By The Numbers - Sporting KC vs Vancouver Whitecaps - September 30, 2017

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Sporting Kansas City’s pursuit of the top spot in the Western Conference continues Saturday when the club (12-6-11, 47 points) welcomes first-place Vancouver Whitecaps FC (14-10-6, 48 points) to Children’s Mercy Park for an 8 p.m. CT kickoff. FOX Sports Kansas City Plus and FOX Sports Midwest Plus will air three hours of live coverage beginning at 7:30 p.m. CT, while FOX Sports Kansas City will show the match live in progress after Royals baseball. Listeners can follow the action live on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, and the Sporting KC Uphoria app will provide live updates.

The Whitecaps entered the week as the hottest team in MLS, but suffered a 3-0 setback in Seattle on Wednesday night, giving Sporting KC the opportunity to leapfrog the Canadian outfit when the sides meet Saturday night. We take a statistical look at the matchup in our By The Numbers preview.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting KC is 6-2-3 all-time against Vancouver, including a 4-0-1 mark at Children's Mercy Park.
  • Vancouver has lost three straight in Kansas City, including a pair of defeats in 2016.
  • The sides last met on May 20 when Vancouver secured a 2-0 home win behind goals from Cristian Techera and Tim Parker, giving the Whitecaps their first win in the series since 2014.

Vancouver Whitecaps FC

  • 2017 MLS record: 14-10-6, 48 points (1st in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 5-7-2 (18 GF, 24 GA)
  • Last five games: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-W-T-W-L)
  • Last MLS match: L 0-3 at Seattle Sounders FC on Wednesday
  • Vancouver is 5-1-2 in its last eight games, six of which have been played at home.
  • Vancouver's five away wins (5-7-2) are tied for the most among Western Conference clubs.
  • Vancouver ranks last in MLS in average possession (42.0%) and passing accuracy (74.1%).
  • Vancouver faces the second-most shots per game (14.9) in MLS.
  • Vancouver's nine one-goal wins are tied for the most in MLS.
  • Vancouver is 12-1-3 when scoring the first goal this season and just 2-9-2 when allowing the first goal.
  • Midfielder Jordy Reyna has three goals and three assists in Vancouver's last five games. Remarkably, all-five of his goals have been game-winners.
  • Forward Fredy Montero has seven goals and five assists in Vancouver's last 11 games. His 13 MLS goals this season are seven more than any other player on the team.
  • Goalkeeper David Ousted boasts a 13-7-6 record as a starter this season.
  • Defender Kendall Waston ranks second in MLS with 157 clearances, including a league-best 95 headed clearances.

 Sporting KC

  • 2017 MLS record: 12-6-11, 47 points (3rd in West)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 10-0-5 (30 GF, 10 GA)
  • Last five games: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-L-T-W-W)
  • Last MLS match: W 2-1 vs. LA Galaxy on Sunday
  • SKC is unbeaten in a club-record 24 straight regular season home games dating back to June 2016, good for the third-longest run in MLS history.
  • With a 13-0-6 home record in all competitions, Sporting KC is the only MLS club without a home loss in 2017.
  • SKC's 0.79 goals against average is on pace to be the lowest in a 34-game regular season in MLS history.
  • SKC's 23 goals conceded are 10 fewer than any other team in MLS.
  • In stark contrast to Vancouver, Sporting KC is second in MLS in average possession (57.1%) and leads the league in passing accuracy (83.4%).
  • SKC is 14-2-8 in all competitions when center backs Matt Besler and Ike Opara start together in 2017.
  • Among goalkeepers with at least three games played, Tim Melia leads MLS in goals against average (0.79) and save percentage (79.1). He also leads the league in penalty saves (three) and ranks second in shutouts (10).
  • Defender Graham Zusi leads MLS defenders with 44 chances created. He also has a team-best nine assists in all competitions.
  • Forward Gerso leads Sporting KC with 10 goals in all competitions. Latif Blessing, Diego Rubio and Daniel Salloi are tied for second with six.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Midfielder Jimmy Medranda is one shy of his 50th career start in the MLS regular season.
  • Sporting KC is the only first-division club in North America without a home loss in 2017.

Team stats (2017 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Vancouver
Goals scored 1.28 (18th) 1.57 (8th)
Goals conceded 0.79 (1st) 1.43 (10th)
Shots 14.3 (3rd) 11.9 (16th)
Shots on goal 4.9 (6th) 4.0 (19th)
Shooting accuracy 44.7 (15th) 43.3 (18th)
Passing accuracy 83.4 (1st) 74.1 (22nd)
Possession 57.1 (2nd) 42.0 (22nd)
Duels won 47.1 (12th) 46.9 (14th)
Tackles won 11.2 (21st) 11.7 (20th)
Interceptions 11.5 (22nd) 12.8 (14th)
Fouls committed 10.9 (18th) 12.5 (12th)
Fouls suffered 11.8 (8th) 11.7 (9th)
Shots faced 9.9 (1st) 14.9 (21st)

Recent #SKCvVAN meetings (regular season)

  • Regular season record vs. Vancouver: 6-2-3 (19 GF, 15 GA)
  • Regular season home record vs. Vancouver: 4-0-1 (11 GF, 6 GA)
Date Result Home/Away Details
07/12/2015 W 1-0 A Kevin Ellis scores in 52nd minute;
Soni Mustivar makes 20 interceptions
08/15/2015 W 4-3 H Sporting KC scores in 81st, 87th and 94th
minutes to notch epic comeback
03/12/2016 W 2-1 H Dom Dwyer notches first-half brace;
Pedro Morales bags penalty kick
04/27/2016 T 1-1 A Christian Bolanos scores opener in 14th;
Diego Rubio equalizes in 27th
08/20/2016 W 2-0 H Benny Feilhaber records goal and assist
05/20/2017 L 0-2 A Cristian Techera and Tim Parker score in either half
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