Beyond The Box Score: Western Conference unbeaten run snapped in Salt Lake City

Another streak has been snapped.

Sporting Kansas City's 4-2 loss at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday's marked the first time Manager Peter Vermes' men have lost to a Western Conference opponent this year. Entering the game, Sporting KC boasted a 6-0-4 regular-season record against conference foes in 2018.

So where does this 10-game unbeaten run versus conference opponents rank in club annals?

First, a brief history lesson: Sporting KC competed in the West from 1996-2004 before spending the next decade in the East from 2005-2014. The club has been a member of the West since 2015.

With that in mind, let's take a look at the longest regular-season unbeaten runs against conference opponents in Sporting KC history.

SPORTING KC: LONGEST UNBEATEN RUNS VS. CONFERENCE OPPONENTS
(ALL-TIME, MLS REGULAR SEASON)

Streak Start End Record Conference
14 games 06/04/2011 03/17/2012 8-0-6 East
13 games 08/04/2012 03/02/2013 8-0-5 East
11 games 08/13/2016 04/15/2017 6-0-5 West
10 games 03/17/2018 06/23/2018 6-0-4 West

As the table above illustrates, the unbeaten run against Western Conference foes that ended Wednesday was Sporting KC's second-longest all-time. This streak was only eclipsed by the 11-game run that spanned from August 2016 to April 2017.

So, in a modified context, Sporting KC's 10-game unbeaten run against conference opponents was its longest all-time in a single regular season as a member of the West.

That brings us to Wednesday's Till Vodka Stat of the Match, which points to the superiority Sporting KC has showcased throughout the season versus fellow Western Conference clubs.

Looking to snap their first two-game losing skid of 2018, Sporting KC now returns home for a highly anticipated battle with reigning MLS Cup and Supporters' Shield champion Toronto FC on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park. The cross-conference clash will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT and will be followed by a postgame fireworks show. A limited number of tickets remain available via SeatGeek.com.

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