By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvATL | May 5, 2019

"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 with high aspirations will square off in the national spotlight when Sporting Kansas City (2-2-4, 10 points) hosts defending MLS Cup champion Atlanta United at 8 p.m. CT Sunday. Kickoff at Children's Mercy Park is slated for 8 p.m. CT with live coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB, SiriusXM FC and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM. Tickets for the star-studded Retro Night showdown are available at SeatGeek.com.

Sporting and Atlanta were two of the most dominant MLS clubs in 2018, the former finishing atop the Western Conference and the latter securing its first MLS Cup title behind brilliant attacking play and prolific goal scoring. Both sides are off to slower starts this season, however, and will look at Sunday as an opportunity to regain momentum as a pivotal month of May beckons.

With a palpable sense of urgency surrounding the fixture, let's take a statistical look at #SKCvATL in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting are 1-0-1 in two previous meetings against Atlanta, earning a 1-1 home draw on Aug. 6, 2017 and prevailing 2-0 on the road on May 9, 2018.
  • Forwards Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes scored second-half goals in Sporting's win last season, becoming the first team ever to shut out Atlanta in a regular season match at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez assisted both goals in last season's 2-0 victory.

Atlanta United FC

  • 2019 MLS record: 2-3-2 (8 points, 10th in Eastern Conference)
  • 2019 MLS away record: 1-2-0 (2 GF, 54GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 1-0 vs. Colorado Rapids on April 27
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (T-L-W-L-W)
  • Atlanta led the league last year with 2.06 goals per game but ranks 22nd in MLS this season with just 0.86 goals per game.
  • Atlanta ranks third in MLS with 14.7 shot per game but ranks last with a shot conversion rate of 5.8%. This is on track to be the lowest single-season clip in MLS history since Opta began tracking the stat in 2010.
  • Atlanta leads MLS in average possession at 61.9% and ranks second with 11.1 chances created per game.
  • Atlanta's 8.7 shots faced per game are the fewest in MLS.
  • Atlanta has scored multiple goals once in seven regular season matches this year after doing so 23 times in 2018.
  • Reigning MLS MVP Josef Martinez bagged 49 goals in his first 49 regular season appearances, but has scored just three in his last 12 since last September.
  • Midfielder Ezequiel Barco leads Atlanta with three goals this season, having scored just four in all of 2018. He also leads the team with 14 chances created.

Sporting

  • 2019 MLS record: 2-2-4, 10 points (8th in West)
  • 2019 MLS home record: 2-0-2 (15 GF, 7 GA)
  • Last MLS match: T 4-4 vs. New England Revolution on April 27
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 1-1-3, 6 points (W-T-T-L-T)
  • Sporting is tied for second in MLS with 19 goals scored and ranks third with 2.38 goals per game.
  • Sporting has scored a league-best 10 goals in the final 30 minutes of MLS matches this season.
  • Sporting has scored 15 league goals at Children's Mercy Park, the most through the first four home matches of a season in club history.
  • Sporting has conceded four goals in consecutive MLS matches for the first time since 2002.
  • Sporting are unbeaten in 10 straight regular season home matches dating back to last August.
  • Sporting are 29-3-15 in regular season home matches since June 2016.
  • Sporting are winless in six straight matches across all competitions, recording three draws and three losses since April 4.
  • Forward Krisztian Nemeth leads Sporting with 10 goals this season in all competitions. His six MLS goals are tied for third-most in the league.
  • Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez scored twice in last weekend's 4-4 draw against New England, recording his first brace since March 10, 2018.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia has saved 40.9% of the penalty kicks he has faced in his MLS regular season career (9 of 22). That is the second-best clip in MLS history.

Recent #SKCvATL regular season meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Atlanta: 1-0-1 (3 GF, 1 GA)
  • Regular season home record vs. Atlanta: 0-0-1 (1 GF, 1 GA)
Date Result H/A Details
08/06/2017 T 1-1 Home Benny Feilhaber nets penalty for Sporting but Jacob Peterson equalizes in stoppage time
05/09/2018 W 2-0 Away Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes score second-half goals in huge road win

Team stats (2019 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting Atlanta
Goals scored 2.38 (3rd) 0.86 (22nd)
Goals conceded 1.88 (20th) 1.14 (t-8th)
Shots 15.9 (2nd) 14.7 (3rd)
Shots on goal 5.6 (2nd) 4.6 (9th)
Shooting accuracy 45.0 (15th) 41.6% (21st)
Shot conversion rate 15.0% (5th) 5.8% (24th)
Passing accuracy 83.1% (5th) 82.5% (7th)
Possession 58.4% (2nd) 61.9% (1st)
Chances created 9.9 (8th) 11.1 (2nd)
Duels won 49.8 (21st) 52.0 (15th)
Tackles won 9.5 (20th) 9.3 (21st)
Interceptions 8.1 (22nd) 10.9 (13th)
Clearances 15.1 (22nd) 14.4 (23rd)
Fouls committed 12.5 (9th) 9.7 (23rd)
Fouls suffered 11.5 (13th) 11.0 (15th)
Shots faced 12.4 (10th) 8.7 (1st)
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