Beyond The Box Score: Long and winding road swing finally ends in Salt Lake

Sporting Kansas City ended a grueling five-game road trip with a 2-0 defeat to rivals Real Salt Lake on Saturday night. Liberian international Sam Johnson's first-half brace helped RSL avenge their 2018 playoff loss to Sporting and left Manager Peter Vermes' side five points below the playoff line at the midway point of the 2019 regular season campaign.

The month of June saw Sporting travel for five matches in all competitions, including four straight league fixtures in three different timezones. The lengthy away stretch was just the sixth time in club history that Sporting had embarked on an MLS road swing of four or more games.

The scheduling rarity last occurred in 2015 when the club managed just a single point from four consecutive trips in the late summer. The club's longest-ever road trip took Sporting to 10 different MLS stadiums to kick off 2011 before opening the Children's Mercy Park era in June of that year.

SPORTING KC: LONGEST MLS ROAD SWINGS (ALL-TIME)

Season Length W-L-T
2000 4 matches 1-2-1
2004 5 matches 3-0-2
2005 4 matches 3-1-0
2008 6 matches 1-3-2
2011 10 matches 1-6-3
2015 4 matches 0-3-1
2019 4 matches 1-1-2

Sporting Kansas City (4-6-7, 19 points) will now face a quick turnaround with a long-awaited return to Children’s Mercy Park on Wednesday, battling MLS Supporters’ Shield leaders LAFC (11-2-4, 37 points) in a 7:30 p.m. CT kickoff. Tickets are available at SeatGeek.com, including a limited-time Americana ticket package for $45 that features a South Stand ticket, an all-inclusive food and drink pregame tailgate, and access to the pitch for the postgame fireworks show.

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