By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvRSL | Sept. 30, 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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1,142   The number of lives lost involving alcohol-impaired male drivers in Kansas from 2006-2016.


Sporting Kansas City's playoff push resumes Sunday when the club hosts rivals Real Salt Lake in the newest chapter of a Western Conference rivalry. Kickoff is slated for 4 p.m. CT with live coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes, ESPN 94.5 FM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM. A limited number of tickets for the nationally televised matchup remain available via SeatGeek.com as Sporting KC (15-8-6, 51 points) looks to clinch a club-record eighth straight playoff appearance at the expense of an RSL side (13-11-6, 45 points) fighting for its own postseason berth.

Manager Peter Vermes' men occupy second place in the West entering Week 30, six points ahead of fifth-place RSL, but the Claret and Cobalt have lost just once in their last 10 regular season meetings against Sporting KC. We take a statistical look at the 2013 MLS Cup rematch in our latest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting KC is 1-6-3 in its last 10 regular season meetings with RSL.
  • Sunday marks the third meeting between Sporting KC and Real Salt Lake this season, with both previous affairs taking place at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Sporting KC ran out 2-0 victors in the U.S. Open Cup Fourth Round on June 6, propelled by Johnny Russell’s goal and assist in the second half.
  • Four weeks later, RSL celebrated the Fourth of July with a 4-2 regular season win. Daniel Salloi and Ike Opara scored for the visitors, while RSL struck through Jefferson Savarino, Corey Baird, Sebastian Saucedo and Luis Silva.
  • Since October 2016, five of the last six meetings between the clubs in all competitions have been played at Rio Tinto Stadium.
  • Sporting KC and RSL last met at Children’s Mercy Park in April 2017, when the hosts ran out 3-0 victors for their first regular season win in the series since July 2013.
  • Ike Opara has scored in two straight regular season appearances against RSL.
  • Johnny Russell has a goal and two assists in two games against RSL this season.
  • Luis Silva has scored in three straight regular season meetings against Sporting KC.

Playoff Scenarios

Real Salt Lake cannot clinch a playoff berth this weekend. Sporting KC can clinch a playoff berth if...

  1. Sporting KC beats Real Salt Lake on Sunday (4pm), OR
  2. Sporting KC ties Real Salt Lake, AND
    LA Galaxy ties Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday (9pm), AND
    FC Dallas beats or ties the Portland Timbers on Saturday (9:30pm)

Real Salt Lake

  • 2018 MLS record: 13-11-6, 45 points (5th in West)
  • 2018 MLS away record: 3-10-2 (16 GF, 30 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 0-2 at Atlanta United FC on Sept. 22
  • Last five MLS matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-W-W-T-L)
  • RSL are 10-1-4 at home but just 3-10-2 on the road this season.
  • In a 6-0 win at Colorado on Aug. 25 and a 6-2 win over LA Galaxy on Sept. 1, RSL became the first team in MLS history to score six goals in consecutive league games.
  • RSL leads MLS with a shooting accuracy of 53.3 percent.
  • RSL ranks third in MLS in possession at 55.3 percent, behind only NYCFC (59.8) and Sporting KC (58.1).
  • RSL is 7-2 in games decided by one goal.
  • RSL is 4-9-0 when conceding the first goal this season. Their four wins after falling behind are tied for the most in MLS.
  • RSL is the only team in MLS to have five players with at least six MLS goals (Damir Kreilach 11, Albert Rusnak 10, Joao Plata 8, Corey Baird 6, Jefferson Savarino 6).
  • Midfielder Damir Kreilach has scored 5 goals in his last 4 MLS appearances and 8 goals over his last 9 MLS appearances. Kreilach leads RSL with 11 goals and ranks fifth in MLS in duels won (197).
  • Midfielder Albert Rusnak ranks sixth in MLS with 73 chances created.
  • Defender Justen Glad leads MLS with 86 interceptions and ranks eighth with 117 clearances.

 Sporting KC

  • 2018 MLS record: 15-8-6, 51 points (2nd in West)
  • 2018 MLS home record: 9-2-3 (30 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 0-2 at Philadelphia Union on Sept. 23
  • Last five MLS matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-L-W-W-L)
  • Sporting KC is averaging 1.86 goals per game, their second-best MLS scoring rate in club history.
  • With 54 goals through 29 games, Sporting KC is seven goals shy of tying a club record for most goals in a regular season at 61 (1996).
  • If the season ended today, Sporting KC’s plus-18 goal difference (54 GF, 36 GA) would be tied for the best in club history.
  • Sporting KC is the only team in MLS to have four players with at least seven MLS goals (Johnny Russell 8, Diego Rubio 8, Daniel Salloi 7 and Felipe Gutierrez 7).
  • Sporting KC is the only team in MLS to have 12 players with at least two goals AND 12 players with at least two assists.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with a passing accuracy of 84.5 percent.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with 12 shutouts, one more than its 2017 regular-season total.
  • Forward Diego Rubio has scored or assisted in a Sporting KC-record eight straight MLS matches. He leads MLS with 1.17 goals per 90 minutes.
  • Forward Johnny Russell leads Sporting KC in goals and assists across all competitions with 10 each.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez leads MLS with 1,016 successful passes in the attacking half.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza leads the team with a career-high nine MLS assists.
  • Defender Graham Zusi leads MLS defenders with 58 chances created while also leading the league in touches (2,629) and ranking 12th in interceptions (57).
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia leads MLS with a career-high 12 shutouts.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Manager Peter Vermes has 130 regular-season coaching wins, one shy of taking sole possession of fifth place on the all-time MLS chart.

Recent #SKCvRSL regular season meetings

  • Regular season record vs. RSL 9-11-7 (34 GF, 36 GA)
  • Regular season home record vs. RSL: 6-3-4 (17 GF, 12 GA)
Date Result Venue Details
04/02/2016 L 1-2 Children's Mercy Park Justen Glad and Luke Mulholland score before Benny Feilhaber nets late PK
05/21/2016 L 1-3 Children's Mercy Park Dom Dwyer scores, but goals from Burrito Martinez and Yura Movsisyan propel RSL
10/16/2016 T 0-0 Rio Tinto Stadium Tim Melia makes four saves in scoreless stalemate
04//29/2017 W 3-0 Children's Mercy Park Feilhaber, Dwyer and Gerso Fernandes score in comfortable home win
07/22/2017 T 1-1 Rio Tinto Stadium Feilhaber bags second-half PK to cancel out Luis Silva's opener
10/22/2017 L 1-2 Rio Tinto Stadium Ike Opara scores consolation goal after Silva and Brooks Lennon strike
07/04/2018 L 2-4 Rio Tinto Stadium Opara and Daniel Salloi score for SKC, but RSL nets win on goals from Silva, Jefferson Savarino, Corey Baird and Sebastian Saucedo

Team stats (2018 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta, as of Sept. 28)

Category (per game) Sporting KC Real Salt Lake
Goals scored 1.86 (4th) 1.63 (10th)
Goals conceded 1.24 (4th) 1.63 (14th)
Shots 16.9 (1st) 14.2 (9th)
Shots on goal 5.9 (t-3rd) 5.9 (t-3rd)
Shooting accuracy 46.1 (16th) 53.3 (1st)
Passing accuracy 84.5 (1st) 83.2 (6th)
Possession 58.1 (2nd) 55.3 (3rd)
Duels won 51.2 (11th) 48.5 (18th)
Tackles won 10.7 (20th) 10.4 (22nd)
Interceptions 13.1 (10th) 12.7 (15th)
Clearances 16.2 (20th) 17.6 (15th)
Fouls committed 11.1 (14th) 10.8 (17th)
Fouls suffered 10.3 (15th) 10.8 (13th)
Shots faced 12.1 (5th) 12.9 (9th)
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