A postseason berth is within Sporting Kansas City's grasp as the reigning MLS Cup champions host the Chicago Fire Friday at Sporting Park. The 7:30 p.m. rivalry match will be televised locally on KMCI 38 The Spot and across the Midwest on SKCTV with Spanish radio coverage on La Gran D 1340 AM.
Chicago set an MLS record last Sunday with their 18th draw of the season, a 0-0 stalemate against Montreal that eliminated them from playoff contention. Amazingly, the team has the fewest wins (five) and second fewest losses (eight) in MLS this year. Frank Yallop's side has lost just once in five trips to Sporting Park since 2011 and holds a 25-12-11 advantage in the all-time series.
Conversely, Peter Vermes' men are on the brink of their fourth straight appearance in the MLS Cup Playoffs. Sporting KC has lost three straight League matches at home, but is fresh off a shutout performance against D.C. United last Friday. A win, combined with a few other favorable results this weekend, would ensure the team a postseason spot with two games to spare. Our By The Numbers preview takes a closer look at the matchup.
- Since 2011, Sporting KC is undefeated in 11 straight regular season games played during the month of October (6-0-5 with seven clean sheets).
- Forward Dom Dwyer has scored a goal in both games against Chicago this season—a header in a 2-1 loss at Toyota Park on May 18 and a left-footed goal in a 1-1 draw at Sporting Park on July 6.
- Midfielder Graham Zusi has three goals in eight career starts against Chicago.
- Sporting KC ranks first in fewest shots faced at home (132 total, 8.8 per game)
- Sporting KC ranks first in average possession in home games (59.9%), while Chicago ranks second to last in road games (43.8%).
- Last six MLS matches: 1-4-1 (4 points)
- MLS Rookie of the Year candidate Harry Shipp is third on the team in goals (six) and first in assists (six).
- Forward Quincy Amarikwa leads the team with eight goals and has suffered 91 fouls, most in MLS.
- Chicago has set the MLS regular season record with 18 draws in 2014.
- Chicago has the fewest wins (five) and the second-fewest losses (eight) in MLS.
- Among Chicago's 18 draws, the team has scored eight game-tying goals and conceded seven game-tying goals (three scoreless ties).
- Chicago is tied for second in MLS with nine headed goals.
- Chicago has two wins in 15 road games this season (2-6-7 overall).
- No team has a better regular season winning percentage against Sporting KC (.635, 25-12-11 overall) than Chicago.
- Last six MLS matches: 0-2-4 (4 points)
Head-to-head (MLS regular season)
Overall: 12-25-11 (56 GF, 85 GA)
- Home games: 8-8-9 (34 GF, 38 GA)
- Away games: 4-17-2 (22 GF, 47 GA)
Team leaders (MLS regular season)
|Sporting KC||Statistic||Chicago Fire|
|Dom Dwyer 20||GOALS||Quincy Amarikwa 8|
|Graham Zusi 7||ASSISTS||Harry Shipp 6|
Dom Dwyer 101
Dom Dwyer 44
Quincy Amarikwa 64
Quincy Amarikwa 24
Dom Dwyer 59
Benny Feilhaber 72
Quincy Amarikwa 49
Quincy Amarikwa 91
Eric Kronberg 40
Andy Gruenebaum 28
|SAVES||Sean Johnson 84|
Eric Kronberg 1.00
Andy Gruenebaum 1.26
|GAA||Sean Johnson 1.48|
Team stats (MLS regular season)
|Sporting KC||Chicago Fire|
|Goals Scored (Conceded)||45 (37)||46 (34)|
|Shots (on goal)||428 (150)||313 (118)|
|Chances Created per game||9.6||8.8|
|Crosses/Corners per game||19.1||20.4|
|Fouls Committed per game||15.0||13.4|
|Fouls Suffered per game||14.8||13.4|
|Passes per game||432||356|
Recent regular season meetings