By The Numbers - Sporting KC at Houston Dynamo - August 26, 2017

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #HOUvSKC

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Chasing first place in the Western Conference, Sporting KC enters the penultimate week of the MLS regular season with back-to-back games on tap against the Houston Dynamo. The first of which will take place Wednesday, kicking off at 7 p.m. CT at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston and televised live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO.

Sporting KC (12-7-12, 48 points) can secure a club-record seventh straight playoff berth with a win or a draw, but Houston (11-10-10, 43 points) has held a decisive upper hand in the head-to-head series over the last six regular season meetings. We take a statistical look at Wednesday's matchup in our By The Numbers preview.

Head-to-Head

  • The sides most recently met in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on June 28, as Ike Opara and Gerso scored second-half goals to give Sporting KC a 2-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Prior to their 2-0 win in June, Sporting KC had suffered three straight losses in Houston across all competitions.
  • Sporting KC is winless in its last six regular season meetings against Houston, going 0-3-3 ever since emerging 2-0 winners at BBVA Compass Stadium on June 6, 2014.
  • Sporting KC is 10-13-12 in all competitions against Houston, including a 5-9-11 mark in the MLS regular season.
  • Sporting KC has faced Houston 24 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent (9-7-8 record). This includes five playoff games (2011-2013) and four U.S. Open Cup matches (2011, 2015-2017).

Houston Dynamo

  • 2017 MLS record: 11-10-10, 43 points (5th in West)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 10-1-4 (38 GF, 16 GA)
  • Last five games: 1-2-2, 5 points (L-L-T-T-W)
  • Last MLS match: W 2-1 vs. Minnesota United FC on Sept. 30
  • Houston leads the Western Conference with 1.68 goals per game, including a conference-best 2.53 goals per home game.
  • Houston is 10-1-4 at BBVA Compass Stadium in MLS play, and their plus-22 goal home differential is the best in the Western Conference.
  • Houston is coming off a 2-1 home win over Minnesota, which snapped a six-game winless skid that included three losses and three draws.
  • Houston is 10-0-4 when scoring first this season, but 1-10-3 when conceding the first goal.
  • Houston has scored 11 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season, second-most in MLS.
  • Forward Erick "Cubo" Torres leads Houston with 14 goals this season, but has scored in just one of his last eight games.
  • Defender Adolfo Machado has played every minute in all 31 MLS matches this season. Machado leads MLS with 187 clearances and ranks third with 79 interceptions.
  • Midfielder Alex leads Houston in assists (10) and chances created (51).
  • Midfielder Juan David Cabezas is tied for third in MLS with 57 fouls committed.

 Sporting KC

  • 2017 MLS record: 12-7-12, 48 points (2nd in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 2-6-7 (8 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-1-2, 8 points (T-W-W-L-T)
  • Last MLS match: T 1-1 at Minnesota United FC on Saturday
  • SKC's 0.81 goals against average is on pace to be the second-lowest in a 34-game regular season in MLS history.
  • SKC's 25 goals conceded are 10 fewer than any other team in MLS. Their 14 road goals conceded are also a league-low.
  • SKC has scored just eight goals in 15 road games, the second-fewest in MLS.
  • SKC's six road losses (2-6-7) are the fewest among Western Conference clubs in 2017.
  • SKC has conceded just two goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season, the fewest in MLS.
  • SKC is 11-0-6 when scoring first this season, but 1-7-2 when conceding the first goal.
  • Defender Ike Opara boasts a 16-4-12 record as a starter in all competitions. SKC has a 0.66 goals against average and 13 shutouts in the 32 matches he has played.
  • Midfielder Ilie ranks third in MLS in total passes (2,112) and passes completed (1,816). He also ranks fourth among MLS midfielders with 58 interceptions.
  • Forward Gerso leads Sporting KC with 10 goals in all competitions. Diego Rubio is second with seven, all of which have come since July 6.
  • Rubio's 0.67 goals per start (six goals in nine games) since July 1 are tied for eighth-best in MLS among players with at least nine starts during that time.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting KC can clinch a club-record seventh straight playoff appearance with a win or a draw on Wednesday.

Team stats (2017 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Houston
Goals scored 1.23 (18th) 1.68 (5th)
Goals conceded 0.81 (1st) 1.42 (9th)
Shots 14.7 (2nd) 14.0 (5th)
Shots on goal 4.9 (6th) 5.0 (4th)
Shooting accuracy 44.3 (15th) 46.8 (8th)
Passing accuracy 83.5 (1st) 76.6 (17th)
Possession 57.5 (2nd) 44.5 (20th)
Duels won 47.3 (13th) 45.8 (18th)
Tackles won 11.0 (22nd) 11.9 (16th)
Interceptions 11.5 (22nd) 12.7 (17th)
Fouls committed 10.9 (19th) 12.5 (12th)
Fouls suffered 11.8 (8th) 10.8 (16th)
Shots faced 9.9 (1st) 12.4 (11th)

Recent #HOUvSKC meetings in all competitions

  • Regular season record vs. Houston: 5-9-11
  • Record vs. Houston in all competitions: 10-13-12
Date Result Stadium Competition Details
07/21/2015 W 3-1 Children's Mercy Park Open Cup quarterfinals Dom Dwyer, Benny Feilhaber and Krisztian Nemeth score
08/01/2015 T 1-1 Children's Mercy Park Regular season Dwyer scores early before Ricardo Clark levels late
09/23/2015 L 0-1 BBVA Compass Stadium MLS Will Bruin bags the winner in the 67th mintute
05/07/2016 L 0-2 BBVA Compass Stadium MLS Giles Barnes and Andrew Wenger score first-half goals
06/29/2016 L 1-3 BBVA Compass Stadium Open Cup Round of 16 Alex scores and Mauro Manotas bags brace
09/09/2016 T 3-3 Children's Mercy Park MLS Dwyer, Roger Espinoza and Jacob Peterson score, but Alex and Manotas help Houston draw
06/28/2017 W 2-0 BBVA Compass Stadium Open Cup Round of 16 Ike Opara and Gero score second-half goals
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