"By The Numbers" is a season-long series sponsored by The Kansas Department of Transportation, giving a statistical preview of every Sporting KC match.
Sporting Kansas City enjoyed a scintillating start to the 2019 season last week, trouncing Toluca 3-0 in the first leg of the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League Round of 16. But that result won't mean a thing to Manager Peter Vermes' men if they don't finish the job Thursday in Mexico, where they face los Diablos Rojos in the decisive second leg at Estadio Nemesio Diez. Kickoff is slated for 9 p.m. CT with live coverage on YahooSports.com, the Yahoo Sports app, Univision Deportes, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.
On the heels of a historic victory at Children's Mercy Park, Sporting will aim to punch their ticket to the Concacaf Champions League quarterfinals against a Toluca side that dismissed manager Hernan Cristante this week amidst a turbulent domestic spell that worsened with a 4-0 loss at Santos Laguna on Sunday. And while form my not be on Toluca's side, history certainly isn't on Sporting's side: Kansas City has never managed to avoid defeat on Mexican soil.
With so much riding on the outcome of Thursday's second leg, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers.
- Sporting will advance with: a win, a draw, a loss by two or fewer goals, or a three-goal loss in which they score (4-1, 5-2, 6-3, etc.)
- Toluca will advance with: a win by four or more goals
- The series goes straight to penalty kicks if: Toluca wins 3-0
2018 MLS record: 18-8-8 (62 pts, 1st in West)
2018 MLS home record: 10-2-5 (40 GF, 22 GA)
2018 leading scorer: Daniel Salloi (16 goals in all competitions)
Champions League Fast Facts
- Qualified as 2017 U.S. Open Cup champion
- Best Finish: 2013-14 Quarterfinals
- All-time record: 7-4-4
- All-time away record: 2-3-2
Against Mexican Opposition
- All-time record: 3-6-2
- All-time away record: 0-4-0
- In their 3-0 win over Toluca last Thursday, Sporting became the second American or MLS team in Champions League history (since 1962) to defeat a Mexican club by at least three goals.
- Sporting are 0-4-0 all-time on Mexican soil, scoring five goals and conceding 17. Despite these struggles, the club has managed to score at least once in all four matches.
- Thursday's match, played at an elevation of 8,750 feet, will be the highest-altitude match in club history.
- With a goal and an assist last Thursday, forward Gerso Fernandes was named to the Concacaf Champions League Team of the Week.
2019 Clausura record: 2-5-1 (7 pts, 15th in Liga MX)
2019 Liga MX home record: 1-1-1 (3 GF, 2 GA)
2019 leading scorer: Enrique Triverio (3 goals in Liga MX)
Champions League Fast Facts:
- Qualified as 2018 Clausura runners-up
- Best Finish: 2013-14 Finalist
- All-time record: 14-7-8
- All-time home record: 9-2-4
Against MLS Opposition
- All-time record: 2-2-4
- All-time home record: 1-0-2
- Toluca are winless in seven straight games across all competitions, posting a 0-5-1 record with one goal scored and 14 conceded.
- Toluca have hosted three MLS opponents at Estadio Nemesio Diez, including a 1-1 draw with D.C. United in 2009, a 3-2 win over Columbus in 2010 and a 1-1 draw with San Jose in 2014.
- Toluca have never shut out an MLS opponent in eight all-time meetings.
- Toluca were unbeaten in six straight matches against MLS opponents, posting a 2-0-4 record, before falling 3-0 at Sporting last Thursday.
MLS vs. Liga MX
- In Concacaf Champions League and Concacaf Champions’ Cup history (1962-present), no American team has ever advanced against a Mexican opponent in a two-leg series with the second leg played in Mexico.
- MLS clubs are 7-4-2 against Mexican teams in the Champions League since 2018, having gone 13-42-19 versus Mexican foes from 2008-2017.
- MLS clubs were 3-3 in two-legged Champions League series against Liga MX opponents last season, securing more series wins in 2018 than the previous nine seasons combined (2-18).
- Liga MX clubs have won all 10 Champions League titles since the tournament adopted its current branding in 2008-09.
- Only two MLS clubs have won continental titles, as the 1998 D.C. United and 2000 LA Galaxy both hoisted the Concacaf Champions’ Cup.