"By The Numbers" is a season-long series sponsored by The Kansas Department of Transportation, giving a statistical preview of every Sporting KC match.
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Sporting Kansas City's climb up the Concacaf Champions League mountain continues Thursday when the club visits Mexican powerhouse CF Monterrey in the first leg of the semifinals. Kickoff is slated for 9 p.m. CT with live coverage on YahooSports.com, the Yahoo Sports app, Univision Deportes, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.
Following defeats over Toluca and Independiente in the earlier Champions League rounds and a record-breaking 7-1 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday, confidence is on Sporting's side as Manager Peter Vermes' men embark on their sternest test to date. Vermes himself declared that Monterrey are probably the best club he has ever coached against, but that won't stop Sporting from taking their biggest and best swing at a final four upset.
With anticipation becoming increasingly palpable, let's take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest Champions League edition of By The Numbers.
- MLS record: 2-1-1 (7 points, 6th in West)
- MLS away record: 0-1-1 (2 GF, 3 GA)
- Champions League record: 3-1-0 (9 GF, 2 GA)
- Champions League away record: 1-1-0 (3 GF, 2 GA)
- 2019 leading scorer: Krisztian Nemeth (8 goals in all competitions)
- Last match: Won 7-1 vs. Montreal Impact on Saturday (MLS regular season)
Champions League Fast Facts
- Qualified as: 2017 U.S. Open Cup champion
- Best Finish: Semifinals (2019)
- All-time record: 9-5-4
- All-time away record: 3-4-2
- Round of 16: Defeated Toluca (MEX) 5-0 on aggregate
- Quarterfinals: Defeated Independiente (PAN) 4-2 on aggregate
- Sporting's 5-0 aggregate win over Toluca in the Round of 16 was the largest by an MLS team over a Liga MX club in a two-legged Concacaf series.
- Sporting are 1-4-0 all-time on Mexican soil, scoring seven goals and conceding 17. Their overall record against Mexican clubs is 4-6-2.
- Sporting has managed to score at least once in all five competitive matches played in Mexico.
- Sporting ranks second among Champions League teams in both goals scored (nine) and shot attempts (64) in the tournament. Seven of Sporting's nine goals have come in the second half.
- In Saturday's 7-1 drubbing of the Montreal Impact, Sporting set a club record for most goals in a game and equaled a club record for largest margin of victory.
- Sporting has scored in all eight competitive matches this season, racking up 2.5 goals per game (20 total).
- MLS clubs are 6-24 against Liga MX sides in two-legged Champions League series since 2008.
- Forward Krisztian Nemeth is tied for the Champions League Golden Boot lead with four goals. He has a team-best eight goals in seven competitive matches this season.
- Forward Gerso Fernandes has two goals and four assists this season in all competitions, including two goals and two assists in the Champions League.
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a 3-0-0 record and three clean sheets in three Champions League appearances this season.
- Defender Matt Besler is the only field player to play every minute in each of Sporting's eight competitive matches this season.
- Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is tied for second in the Champions League with 166 successful passes.
- Liga MX record: 6-1-5 (23 points, 3rd place)
- Liga MX home record: 3-0-4 (17 GF, 7 GA)
- Champions League record: 2-1-1 (4 GF, 1 GA)
- Champions League home record: 2-0-0 (4 GF, 0 GA)
- 2019 leading scorer: Rogelio Funes Mori (8 goals in all competitions)
- Last match: Tied 2-2 vs. Cruz Azul on Saturday (Liga MX)
Champions League Fast Facts:
- Qualified as: 2017 Apertura runners-up
- Best Finish: Champions (2011, 2012, 2013)
- All-time record: 29-6-7
- All-time away record: 17-2-2
- Round of 16: Defeated Alianza (SLV) 1-0 on aggregate
- Quarterfinals: Defeated Atlanta United FC (USA) 3-1 on aggregate
- Since the competition's modern era began in 2008, no side has claimed more Concacaf Champions League titles than Monterrey's three. Rayados won three straight titles from 2011-2013.
- In five Champions League appearances since 2010, Monterrey owns a remarkable 29-6-7 record overall and a 17-2-2 mark at home.
- Since defeating Atlanta 3-0 on March 6, Monterrey have gone winless in four straight matches across all competitions.
- Prior to their current four-game winless streak, Monterrey recorded five consecutive shutouts in all competitions from Feb. 20 to March 6, a stretch that spanned 640 minutes.
- Rayados are 7-2-1 versus MLS opponents in the Champions League, including a 3-1-1 mark at home and a 4-1-0 record on American soil.
- Rayados are 41-5-20 all-time in Liga MX regular season matches played at Estadio BBVA Bancomer.
- Rayados are 3-1-0 in four Champions League fixtures played at Estadio BBVA Bancomer, including shutout wins over Alianza of El Salvador and Atlanta United FC this winter.
- In four Champions League matches, just two of Monterrey’s 55 shots from run of play have resulted in goals.
- Forward Rogelio Funes Mori ranks third in Liga MX with eight goals this season but has yet to open his Champions League scoring account.
- Midfielder Carlos Rodriguez leads Monterrey with five assists this season in all competitions.
- Two of Monterrey’s four goals in the Champions League have been penalties, both from 33-year-old Argentine center back Nicolas Sanchez.
- The following five players have played in every minute of the Champions League this season: goalkeeper Marcelo Barovero and defenders Sanchez, Jesus Gallardo, Miguel Layun and Cesar Montes.