Sporting KC vs. Houston Dynamo - By The Numbers DL - October 15, 2017

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvHOU

"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 (12-8-12, 48 points) and the Houston Dynamo (12-10-10, 46 points) are set to meet for the second time in four days, squaring off Sunday at Children's Mercy Park in the penultimate weekend of the 2017 MLS regular season. Playoff implications abound for both teams, as Sporting KC looks to secure a home playoff game with a victory and Houston hopes to seal a long-awaited return to the postseason with a win of their own.

The highly anticipated matchup will kick off at 6:30 p.m. CT, and a limited number of tickets are available at Three hours of live coverage will begin at 6 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest and FOX Sports GO, while listeners can follow the action on ESPN 99.3 FM (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish). We take a statistical look at Sunday's showdown in our By The Numbers preview.


  • Sporting KC is winless in its last six regular season home games against Houston, going 0-2-4 ever since earning 3-0 victory on Sept. 10, 2011.
  • Sporting KC is winless in its last seven regular season meetings against Houston overall, going 0-4-3 ever since emerging 2-0 winners at BBVA Compass Stadium on June 6, 2014.
  • The teams squared off just four days ago at BBVA Compass Stadium as Houston earned a 2-1 comeback win, using a Tomas Martinez strike and an own goal to overcome Jimmy Medranda's superb opener.
  • The sides met earlier this summer in the 2017 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 on June 28, when Ike Opara and Gerso scored second-half goals to give Sporting KC a 2-0 victory at BBVA Compass Stadium.
  • Sporting KC has faced Houston 25 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent (9-8-8 record). This includes five playoff games (2011-2013) and four U.S. Open Cup matches (2011, 2015-2017).

Houston Dynamo

  • 2017 MLS record: 12-10-10, 46 points (5th in West)
  • 2017 MLS away record: 1-9-6 (14 GF, 28 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-1-2, 8 points (L-T-T-W-W)
  • Last MLS match: W 2-1 vs. Sporting KC on Wednesday
  • A win on Sunday would clinch Houston's return to the MLS Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2013.
  • Houston is just 1-9-6 away from home, with their lone road win coming at D.C. United on July 22.
  • Houston leads the Western Conference with 1.69 goals per game, but has scored just 0.88 goals per away game.
  • Forward Erick "Cubo" Torres leads Houston with 14 goals this season, but has scored in just one of his last nine games.
  • Honduran forwards Alberth Elis (10 goals, 4 assists) and Romell Quioto (6 goals, 3 assists) will be available Sunday after missing Wednesday's match on international duty.
  • Defender Adolfo Machado has played every minute in all but one of Houston's 32 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).

 Sporting KC

  • 2017 MLS record: 12-8-12, 48 points (2nd in West)
  • 2017 MLS home record: 10-1-5 (30 GF, 11 GA)
  • Last five games: 2-2-1, 7 points (W-W-L-T-L)
  • Last MLS match: L 1-2 at Houston Dynamo on Wednesday
  • SKC can clinch a club-record seventh straight playoff appearance with a draw on Sunday, while a win would guarantee a top-four finish and a home playoff game.
  • SKC's 27 goals conceded are eight fewer than any other team in MLS. Their 11 home goals conceded are also a league-low.
  • Matt Besler, Benny Feilhaber and Graham Zusi will be available Sunday after missing Wednesday's match on international duty. Besler leads MLS defenders with 61 successful passes per game and boasts a 0.75 goals against average in 24 league starts. Feilhaber leads the team with 59 chances created, and Zusi's 49 chances created are the second-most ever by a defender in a single regular season.
  • Defender Ike Opara boasts a 16-5-12 record as a starter in all competitions. SKC has a 0.70 goals against average and 13 shutouts in the 33 matches he has played.
  • Midfielder Ilie leads MLS in total passes (2,167) and ranks third in passes completed (1,864). He also ranks third among MLS midfielders with 59 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.

Scenarios: 2017 MLS Cup Playoffs

  • How Sporting KC can clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday:
    • A win or a tie vs. Houston, OR
    • Any two of FC Dallas (at Seattle), Real Salt Lake (at Colorado) and San Jose Earthquakes (at Vancouver) lose or tie
  • How Sporting KC can clinch a top-two finish and a knockout round bye on Sunday:
    • A win vs. Houston, AND Seattle Sounders FC (vs. FC Dallas) and Portland Timbers (vs. D.C. United) both lose
  • How Houston Dynamo can clinch a berth in the MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday:
    • A win vs. Sporting KC, OR
    • A tie vs. Sporting KC, AND any two of FC Dallas (at Seattle), Real Salt Lake (at Colorado) and San Jose Earthquakes (at Vancouver) lose or tie, OR
    • Any two of FC Dallas (at Seattle), Real Salt Lake (at Colorado) and San Jose Earthquakes (at Vancouver) lose

Recent #HOUvSKC meetings in all competitions

  • Regular season record vs. Houston: 5-10-11
  • Record vs. Houston in all competitions: 10-14-12
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
10/11/2017 L 1-2 BBVA Compass Stadium MLS Jimmy Medranda scores spectacular opener, but Houston claws back with Tomas Martinez strike and own goal