By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SEAvSKC | Sept. 1, 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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The two hottest teams in Major League Soccer will go to battle on Saturday as second-place Sporting Kansas City (13-6-6, 45 points) travels to face sixth-place Seattle Sounders FC (11-9-5, 38 points) in a tantalizing Western Conference clash at CenturyLink Field. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, UniMas, ESPN 94.5 FM/1510 AM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM. The game will also stream live in English on Twitter at @UnivisionSports.

Sporting KC has posted four consecutive shutout victories in a single season for the first time ever, while Seattle has rattled off seven straight wins of their own to tie the single-season MLS record during the non shootout era (2000-present). With both clubs looking to make history, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Since the start of 2015, Sporting KC is 4-1-3 against Seattle in the regular season with five shutouts.
  • Before 2015, Sporting KC had just one win in its first nine regular season meetings with the Sounders (1-7-1).
  • Including playoffs, eight of the nine MLS meetings played between the teams at CenturyLink Field have produced a goal or less. The only #SEAvSKC matchup played in Seattle to produce more than one goal was a 1-1 draw in June 2012.
  • In 17 regular season meetings, Sporting KC and Seattle have combined for more than three goals just twice, including a 2-2 draw when the sides last met on April 15 at Children's Mercy Park.
  • In the 2-2 draw this spring, Sporting KC struck first on an Ilie Sanchez penalty kick before Seattle surged ahead on goals from Will Bruin and Cristian Roldan. Graham Zusi then bagged a late equalizer to split the points.
  • Sporting KC goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 4-1-2 regular season record against Seattle with five shutouts and a 0.43 goals against average.
  • Seattle leads the all-time regular season series with an 8-5-4 record, including a 4-2-2 mark at CenturyLink Field.

Seattle Sounders FC

  • 2018 MLS record: 11-9-5, 38 points (5th in West)
  • 2018 MLS home record: 6-4-2 (20 GF, 11 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 1-0 at Portland Timbers on Aug. 26
  • Last five MLS matches: 5-0-0, 15 points (W-W-W-W-W)
  • Seattle has become the second team during the non-shootout era (2000-present) to record seven straight wins in a single regular season. The first team to do so was Sporting KC in 2012.
  • Seattle is 8-0-2 since the start of July, outscoring opponents 19-5 with five shutouts.
  • Seattle's 26 goals conceded are the fewest in the West and the second-fewest in MLS.
  • Seattle ranks 17th in MLS in shots per game (12.5) and second-to-last in shots on goal per game (3.8).
  • Seattle has allowed four goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, tied with Sporting KC for the fewest in MLS.
  • Nineteen of Seattle's 25 matches this season have been decided by a goal or less.
  • Midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro leads Seattle in both goals (six) and assists (nine). He also ranks seventh in MLS with 63 chances created, second with four game-winning assists and first with 68 fouls suffered.
  • Seattle is a perfect 7-0-0 since forward Raul Ruidiaz made his MLS debut on July 21. He has two goals and one assist.
  • Midfielder Cristian Roldan ranks sixth in MLS in duels won (181) and eighth in tackles won (45).
  • Forward Will Bruin is tied for the team lead with six goals to go with five assists.
  • Among goalkeepers with at least three games played, Stefan Frei leads MLS with a 0.96 goals against average and a 78.2 save percentage.

 Sporting KC

  • 2018 MLS record: 13-6-6, 45 points (2nd in West)
  • 2018 MLS away record: 5-4-3 (18 GF, 16 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 2-0 vs. Minnesota United FC on Aug. 25
  • Last five MLS matches: 4-1-0, 12 points (L-W-W-W-W)
  • Sporting KC has become the sixth team in MLS history to post four straight shutout victories in a single regular season. No team has ever recorded five straight.
  • Sporting KC has won four straight regular season matches for the first time since 2014, and has not won five straight since opening the 2012 campaign with seven consecutive victories.
  • Sporting KC is the only team in the Western Conference with a winning road record (5-4-3) and a positive road goal differential (plus-2).
  • Sporting KC's plus-17 goal differential (47-30) is seven goals better than any other team in the Western Conference.
  • Sporting KC has allowed zero goals in its last four league games, having conceded 16 in its previous six.
  • Sporting KC has scored multiple goals in 11 of its last 14 games across all competitions.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS in shots per game (17.0) and passing accuracy (84.5%) while ranking second in average possession (58.3%).
  • Sporting KC is 7-0-2 this season when Matt Besler and Seth Sinovic start together on the left side of defense.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia leads MLS with 11 shutouts. He has become the eighth keeper in league history to record 10 or more clean sheets in back-to-back seasons.
  • Forward Diego Rubio leads MLS with 1.21 goals per 90 minutes played, having scored seven goals in 520 minutes. Rubio's 58.3 scoring percentage (seven goals on 12 shots) is the third-best in MLS history for a single season.
  • Forward Johnny Russell leads Sporting KC in goals and assists across all competitions with 10 each.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi has 16 combined goals (nine) and assists (seven) this season in all competitions, more than any other MLS Homegrown Player.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez leads MLS with 899 successful passes in the attacking half and ranks 10th with 42 chances created from open play.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza has a team-best and career-high nine MLS assists this season.
  • Graham Zusi leads MLS defenders with 49 chances created and ranks third in the league in touches (2,233).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 38th regular season shutout for Sporting KC, which would pass Tony Meola for the second-most in club history.
  • Defender Seth Sinovic is one shy of his 200th career appearance in the MLS regular season, including his time with the New England Revolution in 2010.

Recent #SEAvSKC regular season meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Seattle: 5-8-4 (17 GF, 16 GA)
  • Regular season away record at Seattle: 2-4-2 (3 GF, 5 GA)
Date Result H/A Details
05/23/2015 T 0-0 Away Stefan Frei makes diving save to deny Benny Feilhaber in 92nd minute
06/06/2015 W 1-0 Home Feilhaber buries penalty kick in 84th minute
09/27/2015 T 1-1 Home Obafemi Martins opens scoring before Dom Dwyer equalizes
03/06/2016 W 1-0 Away Nuno Coelho scores late for KC's first win in Seattle since 2009
07/24/2016 W 3-0 Home Dwyer nets brace and Jacob Peterson bags sensational third
05/17/2017 W 3-0 Home Gerso nets second-half hat-trick in span of 13 minutes
08/12/2018 L 1-0 Away Clint Dempsey scores 36th-minute winner
04/15/2018 T 2-2 Home Ilie Sanchez and Graham Zusi on target, but Seattle responds through Will Bruin and Cristian Roldan

Team stats (2018 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta, as of Aug. 30)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Seattle
Goals scored 1.88 (t-3rd) 1.28 (20th)
Goals conceded 1.20 (4th) 1.04 (2nd)
Shots 17.0 (1st) 12.5 (17th)
Shots on goal 5.8 (4th) 3.8 (22nd)
Shooting accuracy 45.2 (19th) 42.2 (20th)
Passing accuracy 84.5 (1st) 80.9 (10th)
Possession 58.3 (2nd) 49.7 (11th)
Duels won 52.6 (11th) 53.7 (6th)
Tackles won 11.0 (19th) 12.2 (8th)
Interceptions 13.6 (11th) 15.0 (4th)
Clearances 16.4 (19th) 17.6 (14th)
Fouls committed 11.1 (14th) 10.6 (18th)
Fouls suffered 10.5 (15th) 11.9 (5th)
Shots faced 12.1 (5th) 13.3 (11th)
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