Ilie Sanchez and Graham Zusi celebration - Sporting KC vs. Real Salt Lake - Nov. 11, 2018

Spanish Centurion: Ilie Sanchez hits 100 appearances for Sporting

Sporting Kansas City has played 101 matches in all competitions since the start of 2017.

Ilie Sanchez has featured in all but one.

The 28-year-old Spanish midfielder recorded his 100th appearance for Sporting in Saturday's 1-1 draw at the Houston Dynamo.

An everpresent fixture in Manager Peter Vermes' lineup, Ilie has started 98 of his 100 matches in a Sporting uniform since signing for the club in January 2017. His century mark consists of 81 regular season contests, eight U.S. Open Cup fixtures, six Concacaf Champions League battles and five games in the MLS Cup Playoffs.

During his three-year stint in Kansas City, Ilie has been on the field for an incredible 97.5 percent of Sporting's minutes and played the entire game 96 times. He has logged 8,946 minutes of a possible 9,180 in all competitions, underscoring his indispensability to the squad as the all-important holding midfielder.

In total, Ilie has missed just 234 minutes of action for Sporting over the last three seasons. The lone game he didn't play was a 1-0 loss at Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 12, 2017, which came three days after he went 120 minutes in Sporting's epic U.S. Open Cup semifinal defeat of the San Jose Earthquakes.

Since missing the Seattle match 21 months ago, Ilie has appeared in a remarkable 73 straight games across all competitions.

Ilie is likely to make appearance No. 101 on Friday when Sporting visits Toronto FC in a 6 p.m. CT kickoff at BMO Field. FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO will provide three hours of live coverage starting at 5:30 p.m. CT, while ESPN 94.5 FM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will carry local radio broadcasts.

In conjunction with the Toronto match, fans of all ages are invited to attend Sporting’s annual First Friday Party from 5-10 p.m. CT in the Kansas City Crossroads Arts District (2020 Baltimore Ave., Kansas City, MO), home to Sporting’s corporate office. Guests who RSVP to the free event at SportingKC.com/FirstFriday will be treated to complimentary snacks and beverages and receive a Sporting KC pint glass.

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