"By The Numbers" is a season-long series sponsored by The Kansas Department of Transportation that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match.
9% The percentage of children ages 1-3 that were not using safety belts at the time of a crash in Kansas in 2017.
Two teams immediately below the playoff line in the Western Conference will lock horns Sunday night when Sporting Kansas City (10-12-7, 37 points) visits the LA Galaxy (13-13-3, 42 points) at Dignity Health Sports Park in Carson, California. Kickoff is set for 9 p.m. CT with live coverage on FS1, FOX Deportes, the FOX Sports app, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.
Both sides will enter the nationally televised clash with an air of desperation, needing three points to bolster their postseason hopes as the 2019 campaign comes to a dramtic close. Sporting have an eight-year playoff streak on the line, having won four major championships this decade, while the Galaxy are eyeing a return to the MLS Cup Playoffs after missing out in 2017 and 2018.
With that in mind, let's take a statistical look at the all-important battle in our newest edition of By The Numbers.
- Sporting are 4-1-4 against the Galaxy since October 2015, with the lone loss coming by a 2-0 scoreline on May 29 at Children's Mercy Park.
- Sporting are 2-0-1 in their last three regular season visits to Dignity Health Sports Park, drawing 0-0 in 2016 before winning 2-1 in 2017 and 2-0 in 2018.
- LA forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored in two straight appearances against Sporting, including a 1-1 draw last October and a 2-0 Galaxy win in May.
- Sporting forward Johnny Russell scored in both appearances against the Galaxy last season.
- The 63 regular season meetings between the sides have produced just three scoreless draws. LA holds a narrow 25-23-15 advantage.
- 2019 MLS record: 13-13-3 (42 points, 8th in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS home record: 9-4-1 (24 GF, 18 GA)
- Last MLS match: L 1-2 at Colorado Rapids on Sept. 11
- Last 5 MLS matches: 1-2-2, 5 points (W-T-T-L-L)
- LA has just one win in its last eight games, going 1-5-2 since July 27.
- LA has scored exactly half of its goals (21 of 42) after the 60th minute this season.
- LA has conceded 13 goals after the 75th minute this season, tied for the third most in MLS.
- LA is 1-3-2 when its starting lineup includes Argentine international midfielder Cristian Pavon, who joined the club in early August.
- Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is tied for second in MLS with 23 goals and leads the league with seven game-winning goals. He has scored 45 times in 51 regular season appearances since joining the league in 2018.
- Ibrahimovic has scored 23 of LA's 42 goals this season, a clip of 54.8 percent. No other Galaxy player has more than three goals.
- Currently occupying eighth place in the West, LA is in danger of missing the MLS Cup Playoffs for the third straight season.
- Mexican international midfielder Jonathan dos Santos leads MLS with 63 tackles won and ranks seventh with 50 interceptions.
- Defender Diego Polenta leads LA with five assists, while fellow defender Daniel Steres leads LA field players with 26 starts.
- Goalkeeper David Bingham, who leads MLS with 128 saves, is tied for third in wins (13) but also ranks second in losses (13).
Sporting Kansas City
- 2019 MLS record: 10-12-7, 37 points (9th in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS away record: 3-7-4 (16 GF, 22 GA)
- Last MLS match: L 1-2 at Portland Timbers on Sept. 7
- Last 5 MLS matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (L-W-W-W-L)
- Sporting sit six points below the seventh and final Western Conference playoff spot with five matches remaining.
- Sporting had won three straight MLS matches for the first time this season prior to falling 2-1 at the Portland Timbers last Saturday.
- Seven straight Sporting matches have been decided by a single goal, the longest such streak in club regular season history.
- Sporting have gone 14 straight matches without a draw, the longest such streak in club regular season history during the non-shootout era (2000-present).
- Sporting's seven one-goal wins are tied for the third-most in MLS.
- Before losing to Portland on Saturday, Sporting had gone 47-0-7 when leading in the 75th minute dating back to 2015.
- 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 fifth in MLS with 51 tackles won.
- Forward Johnny Russell leads MLS with four goals from outside the box and is one of three MLS players with two goals from direct free kicks.
- Russell, who has nine goals and seven assists in MLS, is one goal shy of becoming the fourth player in Sporting history to score double-digit goals in back-to-back regular seasons.
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.
Recent #LAvSKC regular season meetings
- Regular season record vs. LA: 23-25-15 (76 GF, 92 GA)
- Regular season away record at LA: 7-16-7 (30 GF, 49 GA)
|06/24/2017||W 2-1||Away||Roger Espinoza strikes from distance and Ike Opara bags sensational bicycle kick|
|09/24/2017||W 2-1||Home||Diego Rubio and Daniel Salloi strike early before Romain Alessandrini nets free kick|
|04/08/2018||W 2-0||Away||Salloi and Johnny Russell score in second half to propel visitors to win|
|10/06/2018||T 1-1||Home||Russell and Zlatan Ibrahimovic trade goals in rainy draw|
|05/29/2019||L 0-2||Home||Ibrahimovic and Favio Alvarez score for the visitors|
Team stats (2019 regular season)
MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)
|Category (per game)||Sporting||LA Galaxy|
|Goals scored||1.45 (t-14th)||1.45 (t-14th)|
|Goals conceded||1.62 (t-17th)||1.62 (t-17th)|
|Shots||14.5 (6th)||13.1 (14th)|
|Shots on goal||5.1 (6th)||4.6 (14th)|
|Shooting accuracy||45.4% (12th)||47.7% (8th)|
|Shot conversion rate||10.0% (20th)||11.2% (15th)|
|Passing accuracy||82.9% (5th)||82.3% (7th)|
|Possession||53.9% (7th)||49.5% (11th)|
|Chances created||10.0 (12th)||10.1 (10th)|
|Duels won||47.7 (21st)||53.2 (6th)|
|Tackles won||8.8 (19th)||11.1 (4th)|
|Interceptions||9.1 (22nd)||11.4 (4th)|
|Clearances||15.5 (19th)||19.3 (8th)|
|Fouls committed||12.6 (6th)||11.9 (11th)|
|Fouls suffered||11.9 (11th)||8.7 (24th)|
|Shots faced||12.9 (10th)||16.6 (22nd)|