When Gerso Fernandes fired Sporting Kansas City into an early lead with the deft touch of his left boot on Saturday night against the Colorado Rapids, it continued a season-long scoring trend that would normally go unnoticed by many.
The newest edition of Beyond The Box Score shines light on said trend, illustrating a statistical quirk unique to Manager Peter Vermes' men over the course of 2019.
Gerso's tidy finish in a narrow 3-2 defeat to the Colorado Rapids—which saw Sporting play down a man for the final 70 minutes after captain Matt Besler was sent off—gave the side its 25th left-footed goal of the regular season. No other club except LAFC has 20 or more left-footed strikes this year, and no squad has accounted for a greater percentage of its scoring via the left foot than Sporting.
As outlined in the table below, 54.3% of Sporting's league goals have been left-footed. That's the highest clip in MLS this season and the club's highest percentage since Opta began tracking goal footedness in 2010. With some of the team's most influential attackers preferring their left foot—Gerso, Felipe Gutierrez and Johnny Russell, to name a few—it's easy to understand why Sporting tops the list.
GOALS BY BODY PART: 2019 MLS REGULAR SEASON
(matches through Sept. 21)
|Club||Right Foot||Left Foot||Head||Other||Total||% Left Footed|
|Sporting Kansas City||13||25||5||3||46||54.3%|
|Los Angeles Football Club||27||41||9||1||78||52.6%|
|New York Red Bulls||20||18||10||3||51||35.3%|
|Columbus Crew SC||15||13||7||2||37||35.1%|
|Seattle Sounders FC||25||17||6||2||50||34.0%|
|New York City FC||35||19||2||0||56||33.9%|
|Vancouver Whitecaps FC||19||11||3||0||33||33.3%|
|New England Revolution||24||12||8||1||45||26.7%|
|San Jose Earthquakes||33||11||3||3||50||22.0%|
|Real Salt Lake||31||9||2||0||42||21.4%|
|Atlanta United FC||33||10||7||3||53||18.9%|
|Minnesota United FC||32||9||6||2||49||18.4%|
|Orlando City SC||28||5||8||0||41||12.2%|
SPORTING KC: GOALS BY BODY PART
MLS REGULAR SEASON SINCE 2010
|Season||Right Foot||Left Foot||Head||Other||Total||% Left Footed|
Seven points shy of playoff positioning with three regular season matches still to play, Sporting (10-14-7, 37 points) will look to bounce back Wednesday when they travel to face regional rival Minnesota United FC (14-10-6, 48 points) at the new Allianz Field. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus and FOX Sports GO.