: 6-3-2
  • All competitions record vs. Minnesota: 7-4-2
<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)
08/21/2020
W 2-1
Away
Regular Season
09/13/2020
W 1-0
Home
Regular Season

Team Stats (2020 regular season)


(Per Opta; MLS rank in parenthesis)

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<strong>Category (per game)</strong>
<strong>Sporting</strong>
<strong>Minnesota</strong>
Goals scored
1.80 (5th)
1.63 (8th)
Goals conceded
1.25 (11th)
1.26 (12th)
Shots
15.1 (3rd)
13.4 (9th)
Shots on goal
4.9 (9th)
4.4 (14th)
Shooting accuracy
46.6% (14th)
42.0% (25th)
Shot conversion rate
12.1% (12th)
12.2% (11th)
Shots faced
9.5 (25th)
13.9 (19th)
Passing accuracy
81.7% (12th)
80.0% (20th)
Possession
49.7% (14th)
46.8% (20th)
Chances created
10.2 (8th)
9.7 (11th)
Duels won
51.3 (11th)
55.3 (2nd)
Tackles won
10.1 (9th)
10.5 (7th)
Interceptions
11.6 (18th)
14.4 (2nd)
Clearances
14.5 (21st)
18.1 (10th)
Fouls committed
12.6 (13th)
13.2 (9th)
Fouls suffered
10.9 (20th)
12.6 (9th)

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