"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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A pair of MLS originals lock horns Saturday as Western Conference leaders Sporting Kansas City (2-1-1, 7 points) host four-time MLS Cup champion D.C. United at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, ESPN 94.5 FM (English) and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM (Spanish). Tickets for the interconference clash are available via SeatGeek.com, and the first 10,000 fans through the stadium gates will receive an Ike Opara bobblehead courtesy of match sponsor UMKC.
Manager Peter Vermes' men enter Week 5 as the top-scoring team in MLS, while their opponents from the nation's capital have conceded more goals than any other team. Yet D.C. has held a decisive upper hand in recent head-to-head matchups, going unbeaten over the last six meetings. We take a statistical look at the matchup in our latest edition of By The Numbers.
- Sporting KC went 6-0-1 against D.C. United from 2011-2013, but has gone winless in the last six meetings (0-3-3) with just one goal during that stretch.
- D.C. has claimed shutout victories in each of their last two visits to Children's Mercy Park, winning 3-0 in August 2014 and 1-0 in May 2016.
- The sides last met on opening day of 2017, settling for a scoreless draw in which goalkeeper Tim Melia saved a penalty kick.
- In 11 of the last 13 meetings dating back to 2010, neither team has scored more than one goal.
- D.C. has a narrow 21-20-13 advantage in the all-time regular season series.
- 2018 MLS record: 0-2-2, 2 points (8th in East)
- 2018 MLS away record: 0-2-1 (3 GF, 7 GA)
- Last match: L 1-3 at Columbus Crew SC on March 24
- D.C.'s nine goals conceded are tied with Sporting KC for the most in MLS.
- D.C. has allowed six of their nine goals in the first half of matches
- D.C. will play 12 of their first 14 regular season games on the road before their new home stadium, Audi Field, opens on July 14.
- D.C. went 3-12-2 on the road in 2017, scoring 15 goals (0.88 per game) goals and conceding 40 (2.35 per game).
- Forwards Yamil Asad and Darren Mattocks are tied for the team lead with two goals apiece.
- Midfielder Luciano Acosta leads D.C. with five chances created and ranks sixth in MLS with 10 dribbles completed.
- Midfielder Nick DeLeon leads D.C. in touches (286), duels won (26), tackles won (nine) and interceptions (six).
- Defender Frederic Brillant leads MLS with 26 clearances.
- 2018 MLS record: 2-1-1, 7 points (1st in West)
- 2018 MLS home record: 1-1-0 (3 GF, 4 GA)
- Last match: T 2-2 at Colorado Rapids on March 24
- Sporting KC leads MLS with nine goals scored through four games. It took Sporting KC the first eight games of 2017 to score nine goals.
- Sporting KC has a 13.7-percent shot conversion rate and 55.8-percent shooting accuracy this season. In 2017, the team finished with a 7.8-percent shot conversion rate and 44.1-percent shooting accuracy.
- Sporting KC leads MLS with 67 shots, 16 more than any other team.
- Sporting KC has conceded multiple goals each of the first four games of the season for the first time ever.
- Felipe Gutierrez leads MLS in goals (four), game-winning goals (two), shots on target (nine) and tackles won (16). He is the second midfielder in MLS history to score four goals in his first four regular season appearances.
- Forward Johnny Russell, who has scored one goal and added two assists, ranks second in MLS with 35 touches in the opponent's box and fifth with 15 shots.
- Forward Daniel Salloi is tied for the MLS lead with three assists.
- Defender Graham Zusi leads MLS with 14 interceptions and ranks third with 11 chances created.
- Defender Matt Besler ranks third in MLS with 23 clearances, while midfielder Ilie ranks fourth in MLS with 198 successful passes.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Defender Matt Besler is one shy of his 274th appearance for Sporting KC in all competitions, which would move him into sole possession of second place in club history.
- Defender Seth Sinovic is one shy of his 200th start for Sporting KC in all competitions.
Team stats (2018 regular season)
MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)
|Category (per game)||Sporting KC||D.C. United|
|Goals scored||2.25 (6th)||1.25 (t-15th)|
|Goals conceded||2.25 (t-19th)||2.00 (t-14th)|
|Shots||16.8 (3rd)||10.0 (20th)|
|Shots on goal||6.0 (5th)||3.5 (t-17th)|
|Shooting accuracy||55.8 (5th)||43.8 (12th)|
|Passing accuracy||80.8 (8th)||77.7 (14th)|
|Possession||55.0 (6th)||48.4 (16th)|
|Duels won||59.5 (11th)||59.8 (10th)|
|Tackles won||12.8 (10th)||11.8 (17th)|
|Interceptions||14.5 (14th)||12.3 (18th)|
|Clearances||16.0 (20th)||20.0 (13th)|
|Fouls committed||12.5 (9th)||12.3 (11th)|
|Fouls suffered||9.5 (20th)||11.8 (11th)|
|Shots faced||10.8 (t-6th)||13.3 (14th)|
Recent #SKCvDC regular season meetings
- Regular season record vs. DC: 20-21-13 (74 GF, 68 GA)
- Regular season road record at DC: 14-8-5 (47 GF, 32 GA)
|05/31/2014||L 0-1||A||Fabian Espindola scores 28th-minute winner|
|08/23/2014||L 0-3||H||Espindola, Chris Rolfe and Perry Kitchen score in first half|
|10/03/2014||T 0-0||A||Andy Gruenebaum makes seven saves for SKC|
|05/09/2015||T 1-1||A||Roger Espinoza assists Dom Dwyer's equalizer|
|04/24/2016||L 0-1||H||Alhaji Kamara scores 86th-minute winner|
|03/04/2017||T 0-0||A||Tim Melia makes PK save in 2017 season opener|