Felipe Gutierrez and Benny Feilhaber celebration - Sporting KC at Seattle Sounders FC - Aug. 4, 2019
Noah Riffe

Sporting’s unbeaten streak vs. eventual MLS Cup champions set to continue

The 2019 MLS season brought an end to Sporting Kansas City’s club-record eight-year playoff streak.

It did not, however, bring an end to the team’s longstanding unbeaten run against the eventual MLS Cup champions.

With Seattle Sounders FC and Toronto FC emerging as conference champions, the sides are now set to meet in MLS Cup for the third time in four years. The 2019 campaign saw Sporting go 2-0-1 against these clubs, as a pair of 3-2 victories over Seattle bookended a 2-2 draw at Toronto.

This marks the continuation of a remarkable trend that began way back when Manager Peter Vermes was still transforming Sporting into a perennial title contender.

Since falling to LA Galaxy in May 2011, Sporting have gone eight full seasons without losing to the eventual MLS Cup champion in the regular season. The streak spans 10 matches and will stretch to either 11 games (if Toronto wins) or 12 games (if Seattle wins) depending on the outcome of MLS Cup 2019 on Sunday, Nov. 10 (2 p.m. CT, ABC).

As listed in the table below, Sporting posted an impressive seven consecutive shutouts against the eventual league champions between 2015 and 2018.

Sporting KC vs. Eventual MLS Cup Champions

(MLS regular season since September 2011)

Season MLS Cup
Match Date Result
2011 LA Galaxy Sept. 5, 2011 T 2-2 vs. LA Galaxy
2012 LA Galaxy April 7, 2012 W 1-0 vs. LA Galaxy
2013 Sporting KC N/A N/A
2014 LA Galaxy July 19, 2014 W 2-1 vs. LA Galaxy
2015 Portland Timbers March 21, 2015 T 0-0 vs. Portland
    Sept. 9, 2015 T 0-0 at Portland
    Oct. 3, 2015 W 1-0 at Portland
2016 Seattle Sounders FC March 6, 2016 W 1-0 at Seattle
    July 24, 2016 W 3-0 vs. Seattle
2017 Toronto FC March 31, 2017 T 0-0 at Toronto
2018 Atlanta United FC May 5, 2018 W 2-0 at Atlanta
2019 Seattle or Toronto May 26, 2019 W 3-2 vs. Seattle
    June 7, 2019 T 2-2 at Toronto
    Aug. 4, 2019 W 3-2 at Seattle