Beyond The Box Score: Gerso stays hot at home, where Sporting KC extends unbeaten streak

There's no disguising that Saturday's 1-1 draw between Sporting Kansas City and the Montreal Impact left the hosts with a bitter taste in their mouth.

Manager Peter Vermes' men were well on their way to a club record-tying seventh straight home win, enjoying the lion's share of possession and dangerous scoring chances, before Montreal substitute Matteo Mancosu picked off a pass in the attacking third and found the back of the net in the 82nd minutes to help his side steal a point at sold-out Children's Mercy Park.

Nevertheless, Saturday's result extended Sporting Kansas City's home unbeaten run to 17 regular season matches and kept the club perched atop the Western Conference standings at the near-halfway point of the 2017 campaign. The 17-game streak has almost entered Major League Soccer's top 10 list, with an opportunity in the coming weeks for the record to ascend even further up the all-time charts.

LONGEST HOME UNBEATEN STREAKS
(MLS REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

Club # Start Stop
Houston Dynamo 30 07/09/11 04/28/13
Real Salt Lake 29 06/06/09 05/14/11
LA Galaxy 23 04/12/14 05/27/15
Columbus Crew SC
Portland Timbers
22
22
06/28/08
04/06/13
09/26/09
05/17/14
FC Dallas
Colorado Rapids
New York Red Bulls
19
19
19
08/29/15
03/12/16
04/24/16
09/03/16
03/18/17
04/29/17
LA Galaxy
San Jose Earthquakes
18
18
10/24/10
09/25/04
10/16/11
10/08/05
Sporting Kansas City
Seven other teams
17 06/19/16 ?

One key contributor to Sporting Kansas City's 6-0-2 home record in 2017 is first-year Designated Player Gerso, who bagged his team-leading sixth MLS goal in the 24th minute. The 26-year-old has notched all six of his goals in the friendly confines of Children's Mercy Park, and has proven to be one of the most effective players on home soil since early April.

MOST HOME GOALS IN MLS SINCE APRIL 8

Goals Player Club
9 Chicago Fire Nemanja Nikolic
6 Gerso
Sebastian Giovinco
Sporting Kansas City
Toronto FC
5 Miguel Almiron
C.J. Sapong
Chris Wondolowski
Atlanta United FC
Philadelphia Union
San Jose Earthquakes

Gerso's classy finish highlighted a match in which Sporting Kansas City again had its opponent firmly on the back foot. Vermes' side had 66 percent possession and completed more than twice as many passes as Montreal, limiting the Impact to rare forays into the attacking half that often ended as soon as they began.

A byproduct of the match's complexion was an extremely low foul count for Sporting Kansas City. With Montreal unable to settle on the ball and exploit dangerous spaces, the hosts were rarely put in position to concede fouls. In fact, their three infractions on Saturday were tied for thew fewest in club history, and only one more than the all-time low in the MLS regular season.

FEWEST FOULS IN AN MLS MATCH
(REGULAR SEASON, ALL-TIME)

FC Clubs Date Result
2
 
FC Dallas
Chicago Fire
Colorado Rapids
LA Galaxy
07/04/09
09/29/09
08/05/11
05/05/13
FCD 2-1 NY
CHI 2-2 TOR
COL 2-0 CLB
LA 0-1 HOU
3 Sporting KC
Sporting KC
13 other times
06/10/17
05/10/03
 
SKC 1-1 MTL
FCD 1-3 SKC
 

The Western Conference leaders now turn their attention to the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, where they will face Minnesota United FC in Wednesday’s Round of 32 matchup at Children’s Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets are available at SeatGeek.com. Following the Open Cup clash, Vermes’ men will embark on a two-game road swing in the state of California, traveling to face the San Jose Earthquakes next Saturday before visiting LA Galaxy on June 24.

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