By The Numbers - Sporting KC at Minnesota United FC - October 7, 2017

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #MINvSKC

"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 KC's push to the postseason continues Saturday when the club visits Minnesota United FC at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, kicking off at 7 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO. A victory this weekend would guarantee a club-record seventh straight appearance for Sporting KC, who are currently tied for second place in the Western Conference but with two games in hand.

Minnesota United FC (10-16-5, 35 points) are sure to provide a stern test as winners of three of their last four games, including a 3-2 triumph at high-flying Atlanta United FC on Tuesday. We offer a statistical breakdown of Saturday's matchup in our By The Numbers preview.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting KC and Minnesota United FC will battle for the fourth time in all competitions this season. The sides first met in Minneapolis on May 7 as Abu Danladi and Christian Ramirez scored first-half goals in a 2-0 Minnesota win.
  • The most recent regular season meeting came on June 3 at Children's Mercy Park, when Sporting KC used goals from Ike Opara, Jimmy Medranda and Saad Abdul-Salaam to claim a 3-0 win.
  • Opara scored again in a 4-0 defeat of Minnesota on June 14 in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. Gerso and Daniel Salloi also found the back of the net as Sporting KC began its run to the title.

Minnesota United FC

  • 2017 MLS record: 10-16-5, 35 points (9th in West)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 7-6-3 (24 GF, 25 GA)
  • Last five games: 3-2-0, 9 points (L-W-W-L-W)
  • Last MLS match: W 3-2 at Atlanta United FC on Tuesday
  • Minnesota has won three of its last four games, scoring 13 goals over the impressive stretch.
  • Minnesota is 5-4-1 in its last 10 games after going 5-12-4 in its first 21.
  • Minnesota has conceded a league-high 2.03 goals per game. No team has fewer clean sheets this season than the Loons' five.
  • Minnesota has faced 16.5 shots per game, 1.5 more than any other team in MLS.
  • Minnesota is one of three MLS teams with a negative home goal differential (24 GF, 25 GA).
  • Minnesota has scored 13 goals between the 46th and 60th minutes, most in MLS.
  • Minnesota is 4-0-0 when leading at halftime this season but 0-10-3 when trailing at halftime.
  • Forward Christian Ramirez is tied for ninth in MLS with 14 goals, six more than any other Minnesota player.
  • Forward Abu Danladi has three goals in his last four games. He has eight goals in 13 MLS starts this season.
  • Defender Jerome Thiesson leads Minnesota with 30 MLS appearances, all starts, and ranks eighth in MLS with 59 tackles won.
  • Midfielder Ibson is second in MLS in duels won (219) and third in tackles won (77).

 Sporting KC

  • 2017 MLS record: 12-7-11, 47 points (3rd in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 2-6-6 (7 GF, 13 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-2-1, 7 points (L-T-W-W-L)
  • Last MLS match: L 0-1 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sept. 30
  • SKC would clinch a playoff berth with a win on Saturday.
  • SKC's 0.80 goals against average is on pace to be the second-lowest in a 34-game regular season in MLS history.
  • SKC's 24 goals conceded are 11 fewer than any other team in MLS. Their 13 road goals conceded are also a league-low.
  • SKC has scored just seven goals in 14 road games, tied for the fewest in MLS.
  • Among goalkeepers with at least 15 games played, Tim Melia leads MLS in goals against average (0.80) and save percentage (78.8). He also leads the league in penalty saves (three) and ranks second in shutouts (10).
  • Defender Ike Opara boasts a 16-4-11 record as a starter in all competitions. SKC has a 0.65 goals against average and 13 shutouts in the 31 matches he has played.
  • Midfielder Ilie ranks third in MLS in total passes (2,047) and passes completed (1,758). He also ranks fourth among MLS midfielders with 58 interceptions.
  • Forward Gerso leads Sporting KC with 10 goals in all competitions. Latif BlessingDiego Rubio and Daniel Salloi are tied for second with six.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Defender Seth Sinovic is one shy of his 200th appearance for Sporting KC in all competitions.

Team stats (2017 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Minnesota
Goals scored 1.23 (18th) 1.42 (13th)
Goals conceded 0.80 (1st) 2.03 (22nd)
Shots 14.5 (3rd) 10.1 (21st)
Shots on goal 5.0 (4th) 3.8 (21st)
Shooting accuracy 44.9 (13th) 47.2 (7th)
Passing accuracy 83.6 (1st) 79.5 (11th)
Possession 57.6 (2nd) 50.6 (10th)
Duels won 47.1 (13th) 47.6 (12th)
Tackles won 11.2 (22nd) 14.0 (5th)
Interceptions 11.4 (22nd) 14.3 (2nd)
Fouls committed 10.9 (18th) 10.8 (19th)
Fouls suffered 11.8 (8th) 12.4 (5th)
Shots faced 9.9 (1st) 16.5 (22nd)

Recent #MINvSKC meetings (all competitions)

  • All-competitions record vs. Minnesota: 2-1-0 (7 GF, 2 GA)
  • Regular season record vs. Minnesota: 1-1-0 (3 GF, 2 GA)
Date Result H/A Details
05/07/2017 L 0-2 Away Abu Danladi and Christian Ramirez score in the first half
06/03/2017 W 3-0 Home Ike Opara, Jimmy Medranda and Saad Abdul-Salaam on target
06/14/2017 * W 4-0 Home Goals from Opara, Gerso and Daniel Salloi pace Open Cup win

* 2017 U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 

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