"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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The penultimate week of the 2019 MLS regular season will see Sporting Kansas City (10-14-7, 37 points) take the field twice, visiting Minnesota United FC (14-10-7, 49 points) on Wednesday before hosting the Portland Timbers (13-13-5, 44 points) on Sunday. The first hurdle comes in the form of a vastly improved Minnesota side, with kickoff slated for 7 p.m. CT at the new Allianz Field and live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City Plus, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
In order to preserve their slim playoff hopes, Manager Peter Vermes' men must defeat the Loons on Wednesday and hope Portland or the San Jose Earthquakes drop points in their respective home matches later that night. With postseason implications entrenching this pivotal midweek fixture, let's take a statistical look at the meeting in our newest edition of By The Numbers.
- Sporting are 7-2-2 against Minnesota in all competitions since 2014, including a 5-2-2 mark since 2017 when the Loons entered MLS via expansion.
- Sporting are 0-2-2 on the road against Minnesota in all competitions since the Loons joined MLS in 2017.
- The sides most recently met on Aug. 22 at Children's Mercy Park when Erik Hurtado scored an 88th-minute winner for Sporting on Johnny Russell's assist.
- Minnesota won the first meeting between the clubs this season, earning a 4-1 home win in the U.S. Open Cup Round of 32 on June 12 that produced a Darwin Quintero brace and additional goals from Ethan Finlay and Angelo Rodriguez. Sporting struck through Gerso Fernandes in the losing effort.
Minnesota United FC
- 2019 MLS record: 14-10-7 (49 points, 3rd in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS home record: 9-1-5 (26 GF, 11 GA)
- Last MLS match: T 0-0 at Portland Timbers on Sept. 22
- Last 5 MLS matches: 2-2-1, 7 points (L-W-L-W-T)
- Minnesota has just one home defeat this season, tied for the fewest in MLS. The Loons are 9-1-5 at home in MLS play and 12-1-5 at Allianz Field in all competitions.
- Minnesota has conceded just 11 goals in 15 MLS home matches this season, the fewest in the league.
- Minnesota has outscored opponents 38-14 in 18 home matches this season across all competitions.
- Minnesota leads MLS with 12.7 interceptions per game.
- Minnesota's 40 goals allowed are 31 fewer than they conceded last season.
- Minnesota has nine one-goal wins this season, the second-most in MLS.
- Minnesota is 5-0-1 this season when leading at halftime but 0-8-0 when trailing at the break.
- Versatile attacker Darwin Quintero leads Minnesota with 10 league goals this season, while midfielder Jan Gregus has a team-best nine assists.
- Forward Mason Toye has six goals and three assists in only seven MLS starts (14 appearances) this season.
- Gregus ranks fourth in MLS in interceptions (55), while center back and former Sporting defender Ike Opara ranks fourth in MLS in clearances (140).
- Goalkeeper Vito Mannone ranks third in MLS in both shutouts (11) and saves (115).
Sporting Kansas City
- 2019 MLS record: 10-14-7, 37 points (11th in Western Conference)
- 2019 MLS away record: 3-8-4 (18 GF, 29 GA)
- Last MLS match: L 2-3 vs. Colorado Rapids on Sept. 21
- Last 5 MLS matches: 2-3-0, 6 points (W-W-L-L-L)
- In order to keep their playoff hopes alive on Wednesday, Sporting must beat Minnesota and see either Portland or San Jose drop points in their respective home matches. Sporting's eight-year playoff run is the third-longest active streak in MLS.
- Losers of three straight, Sporting are hoping to avoid their first four-game losing skid since 2014.
- Sporting have gone 16 straight MLS matches without a draw, winning seven and dropping nine. This is the longest such streak in club regular season history during the non-shootout era (2000-present).
- Sporting have conceded 18 goals in the final 15 minutes of matches this season, tied for the most in MLS.
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia has saved all three penalty kicks he has faced this season.
- Felipe Gutierrez has become the fourth midfielder in club history to hit double-digit goals in a single regular season (Preki, Mark Chung, Benny Feilhaber).
- Gutierrez has also become the first MLS player during the Opta era (2010-present) to record double-digit goals and win at least 50 tackles in a single regular season.
- Forward Johnny Russell is tied for the MLS lead 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 (Preki, Josh Wolff, Dom Dwyer).
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 #MINvSKC meetings (all competitions)
- Regular season record vs. Minnesota: 4-1-2
- All competitions record vs. Minnesota: 5-2-2
|05/07/2017||L 0-2||Away||Regular Season|
|06/03/2017||W 3-0||Home||Regular Season|
|06/14/2017||W 4-0||Home||U.S. Open Cup 4th Round|
|10/07/2017||T 1-1||Away||Regular Season|
|05/20/2018||T 1-1||Away||Regular Season|
|06/03/2018||W 4-1||Home||Regular Season|
|08/25/2018||W 2-0||Home||Regular Season|
|06/12/2019||L 1-4||Away||U.S. Open Cup 4th Round|
|08/22/2019||W 1-0||Home||Regular Season|
Team stats (2019 regular season)
MLS rank in parenthesis (source: Opta)
|Category (per game)||Sporting||Minnesota|
|Goals scored||1.48 (14th)||1.58 (10th)|
|Goals conceded||1.84 (t-21st)||1.29 (6th)|
|Shots||14.6 (6th)||13.8 (10th)|
|Shots on goal||5.0 (9th)||4.3 (16th)|
|Shooting accuracy||45.1% (13th)||49.8% (23rd)|
|Shot conversion rate||10.2% (19th)||11.4% (11th)|
|Passing accuracy||82.8% (5th)||79.3% (20th)|
|Possession||53.2% (8th)||44.3% (23rd)|
|Chances created||9.9 (14th)||10.4 (10th)|
|Duels won||46.9 (24th)||50.8 (12th)|
|Tackles won||8.7 (22nd)||11.0 (4th)|
|Interceptions||8.9 (22nd)||12.7 (1st)|
|Clearances||16.1 (18th)||19.2 (9th)|
|Fouls committed||12.6 (6th)||11.5 (15th)|
|Fouls suffered||11.7 (11th)||9.5 (22nd)|
|Shots faced||13.3 (13th)||14.0 (17th)|