By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvRSL | Aug. 10, 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 (7-9-7, 28 points) and Real Salt Lake (10-9-4, 34 points) will renew their Western Conference rivalry on Saturday, locking horns at 7:30 p.m. CT inside Children's Mercy Park.

Tickets for the contest remain available at SeatGeek.com as Sporting hosts its third annual Sporting Salutes, an immersive military appreciation night held in partnership with Hallmark that recognizes past and present service personnel and their families across all branches of the United States Armed Forces. Fans can also catch Saturday's action live on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.

Sporting secured a massive road victory over Seattle last weekend and will aim to make it two straight wins at the expense of a Real Salt Lake side that currently sits in playoff position and has just one defeat in the last 13 regular season meetings between the clubs. Without further ado, let's take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting are 1-7-5 their last 13 regular season meetings with RSL since 2014. The lone win during that stretch came by a 3-0 scoreline on April 29, 2017 in Kansas City.
  • RSL have emerged with points on five of their last six regular season trips to Children's Mercy Park, including a 1-1 draw last September.
  • The sides last met on June 29 as forward Sam Johnson scored twice to lead RSL to a 2-0 home victory.
  • The clubs squared off five times in 2018 as Sporting eliminated RSL from the MLS Cup Playoffs and Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • The most recent meeting between the clubs at Children's Mercy Park saw Sporting win a 4-2 thriller in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinals. Daniel Salloi led the way with a brace and Ilie Sanchez scored from the penalty spot.
  • The sides notably met in the 2013 MLS Cup at Children’s Mercy Park, an epic encounter played amidst freezing conditions that saw Sporting prevail 7-6 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 draw through regulation and extra time.

Real Salt Lake

  • 2019 MLS record: 10-9-4 (34 points, 6th in Western Conference)
  • 2019 MLS away record: 2-7-3 (11 GF, 21 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 3-1 vs. New York City FC on Aug. 3
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 2-1-2, 8 points (L-W-T-T-W)
  • RSL have just one loss in their last eight MLS matches (4-1-3) since mid-June and are unbeaten in four straight (2-0-2) since falling at San Jose on July 6.
  • RSL have failed to score in five of their 12 road matches this season. Their two away wins in 2019 have come against last-place clubs FC Cincinnati (April 19) and Colorado Rapids (May 11).
  • RSL lead MLS with a shooting accuracy of 51.5%.
  • RSL are 9-1-1 when scoring the first goal this season but 1-8-2 when allowing the first goal. Similarly, they are 9-0-1 when leading at halftime and 0-6-0 when trailing at the break.
  • Forward Jefferson Savarino has three goals and three assists across his last four MLS appearances since July 13.
  • Midfielder Albert Rusnak leads RSL in goals (eight) and assists (four) while ranking 11th in MLS with 54 chances created.
  • Defender Aaron Herrera ranks second in MLS with 44 interceptions.
  • Goalkeeper Nick Rimando (504) and midfielder Kyle Beckerman (480) rank first and second in MLS history in regular season appearances. Both players are in their 20th seasons, having joined MLS in 2000 as members of the Miami Fusion.

Sporting Kansas City 

  • 2019 MLS record: 7-9-7, 28 points (10th in Western Conference)
  • 2019 MLS home record: 4-4-3 (21 GF, 22 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 3-2 at Seattle Sounders FC on Aug. 4
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-W-L-L-W)
  • Sporting sit five points below the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot with 11 matches still to play.
  • Sporting lead MLS with six goals from the penalty spot.
  • Sporting are 2-4-3 in their last nine regular season home matches after going 29-3-13 in their previous 45.
  • Sporting have conceded 28 of their 41 goals in the second half of matches this season.
  • Felipe Gutierrez has become the fourth midfielder in club history to hit double-digit goals in a single regular season. He leads the team with 10 league goals in 2019 and has three multi-goal games, tied for the fourth-most in MLS behind Carlos Vela (5), Josef Martinez (5) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (4).
  • Forward Gerso Fernandes is tied for second in MLS with three penalty kicks won.
  • In his first MLS start for Sporting on Sunday, forward Erik Hurtado scored the game-winner in a 3-2 victory at Seattle.
  • Sporting are one of two MLS clubs (LAFC) to have three players with at least seven goals. Gutierrez is joined by Krisztian Nemeth and Johnny Russell, who have scored seven each but none since the month of May.
  • Benny Feilhaber will miss Saturday's match due to caution accumulation, marking the fourth straight game a Sporting midfielder has served a one-game yellow card suspension (Ilie Sanchez on Jul 20, Gutierrez on July 26 and Roger Espinoza on Aug. 4). 
  • Sporting are 0-8-3 this season when conceding the first goal of the match and 0-6-2 when trailing at halftime.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Sporting are one shy of their 250th regular season goal at Children's Mercy Park.
  • Forward Johnny Russell is one shy of his 50th start for Sporting in all competitions.

Recent #RSLvSKC meetings (all competitions)

  • Regular season record vs. RSL 9-12-8 (35 GF, 39 GA)
  • All competitions record vs. RSL: 12-13-10 (47 GF, 46 GA)
Date Result H/A Competition Scoring
04//29/2017 W 3-0 Home Regular Season SKC: Feilhaber 17', Dwyer 51', Fernandes 90+5'
07/22/2017 T 1-1 Away Regular Season SKC: Feilhaber 59'
RSL: Silva 53'
10/22/2017 L 1-2 Away Regular Season SKC: Opara 89'
RSL: Silva 3', Lennon 41'
06/06/2018 W 2-0 Away Open Cup SKC: Russell 47', Belmar 74'
RSL: none
07/04/2018 L 2-4 Away Regular Season SKC: Salloi 20', Opara 64'
RSL: Savarino 29', Baird 37', Saucedo 45+1', Silva 90+10'
09/30/2018 T 1-1 Home Regular Season SKC: Opara 52'
RSL: Baird 9'
11/04/2018 T 1-1 Away Playoffs SKC: Rubio 60'
RSL: Rusnak 51'
11/11/2018 W 4-2 Home Playoffs SKC: Rubio 14', Salloi 19', Ilie 67', Salloi 90+7'
RSL: Saucedo 60', Kreilach 72'
06/29/2019 L 0-2 Away Regular Season SKC: none
RSL: Sam Johnson 15', 29'

Team stats (2019 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis

Category (per game) Sporting RSL
Goals scored 1.57 (11th) 1.43 (13th)
Goals conceded 1.78 (22nd) 1.35 (t-7th)
Shots 14.4 (8th) 12.2 (17th)
Shots on goal 5.3 (5th) 4.6 (10th)
Shooting accuracy 46.5% (10th) 51.5% (1st)
Shot conversion rate 10.8% (14th) 11.7% (11th)
Passing accuracy 83.3% (5th) 79.2% (20th)
Possession 54.0% (6th) 47.7% (17th)
Chances created 9.8 (10th) 9.2 (18th)
Duels won 48.0 (21st) 50.7 (16th)
Tackles won 9.0 (21st) 9.4 (18th)
Interceptions 8.8 (23rd) 11.3 (5th)
Clearances 16.4 (16th) 20.2 (5th)
Fouls committed 12.8 (4th) 11.9 (14th)
Fouls suffered 11.7 (11th) 11.8 (10th)
Shots faced 12.5 (9th) 11.9 (7th)
Series: 
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