By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #HOUvSKC | Aug. 4, 2018

"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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Two teams desperate for a win will renew their rivalry Saturday night as fifth-place Sporting Kansas City (9-6-6, 33 points) visits the Houston Dynamo (7-8-6, 27 points) in a crucial Western Conference clash at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.

Manager Peter Vermes' men are seeking their first victory since June 23, when they knocked off Houston in a 3-2 thriller at Children's Mercy Park. The Dynamo have exacted revenge since then, eliminating Sporting KC from the U.S. Open Cup with a 4-2 home win on July 18, but head coach Wilmer Cabrera's side has hit a rough patch of their own in MLS play. We take a statistical look at the rubber match in our newest edition of By The Numbers.


  • The first two meetings between the clubs this season produced 11 goals combined. Sporting KC won 3-2 on June 23 before Houston prevailed 4-2 in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals on July 18.
  • Sporting KC has lost six of its last seven matches at BBVA Compass Stadium in all competitions.
  • Houston forward Mauro Manotas has scored seven goals in six career appearances against Sporting KC, including braces in each of the first two meetings this season.
  • Sporting KC forward Johnny Russell recorded one goal and three assists across his first two games against Houston this season, while forward Daniel Salloi notched a goal and two assists in the 3-2 regular-season win on June 23.
  • Sporting KC has faced Houston 29 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent, and posted a 10-10-9 record during that stretch.

Houston Dynamo

  • 2018 MLS record: 7-8-6, 27 points (9th in West)
  • 2018 MLS home record: 6-3-2 (25 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 1-2 at Portland Timbers on July 28
  • Last five MLS matches: 1-2-2, 5 points (W-T-T-L-L)
  • Houston has dropped from sixth place to ninth amidst a four-game winless skid in MLS that began July 14.
  • Houston leads the Western Conference with 25 home goals in 11 MLS matches. The Dynamo have scored 35 goals in 14 home games across all competitions (2.5 per game).
  • Houston leads MLS with 6.1 shots on goal per game while also facing the second-fewest shot attempts in MLS (10.9 per game).
  • Houston has scored 10 goals in the first 15 minutes of matches this season, second-most in MLS.
  • Houston has a 2-6 record in games decided by one goal this season, the third-worst mark in MLS.
  • Houston is 6-3-2 this season when scoring the first goal. Their three defeats is such games are the second-most in MLS.
  • Forward Mauro Manotas leads Houston with 14 goals across all competitions, including four against Sporting KC.
  • Forward Alberth Elis, Houston's lone representative at the MLS All-Star Game on Wednesday, has tallied nine goals and eight assists in MLS play. He ranks second in the league with 36 shots on target.
  • Winger Romell Quioto is second in MLS with 11 assists and leads the league with 29 successful crosses from open play.

 Sporting KC

  • 2018 MLS record: 9-6-6, 33 points (5th in West)
  • 2018 MLS away record: 3-4-3 (15 GF, 16 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 2-3 vs. FC Dallas on July 28
  • Last five MLS matches: 0-4-1, 1 point (L-L-T-L-L)
  • Sporting KC leads MLS in shots per game (17.2) and passing accuracy (84.1%) while ranking second in average possession (58.5%).
  • With 13 games still to play, Sporting KC is one shy of equaling last year's regular-season goal total of 40. Their 39 goals are the second-most through 21 games in club history.
  • Sporting KC has scored multiple goals in eight of its last 10 games since the start of June, but has gone just 3-3-4 during that stretch in all competitions.
  • Sporting KC is winless in six straight games and has conceded multiple goals in eight straight games (all competitions).
  • Forward Johnny Russell leads Sporting KC with 17 combined goals (nine) and assists (eight) in all competitions. Forward Daniel Salloi is close behind with 15 combined goals (nine) and assists (six).
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez leads MLS with 751 successful passes in the attacking half and ranks eighth with 37 chances created from open play.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has a team-best and MLS career-high eight assists this season.
  • Graham Zusi leads MLS defenders with 41 chances created and ranks second in the league in touches (1,850).
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is tied for second in MLS with seven shutouts.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Manager Peter Vermes is one shy of coaching his 302nd regular season match for Sporting KC. This would break the all-time MLS record for most regular season games coached at a single club, passing Steve Nicol's total at the New England Revolution.
  • Sporting KC is one shy of its 100th away win in the MLS regular season (99-174-86).
  • Forward Daniel Salloi is one shy of his 50th appearance for Sporting KC in all competitions.
  • Defender Graham Zusi is one shy of his 200th career start for Sporting KC in the MLS regular season.

Recent #HOUvSKC meetings in all competitions

  • Regular season record vs. Houston: 6-10-12
  • All-competitions record vs. Houston: 11-16-13
Date Result H/A Competition Details
05/07/2016 L 0-2 Away MLS Giles Barnes and Andrew Wenger score first-half goals
06/29/2016 L 1-3 Away Open Cup Alex scores and Mauro Manotas bags brace to overcome Brad Davis goal in Round of 16
09/09/2016 T 3-3 Home MLS Dom Dwyer, Roger Espinoza and Jacob Peterson score, but Alex and Manotas help Houston draw
06/28/2017 W 2-0 Away Open Cup Ike Opara and Gerso Fernandes score second-half goals in Round of 16 matchup
10/11/2017 L 1-2 Away MLS Jimmy Medranda opens scoring, but Houston replies with own goal and Tomas Martinez strike
10/15/2017 T 0-0 Home MLS Sporting KC racks up 27 shots, but Tyler Deric makes nine saves to help Houston salvage draw
10/26/2017 L 0-1 Away Playoffs Alberth Elis scores in 94th minute to give Houston extra-time victory in Knockout Round
06/23/2018 W 3-2 Home MLS Manotas bags first-half brace, but hosts rally behind goals from Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton
07/18/2018 L 2-4 Away Open Cup Johnny Russell and Yohan Croizet score early and late, but Houston advances behind braces from Manotas and Romell Quioto.

Team stats (2018 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Houston
Goals scored 1.86 (t-6th) 1.86 (t-6th)
Goals conceded 1.43 (8th) 1.52 (t-9th)
Shots 17.2 (1st) 14.9 (5th)
Shots on goal 5.8 (5th) 6.1 (1st)
Shooting accuracy 45.7 (18th) 49.8 (9th)
Passing accuracy 84.1 (1st) 80.8 (12th)
Possession 58.5 (2nd) 49.4 (11th)
Duels won 54.0 (9th) 50.1 (21st)
Tackles won 11.1 (19th) 11.6 (17th)
Interceptions 14.0 (9th) 11.7 (22nd)
Clearances 16.2 (19th) 16.0 (20th)
Fouls committed 11.0 (15th) 12.6 (4th)
Fouls suffered 10.1 (18th) 9.4 (21st)
Shots faced 12.0 (5th) 10.9 (2nd)