By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvHOU | Aug. 31, 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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Two teams desperate for points in the Western Conference playoff race will square off Saturday as Sporting Kansas City (9-11-7, 34 points) hosts rivals Houston Dynamo (9-14-4, 31 points) at Children's Mercy Park. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. CT and tickets for the all-important battle are available at SeatGeek.com. Fans can also catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.

Sporting approaches Saturday six points shy of the seventh and final playoff spot in the West, but consecutive home wins have injected Manager Peter Vermes' men with momentum heading into the decisive stretch run of the regular season. On the opposite sideline, Houston has endured a brutal run of form that has its postseason chances hanging by a thread. We take a statistical look at the contest in our newest edition of By The Numbers.

Head-to-Head

  • The last time Houston visited Kansas City in June 2018, Sporting prevailed 3-2 behind a goal and two assists from Daniel Salloi. It marked the sixth time in club history that Sporting had come from two goals down to win an MLS match in regulation, and just the second time during the Children's Mercy Park era.
  • Thirteen of the 30 regular season matches between the clubs have resulted in draws. Houston holds a 10-7-13 advantage.
  • Similarly, seven of the 14 regular season matches played in Kansas City have resulted in draws. Sporting own a 3-4-7 home record against the Dynamo.
  • Sporting and Houston have drawn six of the last eight regular season meetings at Children's Mercy Park dating back to 2012, holding identical 1-1-6 records in those games.
  • Houston forward Mauro Manotas has scored seven goals in eight competitive appearances against Sporting.
  • Sporting has faced Houston 31 times in all competitions since 2011, more than any other opponent, and posted an 11-10-10 record during that stretch.

Houston Dynamo

  • 2019 MLS record: 9-14-4 (42 points, 10th in Western Conference)
  • 2019 MLS away record: 2-11-0 (15 GF, 32 GA)
  • Last MLS match: L 1-5 at FC Dallas on Aug. 25
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 0-4-1, 1 point (L-L-L-T-L)
  • Houston has won just two league matches since May 20, tied for the fewest in MLS. The Dynamo started the season 7-2-2 but have gone 2-12-2 since then.
  • Houston is winless in six straight matches (0-5-1) since defeating Toronto 3-1 on July 20.
  • Houston's two clean sheets this season are tied for the fewest in MLS.
  • Houston is 4-21-5 away from home since the start of 2018, posting just two shutouts in that 30-game stretch.
  • Houston is 2-11-0 on the road this season, scoring 15 goals and conceding 32.
  • Forward Mauro Manotas leads Houston with 11 goals and places second on the team with six assists.
  • Forward Alberth Elis leads Houston with eight assists and places second on the team with seven goals. He also ranks seventh in MLS with 138 touches in the opponent's box and 11th with 109 dribbles attempted.

Sporting Kansas City 

  • 2019 MLS record: 9-11-7, 34 points (9th in Western Conference)
  • 2019 MLS home record: 6-5-3 (25 GF, 25 GA)
  • Last MLS match: W 1-0 vs. Minnesota United FC on Aug. 22
  • Last 5 MLS matches: 3-2-0, 6 points (W-L-L-W-W)
  • Sporting sit six points below the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot with seven matches remaining.
  • Sporting have won consecutive MLS matches for the second time this season and are looking for their first three-game winning streak of the year.
  • Sporting have gone 13 straight matches in all competitions without tying an opponent (six wins, seven losses).
  • 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 also ranks third in MLS with 49 tackles won.
  • Midfielder Benny Feilhaber has become the 17th player in league history and the third active MLS player to record 40 goals and 60 assists throughout his regular season career.
  • Forward Johnny Russell leads MLS with four goals from outside the box and is one of two MLS players, alongside D.C. United's Wayne Rooney, with two goals from direct free kicks.
  • Russell is one of four players with 18 goals and 18 assists in MLS competition since the start of 2018 (including playoffs).
  • Sporting's eight-year playoff streak is the third-longest active run in MLS behind Seattle (10 years) and the New York Red Bulls (nine years).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza is one shy of his 250th career start for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Forward Gerso Fernandes is one shy of his 100th career appearance for Sporting in all competitions.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 45th regular season shutout for Sporting, which would tie Jimmy Nielsen for the most in club history.

Recent #SKCvHOU meetings in all competitions

  • Regular season record vs. Houston: 7-10-13
  • All-competitions record vs. Houston: 12-16-14
Date Result H/A Competition Details
06/28/2017 W 2-0 Away Open Cup Ike Opara and Gerso Fernandes score second-half goals in Round of 16 matchup
10/11/2017 L 1-2 Away MLS Jimmy Medranda opens scoring, but Houston replies with own goal and Tomas Martinez strike
10/15/2017 T 0-0 Home MLS Sporting racks up 27 shots, but Tyler Deric makes nine saves to help Houston salvage draw
10/26/2017 L 0-1 Away Playoffs Alberth Elis scores in 94th minute to give Houston extra-time victory in Knockout Round
06/23/2018 W 3-2 Home MLS Mauro Manotas bags first-half brace, but hosts rally behind goals from Daniel Salloi, Diego Rubio and Khiry Shelton
07/18/2018 L 2-4 Away Open Cup Johnny Russell and Yohan Croizet score early and late, but Houston advances behind braces from Manotas and Romell Quioto.
08/04/2018 W 1-0 Away MLS Gianluca Busio assists Diego Rubio's second-half winner.
06/01/2019 T 1-1 Away MLS Croizet and Elis trade second-half goals in cagey stalemate.

Team stats (2019 regular season)

MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)

Category (per game) Sporting Houston
Goals scored 1.48 (t-13th) 1.41 (t-18th)
Goals conceded 1.73 (t-20th) 1.78 (21st)
Shots 14.8 (7th) 13.3 (12th)
Shots on goal 5.1 (6th) 4.2 (16th)
Shooting accuracy 44.5% (13th) 41.9% (21st)
Shot conversion rate 10.0% (19th) 10.6% (17th)
Passing accuracy 83.0% (5th) 80.9% (12th)
Possession 54.1% (6th) 46.9% (19th)
Chances created 10.2 (10th) 9.9 (12th)
Duels won 47.8 (21st) 48.7 (20th)
Tackles won 9.0 (20th) 9.7 (16th)
Interceptions 9.1 (22nd) 8.9 (23rd)
Clearances 15.4 (19th) 14.4 (22nd)
Fouls committed 12.6 (5th) 12.5 (6th)
Fouls suffered 11.7 (12th) 12.1 (5th)
Shots faced 12.7 (9th) 14.8 (20th)
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