By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvCHI | July 6, 2019

"By The Numbers" is a season-long series sponsored by The Kansas Department of Transportation that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match.

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Sporting Kansas City (4-7-7, 19 points) faces a quick turnaround on Saturday, welcoming the Chicago Fire to Children's Mercy Park for an interconference clash at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets are available at SeatGeek.com and the match will be shown live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO. Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM will also carry the game locally.

Sporting and Chicago both sit below the playoff line and will view Saturday as an opportunity to gain momentum heading into the heart of the summer. Manager Peter Vermes' men have lost two straight home games for the first time since 2016, while Chicago hasn't won on the road since May 2018. Something has to give as we serve up a statistical preview in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting are 4-0-2 in their last six home matches against Chicago, including wins in three straight meetings.
  • Chicago hasn't won at Children's Mercy Park since June 2012.
  • Sporting won the most recent meeting by a 4-3 scoreline in March 2018, receiving a Felipe Gutierrez brace and additional strikes from Johnny Russell and Jimmy Medranda to prevail at Toyota Park.
  • The sides last met at Children's Mercy Park in July 2017, when Sporting prevailed 3-2 behind goals from Benny Feilhaber, Daniel Salloi and Latif Blessing.
  • The last two regular season meetings have produced 12 total goals.
  • Chicago holds a 26-16-11 edge in the regular season series. Sporting's 26 losses to the Fire are their most against any MLS team.
  • Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia made his club debut against the Fire with a 1-0 win on May 3, 2015.

Chicago Fire

  • 2019 MLS record: 5-7-7 (22 points, 8th in Eastern Conference)
  • 2019 MLS away record: 0-6-3 (8 GF, 18 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 5-1 vs. Atlanta United FC on July 3
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 1-2-2, 5 points (T-L-T-L-W)
  • Chicago snapped a six-game winless skid on Wednesday, thrashing Atlanta United FC at home. The 5-1 result gave Atlanta its largest margin of defeat in club history.
  • Argentine playmaker Nicolas Gaitan recorded a goal and three assists in Wednesday's win over Atlanta, while former Sporting forward C.J. Sapong scored twice.
  • Chicago are 0-15-6 in their last 21 regular season away matches. Their last road win came in May 2018 at Orlando City FC.
  • Chicago ranks first in MLS in fewest shots faced per game (9.8).
  • Chicago's 10 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches are one shy of the MLS lead.
  • Chicago has hit the woodwork 11 times and missed 42 big chances, both the most in MLS.
  • Midfielder Nicolas Gaitan ranks fourth in MLS with eight assists.
  • Forward Aleksandar Katai ranks second in MLS with 69 shots but has converted just four of them into goals. He is tied for the league lead with three goals from outside the box and ranks third with 46 dribbles completed.
  • Forward C.J. Sapong leads Chicago with eight goals and leads MLS with 83 aerial duels won.
  • Midfielder and German World Cup winner Bastian Schweinsteiger is tied for the MLS lead with seven yellow cards.

Sporting Kansas City 

  • 2019 MLS record: 4-7-7, 19 points (12th in Western Conference)
  • 2019 MLS home record: 3-3-3 (20 GF, 20 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 1-5 vs. LAFC on July 3
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (T-T-W-L-L)
  • Sporting have lost back-to-back home matches for the first time since May 2016.
  • Sporting are tied for the MLS lead with five penalty kick goals.
  • Sporting are the only MLS team to score and concede 20 goals at home this season (20 GF, 20 GA).
  • Sporting's two shutouts this season are the second-fewest in MLS, ahead of Houston's one.
  • Sporting are the only MLS team to have three players with seven league goals. Felipe Gutierrez, Krisztian Nemeth and Johnny Russell are tied for the team lead, marking the first time in club history that three players have hit seven MLS goals before the end of June.
  • Midfielder Felipe Gutierrez ranks second in MLS with 38 tackles won.
  • Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is the only Sporting player to appear in all 24 matches this season (including Concacaf Champions League).
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia has saved both of the penalties he has faced this season in MLS play.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 57th regular season win for Sporting, which would tie Jimmy Nielsen for the club record.
  • Sporting are one shy of their 200th regular season home win all-time.

Recent #SKCvCHI meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Chicago 16-26-11 (66 GF, 91 GA)
  • Regular season home record vs. Chicago: 11-8-9 (40 GF, 40 GA)
Date Result H/A Scoring
07/13/2016 L 0-1 Away SKC: None
CHI: de Leeuw 19'
07/29/2017 W 3-2 Home SKC: Salloi 23', Feilhaber 45+1', Blessing 51'
CHI: own goal 28', Accam 78'
03/10/2018 W 4-3 Away SKC: Gutierrez 9', 86', Russell 44', Medranda 83'
CHI: Katai 70', Nikolic 74', 82'

Team stats (2019 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis

Category (per game) Sporting Chicago
Goals scored 1.56 (t-9th) 1.63 (7th)
Goals conceded 1.89 (21st) 1.47 (13th)
Shots 14.0 (8th) 14.5 (5th)
Shots on goal 4.9 (7th) 5.2 (6th)
Shooting accuracy 44.9% (13th) 45.2% (11th)
Shot conversion rate 11.1% (15th) 13.3% (13th)
Passing accuracy 83.6% (5th) 81.1% (12th)
Possession 55.3% (4th) 49.8% (11th)
Chances created 9.3 (14th) 11.3 (3rd)
Duels won 48.1 (23rd) 50.5 (18th)
Tackles won 9.7 (17th) 9.8 (16th)
Interceptions 9.2 (22nd) 10.6 (13th)
Clearances 17.6 (14th) 16.9 (17th)
Fouls committed 12.4 (8th) 12.8 (5th)
Fouls suffered 11.4 (13th) 10.3 (16th)
Shots faced 12.5 (8th) 9.8 (1st)
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