Audi Playoff Preview 6

After finishing near the top of the Western Conference regular season table, Sporting Kansas City will look to punctuate a thrilling 2021 campaign by winning silverware on Major League Soccer's greatest stage. The Audi 2021 MLS Cup Playoffs will see Sporting take the field with aspirations of hoisting the club's third MLS Cup title.

The first step for third-seeded Sporting is a Round One showdown with the No. 6 seed Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday afternoon at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. CT with live coverage on Bally Sports Kansas City, Bally Sports Midwest Plus, UniMas and TUDN. Tickets for the highly anticipated encounter are available at SeatGeek.com.

In the buildup to Saturday, SportingKC.com will deliver a comprehensive playoff preview presented by Audi, examining the prevalent storylines surrounding Manager Peter Vermes' side and generating excitement for what lies ahead. In the space below, we revisit Sporting's bright history in penalty shootouts.

The return of the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs means the distinct possibility of penalty kicks, widely considered one of the most exciting and excruciating events in the sport of soccer.

For the duration of the MLS postseason, spot kicks will determine the winner if teams are tied after 90 minutes of regulation and 30 minutes of extra time.

For Manager Peter Vermes' side, that may not be a bad thing. Veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia is a perfect 6-0 in penalty shootouts throughout his professional career, including a 4-0 mark at Sporting Kansas City.

As detailed in the table below, Sporting boasts a relatively strong history in penalty shootouts with a 9-4 record. That tally excludes all MLS regular season matches played from 1996-1999, which were decided via penalties if tied after 90 minutes.

Traditional penalty shootouts in single-elimination matches—excluding the old-school MLS shootouts in the league's multi-game playoff series in the 1990s—have seen Sporting post an 8-3 record since 2000. Kansas City has also won seven of its last eight shootouts since 2009, including unforgettable triumphs in the 2013 MLS Cup and the 2012 and 2015 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup finals.

SPORTING KC IN PENALTY SHOOTOUTS
(EXCLUDING 1996-1999 MLS REGULAR SEASON)

  • Overall record: 9 wins, 4 losses
  • Record in single-elimination matches: 8 wins, 3 losses
  • Record since 2009: 7 wins, 1 loss
Sporting KC in Penalty Shootout Summary
Date
Opponent
Result
Penalties
Competition
SKC GK
10/02/96
at Dallas
T 2-2
W 3-2
MLS Playoffs
Garth Lagerwey
10/13/96
LA GALAXY
T 1-1
L 1-3
MLS Playoffs
Garth Lagerwey
06/14/00
at Chicago Sockers
T 0-0
L 6-7
Open Cup
Bo Oshoniyi
06/04/08
COLORADO
T 2-2
W 5-3
Open Cup
Erik Kronberg
07/08/08
at Seattle
T 0-0
L 5-6
Open Cup
Erik Kronberg
06/30/09
at Minnesota
T 3-3
W 4-2
Open Cup
Boris Pardo
08/08/12
SEATTLE
T 1-1
W 3-2
Open Cup Final
Jimmy Nielsen
12/07/13
REAL SALT LAKE
T 1-1
W 7-6
MLS Cup
Jimmy Nielsen
09/30/15
at Philadelphia
T 1-1
W 7-6
Open Cup Final
Tim Melia
10/29/15
at Portland
T 2-2
L 6-7
MLS Playoffs
Jon Kempin
08/09/17
SAN JOSE
T 1-1
W 5-4
Open Cup
Tim Melia
07/26/20
vs. Vancouver
T 0-0
W 3-1
MLS is Back
Tim Melia
11/22/20
SAN JOSE
T 3-3
W 3-0
MLS Playoffs
Tim Melia

Now it's time to grab some popcorn, sit back and enjoy each of Sporting's last six shootout victories in the space below.