"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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A titanic Western Conference clash beckons Saturday night as ninth-place Sporting Kansas City (10-11-7, 37 points) visits the eighth-place Portland Timbers (12-11-4, 40 points) at Providence Park. Match coverage will start at 9:30 p.m. CT on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.
Sporting enters the weekend on the heels of a three-game winning streak and back-to-back shutouts, having moved within five points of the seventh and final playoff spot in the West. The Timbers, meanwhile, are enjoying a home-heavy end to their regular season schedule and would jump above the playoff line with a win on Saturday.
With postseason implications embroiling this marquee matchup, we offer up a statistical preview in our newest edition of By The Numbers.
- Sporting have lost just one of their last 10 regular season meetings against Portland since 2014 (5-1-4).
- Sporting have shut out Portland in eight of the last 10 regular season meetings, which have produced just 12 combined goals between the teams.
- Sporting are 4-2-4 in 10 MLS matches at Providence Park, posting shutouts in six of their last eight visits (including playoffs).
- Sporting have conceded just seven goals in their 10 MLS matches at Portland (including playoffs). Those 10 meetings at Providence Park have produced just 14 total goals.
- Across all competitions, the home team in the series has won just three of the last 15 meetings.
- As a member of Sporting, goalkeeper Tim Melia has conceded just one goal in six regular season appearances against Portland. He has a 0.17 goals against average and a 95.8 save percentage in those six games.
- Including playoffs, Melia has allowed just one goal in six MLS appearances at Providence Park.
- These teams met in the 2018 Western Conference Championship, battling to a scoreless first-leg draw in Portland before the Timbers prevailed 3-2 in the return leg. The second-leg thriller produced a Diego Valeri brace and a Sebastian Blanco wondergoal for Portland, while Sporting struck through Daniel Salloi and Gerso Fernandes.
- 2019 MLS record: 12-11-4 (40 points, 8th in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS home record: 6-3-2 (22 GF, 13 GA)
- Last MLS match: W 1-0 vs. Real Salt Lake on Aug. 31
- Last 5 MLS matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-W-L-L-W)
- Portland will play six of their final seven matches at home, with their lone road game at Children's Mercy Park on Sept. 29.
- Portland are 11-0-1 this season when scoring the first goal but 1-11-3 when conceding the first goal.
- Portland have gone 12-6-3 since April 20 after starting the season 0-4-1.
- Portland ranks third in MLS with 12.4 chances created per match.
- Portland ranks second in MLS in fouls committed (13.8 per match) while also ranking second-to-last in fouls suffered (9.2 per match).
- Portland has allowed four goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, the second-fewest in MLS.
- Forward Brian Fernandez has scored 10 goals in 15 MLS appearances since joining the club in May.
- Attacking midfielder Diego Valeri is tied for second in MLS with 15 assists, including a league-best six of the game-winning variety. He also leads MLS with 102 chances created and is the only active player with at least 75 goals and 75 assists in his MLS career.
- Midfielder Sebastian Blanco is tied for third in MLS with five game-winning assists.
- Goalkeeper Steve Clark has an 11-4-2 record as a starter and leads MLS with a 0.94 goals against average and a 78.4 save percentage (minimum five games played).
- Portland will miss nine players on Saturday due to injury or international duty: Larrys Mabiala (injury), Julio Cascante (injury), Modou Jadama (injury), Zarek Valentin (injury), Marco Farfan (injury), Cristhian Paredes (injury), Jeff Attinella (injury), Andres Flores (international duty) and Renzo Zambrano (international duty).
Sporting Kansas City
- 2019 MLS record: 10-11-7, 37 points (9th in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS away record: 3-6-4 (15 GF, 20 GA)
- Last MLS match: W 1-0 vs. Houston Dynamo on Aug. 31
- Last 5 MLS matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (L-L-W-W-W)
- Sporting sit five points below the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot with six matches remaining.
- Sporting have won three straight MLS matches for the first time this season.
- Sporting have claimed back-to-back 1-0 victories in the regular season for the first time since April 2013.
- Six straight Sporting matches have been decided by a single goal, good for the longest such streak in club regular season history.
- Sporting have gone 13 straight MLS matches without a draw, tied for the longest such streak in club history during the non-shootout era (2000-present).
- Sporting's seven one-goal wins are tied for the third-most in MLS.
- Left back Luis Martins has a 3-0-0 record as a starter, having logged 90 minutes in each of the last three wins.
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia is currently amidst a 245-minute shutout streak dating back to Aug. 17.
- Sporting will miss six players Saturday due to international duty: Botond Barath, Gianluca Busio, Felipe Gutierrez, Nico Hasler, Krisztian Nemeth and Johnny Russell.
- 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
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 46th regular season shutout for Sporting, which would pass Jimmy Nielsen for the most in club history.
- Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is 14 minutes shy of reaching 10,000 minutes played for Sporting in all competitions.
Recent #PORvSKC meetings
- Regular season record vs. Portland: 7-3-4 (15 GF, 10 GA)
- Regular season road record at Portland: 4-2-2 (5 GF, 5 GA)
|04/15/2017||W 1-0||Away||Regular Season||SKC: Dom Dwyer 53'
|07/01/2017||T 1-1||Home||Regular Season||SKC: Daniel Salloi 60'
POR: Diego Valeri 26'
|06/09/2018||T 0-0||Away||Regular Season||SKC: none
|08/18/2018||W 3-0||Home||Regular Season||SKC: Diego Rubio 28', 37', Johnny Russell 89'
|11/25/2018||T 0-0||Away||MLS Cup Playoffs||SKC: none
|11/29/2018||L 2-3||Home||MLS Cup Playoffs||SKC: Daniel Salloi 20', Gerso Fernandes 81'
POR: Sebastian Blanco 52', Diego Valeri 61', 90+9'
Team stats (2019 regular season)
MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)
|Category (per game)||Sporting||Portland|
|Goals scored||1.46 (t-14th)||1.59 (11th)|
|Goals conceded||1.61 (t-16th)||1.48 (12th)|
|Shots||14.7 (6th)||15.7 (3rd)|
|Shots on goal||5.1 (6th)||5.2 (5th)|
|Shooting accuracy||44.8% (12th)||43.3% (16th)|
|Shot conversion rate||10.0% (20th)||10.1% (19th)|
|Passing accuracy||83.1% (5th)||81.4% (10th)|
|Possession||54.4% (6th)||48.7% (13th)|
|Chances created||10.1 (9th)||12.4 (3rd)|
|Duels won||47.8 (21st)||46.8 (24th)|
|Tackles won||8.8 (20th)||10.3 (11th)|
|Interceptions||9.0 (22nd)||10.6 (11th)|
|Clearances||15.3 (19th)||18.9 (19th)|
|Fouls committed||12.5 (6th)||13.8 (2nd)|
|Fouls suffered||11.8 (11th)||9.2 (23rd)|
|Shots faced||12.7 (10th)||13.9 (17th)|