By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvLA | Oct. 6, 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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363   The number of lives lost involving alcohol-impaired female drivers in Kansas from 2006-2016.


Sporting Kansas City's playoff push will reach new levels of intensity on Saturday when the club welcomes Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy to Children's Mercy Park for a crucial Western Conference clash at 7:30 p.m. CT. The highly anticipated and fully sold-out showdown will air live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.

Postseason implications abound as Sporting KC looks to secure a club-record eighth straight playoff berth with a win or a draw against the Galaxy, who sit just two points below the playoff line after posting consecutive 3-0 victories. Ibrahimovic headlines a star-studded LA roster, but the Galaxy are entering a building where they have never won. We take a statistical look at the mouthwatering matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting KC are unbeaten in their last seven regular season meetings against LA, going 4-0-3 since October 2015. Manager Peter Vermes' side has won three straight in the series.
  • LA are 0-4-3 all-time at Children's Mercy Park and 0-5-5 in their last 10 visits to Kansas City dating back to 2008. The Galaxy haven't won in KC since September 2007.
  • Sporting KC won the most recent meeting by a 2-0 scoreline on April 8 at StubHub Center, receiving second-half goals from Daniel Salloi and Johnny Russell.
  • The 61 regular season meetings between the sides have produced just three scoreless draws.
  • Forward Daniel Salloi has scored in each of Sporting KC's last two appearances against LA.
  • Forward Ola Kamara has three goals in three career appearances against Sporting KC, all coming as a member of Columbus Crew SC.

Playoff Scenarios

LA Galaxy cannot clinch a playoff berth this weekend. Sporting KC can clinch a playoff berth if...

  1. Sporting KC beats or ties LA Galaxy on Saturday (7:30pm), OR
  2. Toronto FC beats or ties Vancouver Whitecaps FC (4pm), AND
    Real Salt Lake ties Portland Timbers (8:30pm)

LA Galaxy

  • 2018 MLS record: 12-11-8, 44 points (7th in West)
  • 2018 MLS away record: 4-7-4 (25 GF, 35 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 3-0 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Sept. 29
  • Last five MLS matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-W-W-T-L)
  • LA ranks second in MLS in goals scored (60) and goals per game (1.94).
  • LA's 119 combined goals scored (60) and goals allowed (59) are the most in MLS.
  • After conceding 23 goals during a seven-game winless run from Aug. 4 to Sept. 15, LA has earned two straight 3-0 home wins over Seattle and Vancouver, respectively.
  • LA has scored 28 goals in the final 30 minutes of matches, the most in MLS. They have outscored opponents 28-19 over the final half-hour of games this season.
  • LA is 4-8-1 when trailing at halftime this season. Their four such wins after trailing at the break are the most in MLS.
  • Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic ranks second in MLS with 20 goals and leads LA with nine assists. With one more assist, he would become the third player in MLS history to record 20 goals and 10 assists in a single season. Ibrahimovic's six multi-goal games are second-most in the league.
  • Ibrahimovic, Ola Kamara (11) and Romain Alessandrini (10) have accounted for 41 of LA's 60 regular season goals. The Galaxy are the only team to have three players with 10 or more league goals in 2018.

 Sporting KC

  • 2018 MLS record: 15-8-7, 52 points (2nd in West)
  • 2018 MLS home record: 9-2-4 (31 GF, 15 GA)
  • Last MLS match: T 1-1 vs. Real Salt Lake on Sept. 30
  • Last five MLS matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (L-W-W-L-T)
  • Sporting KC is averaging 1.83 goals per game, their second-best MLS scoring rate in club history.
  • With 55 goals through 30 games, Sporting KC is six 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 (55 GF, 37 GA) would be tied for the best in club history.
  • Sporting KC leads MLS with a passing accuracy of 84.4 percent and ranks second in average possession at 57.9 percent.
  • Forward Diego Rubio leads MLS with 1.14 goals per 90 minutes, having recorded eight goals and six assists in 634 minutes (seven starts, 18 appearances).
  • Forward Johnny Russell leads Sporting KC in goals (10) and assists (11) across all competitions.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez leads MLS with 1,040 successful passes in the attacking half.
  • Defender Graham Zusi leads MLS defenders with 63 chances created while also leading the league in touches (2,701).
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is tied for the MLS lead 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.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 50th regular season win for Sporting KC.

Recent #SKCvLA regular season meetings

  • Regular season record vs. LA: 23-24-14 (75 GF, 89 GA)
  • Regular season home record vs. LA: 16-8-7 (45 GF, 40 GA)
Date Result H/A Details
05/01/2016 T 1-1 Home Brad Davis and Giovani dos Santos trade first-half goals
06/02/2016 T 0-0 Away Sporting KC holds LA to record-low one shot attempt
09/18/2016 T 2-2 Home Dom Dwyer and Jake Peterson score, but Landon Donovan stuns with late equalizer
06/24/2017 W 2-1 Away Roger Espinoza strikes from distance before Ike Opara bags sensational bicycle kick
09/24/2017 W 2-1 Home Diego Rubio and Daniel Salloi strike early before Romain Alessandrini nets free kick
04/08/2018 W 2-0 Away Salloi and Johnny Russell score in second half to propel visitors to win

Team stats (2018 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta, as of Oct. 5, 2018)

Category (per game) Sporting KC LA Galaxy
Goals scored 1.83 (5th) 1.94 (2nd)
Goals conceded 1.23 (t-3rd) 1.90 (17th)
Shots 17.0 (1st) 12.6 (17th)
Shots on goal 5.9 (3rd) 4.6 (14th)
Shooting accuracy 46.1 (16th) 46.3 (14th)
Passing accuracy 84.4 (1st) 79.4 (18th)
Possession 57.9 (2nd) 48.5 (13th)
Duels won 50.8 (13th) 51.3 (11th)
Tackles won 10.6 (20th) 11.6 (14th)
Interceptions 13.1 (11th) 13.5 (8th)
Clearances 15.8 (23rd) 18.6 (11th)
Fouls committed 11.0 (14th) 12.6 (5th)
Fouls suffered 10.4 (16th) 9.8 (22nd)
Shots faced 12.0 (5th) 14.9 (18th)
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