"By The Numbers" is a season-long series sponsored by The Kansas Department of Transportation, giving a statistical preview of every Sporting KC match.
A cherished trophy is up for grabs Wednesday night when Sporting Kansas City hosts the New York Red Bulls in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Final, U.S. Soccer's National Championship. Kickoff at world-class Children's Mercy Park is set for 8 p.m. CT with live broadcasts on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).
The Open Cup Final pits a pair of MLS originals who have experienced dissimilar pasts in American soccer's most historic tournament. Sporting KC is on the precipice of a fourth Open Cup title, while the Red Bulls are seeing their very first crown. Both teams have established themselves among Major League Soccer's elite over the last several seasons, and on Wednesday evening they will fight their grandest head-to-head battle yet. We take a statistical look at the matchup in our By The Numbers preview.
- The 22-year-old head-to-head series is dead even, with both teams owning 21 wins and 13 draws across all competitions.
- Wednesday will mark the first time Sporting KC and New York have met in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup. Their lone meeting outside of the MLS regular season came in October 2014, when the Red Bulls scalped the defending MLS Cup champions by a 2-1 scoreline in the Eastern Conference Knockout Round.
- The sides last met on May 3 when Sporting KC secured a 2-0 victory at Children's Mercy Park, their second straight win in the series.
- New York has failed to score in two straight meetings against Sporting KC, falling 2-0 on both occasions.
- In 11 regular season matches between the clubs since 2012, the home team is just 2-5-4.
- The Red Bulls have just one loss in their last six visits to Children's Mercy Park, going 2-1-3 since losing their inaugural match at the stadium in October 2011.
- Red Bulls forward Bradley Wright-Phillips had six goals in four appearances against Sporting KC in 2014 (including playoffs), but has none in his last three.
- Sporting KC midfielder Benny Feilhaber has one goal and four assists in his last six appearances against New York (including playoffs).
New York Red Bulls
- 2017 MLS record: 12-10-6, 42 points (6th in East)
- 2017 MLS away record: 4-8-2 (17 GF, 25 GA)
- Last five MLS matches: 0-1-4, 4 points (L-T-T-T-T)
- Last MLS match: T 0-0 vs. Philadelphia Union on Sunday
- 2017 Open Cup path:
W 1-0 vs. New York City FC in Fourth Round
T 1-1 (AET) vs. Philadelphia Union in Round of 16 (W 5-3 in PKs)
W 1-0 at New England Revolution in Quarterfinals
- W 3-2 (AET) at FC Cincinnati in Semifinals
- Best Open Cup finish: Finalist (2003)
- Since defeating FC Cincinnati in the Open Cup semifinals on Aug. 15, New York has gone winless in five straight MLS matches (0-1-4).
- New York leads MLS in interceptions (14.8), duels won (55.6), fouls committed (14.4) and fouls suffered (14.5) per game while ranking second in tackles per game (14.7).
- New York has six road wins this season in all competitions, including victories away from home in the Open Cup quarterfinals and semifinals.
- New York has outscored opponents 15-8 in the final 15 minutes of regulation this season (all competitions).
- Forward Bradley Wright-Phillips leads New York with 18 goals in all competitions, including two in the Open Cup semifinals at FC Cincinnati.
- Midfielder Sacha Kljestan leads MLS with 90 chances created and is tied for second with 14 assists
- Midfielder Felipe is second in MLS with 80 fouls suffered and ninth with 164 duels won.
- Goalkeeper Ryan Meara has started all four Open Cup matches this season for New York, posting two shutouts and winning one penalty shootout.
- 2017 MLS record: 11-6-11, 44 points (3rd in West)
- 2017 MLS home record: 9-0-5 (28 GF, 9 GA)
- Last five MLS matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (L-W-L-T-W)
- Last MLS match: W 3-1 vs. New England Revolution on Saturday
- 2017 Open Cup path:
W 4-0 vs. Minnesota United FC in Fourth Round
W 2-0 at Houston Dynamo in Round of 16
W 3-0 (AET) vs. FC Dallas in Quarterfinals
T 1-1 (AET) vs. San Jose Earthquakes in Semifinals (W 5-4 in PKs)
- Best Open Cup finish: Champions (2004, 2012, 2015)
- Sporting KC is 3-0-0 all-time in U.S. Open Cup finals.
- Sporting KC has outscored opponents 10-1 in their previous four Open Cup matches this season.
- Sporting KC owns an 11-0-6 home record in all competitions this season.
- Sporting KC is unbeaten in seven straight U.S. Open Cup home matches since 2015, posting a 6-0-1 record.
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a 10-0-2 record in his last 12 Open Cup starts dating back to 2012.
- Latif Blessing, Gerso, Ike Opara and Daniel Salloi have each scored two goals in 2017 Open Cup competition.
- Midfielder Benny Feilhaber is Sporting KC's all-time leader with eight Open Cup assists. Defender Graham Zusi ranks second with four.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Defender Graham Zusi is one shy of his 250th appearance for Sporting KC in all competitions.
- Midfielder Benny Feilhaber is one shy of his 175th appearance for Sporting KC in all competitions.
- Sporting KC is looking to become the only MLS club with four major trophies since 2012.
Team stats (2017 regular season)
MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)
|Category (per game)||Sporting KC||NY Red Bulls|
|Goals scored||1.25 (18th)||1.46 (12th)|
|Goals conceded||0.79 (1st)||1.29 (6th)|
|Shots||14.5 (3rd)||13.2 (8th)|
|Shots on goal||4.9 (7th)||4.7 (8th)|
|Shooting accuracy||44.1 (15th)||47.8 (6th)|
|Passing accuracy||83.2 (1st)||75.9 (19th)|
|Possession||57.0 (2nd)||55.6 (3rd)|
|Duels won||47.3 (13th)||55.6 (1st)|
|Tackles won||11.4 (21st)||14.7 (2nd)|
|Interceptions||11.5 (22nd)||14.8 (1st)|
|Fouls committed||11.0 (17th)||14.4 (1st)|
|Fouls suffered||12.2 (6th)||14.5 (1st)|
|Shots faced||10.0 (1st)||11.9 (5th)|
Recent #SKCvNY meetings (all competitions)
- All-competitions record vs. New York: 21-21-13
- All-competitions home record vs. New York: 15-9-5
|05/27/2014||T 1-1||Children's Mercy Park||Benny Feilhaber assists Antonio Dovale before Bradley Wright-Phillips equalizes|
|09/06/2014||L 1-2||Red Bull Arena||Wright-Phillips and Thierry Henry score before Dom Dwyer pulls one back|
|10/26/2014||L 0-2||Children's Mercy Park||Wright-Phillips bags brace to tie MLS single-season record with 27 goals|
|10/30/2014*||L 1-2||Red Bull Arena||Dwyer opens scoring but Wright-Phillips scores two late|
|03/08/2015||T 1-1||Children's Mercy Park||Opara opens scoring before Lloyd Sam provides quick equalizer|
|04/09/2016||W 2-0||Red Bull Arena||Tim Melia saves Wright-Phillips PK as Feilhaber and Dwyer net goals|
|05/03/2017||W 2-0||Children's Mercy Park||Dwyer scores twice in comfortable victory|
* 2014 Eastern Conference Knockout Round