By The Numbers - Sporting KC at Columbus Crew SC - September 10, 2017

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #CLBvSKC

"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 (10-6-10, 40 points) will look to bounce back from a mid-week defeat at New York City FC when they visit Columbus Crew SC (13-12-3, 42 points) on Sunday at MAPFRE Stadium. The interconference showdown will air live nationally on ESPN and ESPN Deportes at noon CT with local radio calls on ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).

Manager Peter Vermes' men will have an opportunity to ascend the Western Conference table on Sunday afternoon, but Columbus has caught fire with four consecutive wins on home turf. We take a statistical look at the matchup in our By the Numbers preview.

Head-to-head

  • Sporting KC is 6-1-1 in its last eight meetings against Columbus.
  • Sporting KC is 3-1-1 in its last five visits to MAPFRE Stadium dating back to 2012.
  • Sporting KC and Crew SC last met on July 3, 2016 at Children's Mercy Park, when the hosts won a 3-2 thriller behind goals from Benny Feilhaber, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler. Striker Ola Kamara scored both goals for Crew SC.
  • Sporting KC lost its most recent match at MAPFRE Stadium by a 3-2 scoreline in August 2015. This result snapped a six-game unbeaten streak against Crew SC that spanned from October 2012 to July 2014 (5-0-1).
  • Sporting KC has scored in 11 straight MLS meetings against Columbus dating back to 2011.
  • Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber has three goals and two assists in eight regular season appearances against Columbus.
  • Sporting KC defender Graham Zusi has two goals and four assists in 12 regular season appearances against Columbus.

Columbus Crew SC

  • 2017 MLS record: 13-12-3, 42 points (4th in East)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 10-3-1 (28 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five games: 3-1-1, 10 points (L-W-T-W-W)
  • Last MLS match: W 2-1 vs. FC Dallas on Aug. 26
  • Columbus' 13 wins are tied for third-most in MLS, including victories in each of their last four games at MAPFRE Stadium.
  • Columbus is 4-0-0 at home against Western Conference opponents this season.
  • Columbus' three ties are the fewest in MLS, with their lone home draw coming on opening day in a 1-1 stalemate March 4 against Chicago.
  • Forward Ola Kamara is tied for sixth in MLS with 14 goals. He has appeared in all 28 matches for Columbus this season.
  • Midfielder Justin Meram is tied for the MLS lead with five game-winning goals. He has 11 goals and is tied for the team lead with seven assists.
  • Midfielder Federico Higuain is third on Columbus with nine goals, meaning Kamara, Meram and Higuain have accounted for 34 of the club's 42 goals this season.
  • Midfielder Wil Trapp is the only field player to start all 28 MLS matches for Columbus this season. Trapp leads MLS with 1,699 successful passes, almost 200 more than any other player.
  • Goalkeeper Zack Steffen has played all 28 MLS matches for Columbus and is tied for third in MLS with seven shutouts.

 Sporting KC

  • 2017 MLS record: 10-6-10, 40 points (3rd in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 2-6-5 (6 GF, 12 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-2-1, 7 points (W-T-L-W-L)
  • Last MLS match: L 0-1 at New York City FC on Wednesday
  • SKC's 0.77 goals against average through 26 matches is on pace to be the second-lowest in a single season in MLS history.
  • SKC leads MLS in passes per game (508) and passing accuracy (83.0%) while ranking second in average possession (56.7%).
  • SKC is fourth in MLS with 9.0 chances created from open play per game.
  • SKC has just one loss in nine games against Eastern Conference opponents this season (2-1-6).
  • SKC has scored six road goals this season, the second-fewest in MLS. However, the club has allowed just 12 road goals, four fewer than any other team.
  • SKC has been shut out in nine of 13 MLS away games this season.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia has the best goals against average in MLS at 0.77 in addition to posting a league-high 10 shutouts.
  • Midfielder Ilie is fourth in MLS in passes completed (1,472) and ranks third among midfielders with 52 interceptions.

Team stats (2017 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Columbus
Goals scored 1.19 (18th) 1.50 (11th)
Goals conceded 0.77 (1st) 1.50 (12th)
Shots 14.1 (3rd) 11.6 (19th)
Shots on goal 4.8 (7th) 4.0 (19th)
Shooting accuracy 44.3 (14th) 45.0 (11th)
Passing accuracy 83.0 (1st) 82.0 (4th)
Possession 56.7 (2nd) 52.2 (8th)
Duels won 48.3 (13th) 45.6 (20th)
Tackles won 11.6 (19th) 11.1 (22nd)
Interceptions 11.7 (22nd) 13.1 (12th)
Fouls committed 10.8 (18th) 10.7 (19th)
Fouls suffered 12.0 (7th) 11.0 (18th)
Shots faced 10.1 (1st) 12.7 (14th)

Recent #CLBvSKC meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Columbus: 25-22-6 (84 GF, 83 GA)
  • Regular season away record at Columbus: 11-13-4 (40 GF, 43 GA)
Date Result Stadium Details
05/04/2014 W 2-0 Children's Mercy Park Jacob Peterson scores early opener before Graham Zusi assists Claudio Bieler late
07/16/2014 W 2-1 MAPFRE Stadium Benny Feilhaber bags sensational game-winning goal in 93rd minute
08/22/2015 L 2-3 MAPFRE Stadium Zusi strikes brilliantly, but Crew SC score twice in final 10 minutes to complete comeback
07/03/2016 W 3-2 Children's Mercy Park Feilhaber and Zusi score before Matt Besler nets 91st-minute winner to overcome Ola Kamara's brace
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