By The Numbers - Sporting KC 2020 DL Image

By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #SKCvCOL | July 17, 2020

"By The Numbers" is a season-long series presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation that gives a statistical preview of every Sporting match. To visit the series archive, click here.

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330  The number of crashes caused by drivers under the influence of illegal drugs in Kansas in 2018.


Two teams looking for a quick bounce-back in the MLS is Back Tournament will square off Friday when Sporting Kansas City (2-1-0, 6 points) battles the Colorado Rapids (2-1-0, 6 points) at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Walt Disney World. The pivotal Group D clash will kick off at 7 p.m. CT with national television coverage on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and the ESPN app, while Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM will carry local radio calls. Additionally, Sporting KC Live presented by Michelob Ultra will provide 60 minutes of pregame coverage starting at 6 p.m. CT.

Sporting and Colorado both began the 2020 campaign with consecutive regular season wins before dropping their MLS is Back Tournament openers to Minnesota United FC and Real Salt Lake, respectively. Those results make Friday's contest all the more important, as only the top two finishers in the four-team group will be guaranteed a place in the Round of 16. The four best third-place finishers across Groups A through F will also progress to the knockout rounds, but neither Sporting nor Colorado will want to leave their fates to luck.

With plenty to play for in a game between longtime rivals, we take a statistical look at the matchup in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting and Colorado have squared off 78 times in all competitions, making the Rapids the most frequent opponent in Kansas City history.
  • Sporting holds a narrow advantage with 31 wins, 29 losses and 18 ties, including a 25-24-15 record in the regular season. 
  • Sporting went 6-0-5 against Colorado from 2009-2015, but the Rapids have gone 7-2-2 in the series since August 2015.
  • In two meetings last season, the sides scrapped to a 1-1 draw in Colorado on St. Patrick's Day before Sporting took a 3-2 loss last September at Children's Mercy Park.
  • Colorado forward Diego Rubio scored in both appearances against Sporting last year, having played in Kansas City for three seasons from 2016-2018.
  • Sporting forward Gerso Fernandes has two career goals against Colorado, including the opener in last September's 3-2 home loss to the Rapids.

Colorado Rapids

  • 2020 MLS record: 2-1-0, 6 points (3rd in Western Conference)
  • Week 1 result: Won 2-1 at D.C. United on Feb. 29
  • Week 2 result: Won 2-1 vs. Orlando City SC on March 7
  • MLS is Back Tournament record: 0-1-0 (4th in Group D)
  • MLS is Back Tournament opener: Lost 0-2 vs. Real Salt Lake on July 12
  • Sunday's 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake marked the first time Colorado has failed to score in Robin Fraser's 10-game tenure as head coach.
  • Fraser has a 7-3-0 record as Colorado's head coach since taking over last August.
  • This year marked the first time Colorado had started a regular season 2-0-0 since 2012.
  • Colorado began the 2019 season 0-9-2 but has gone 14-8-4 since then.
  • Colorado scored 58 goals during the 2019 regular season, the second-most in club history. A pair of former Sporting forwards were largely responsible, as Kei Kamara (14 goals) and Diego Rubio (11 goals) combined to score 25 times.
  • Colorado's four goals this season have come from four different players: Kamara, Jonathan Lewis, Younes Namli and Drew Moor.
  • Kamara has bagged at least 12 goals in each of the last five seasons, all of which have come in his 30s.

Sporting Kansas City

  • 2020 MLS record: 2-1-0, 6 points (2nd in Western Conference)
  • Week 1 result: Won 3-1 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Feb. 29
  • Week 2 result: Won 4-0 vs. Houston Dynamo on March 7
  • MLS is Back Tournament record: 0-1-0 (3rd in Group D)
  • MLS is Back Tournament opener: Lost 1-2 vs. Minnesota United FC on July 12
  • Sporting held Minnesota to a single shot attempt through the first 60 minutes of Sunday's match, but surrendered a second-half stoppage time lead for the first time in club regular season history to lose 2-1.
  • Sporting ranks second in MLS with eight goal scored through three matches.
  • Sporting leads MLS with 141 passes per game in the attacking third.
  • Sporting has outshot each of its first three opponents this season.
  • Forward Khiry Shelton has scored in consecutive regular season appearances for the first time in his MLS career. Shelton also leads MLS forwards with 25 duels won.
  • Forward Alan Pulido has scored or assisted in each of his first three appearances for Sporting. He is one of two MLS players with two goals and two assists, alongside Crew SC's Lucas Zelarayan.
  • On Sunday, goalkeeper Tim Melia received his first red card since 2014 when he was a member of now-defunct Chivas USA.
  • Left back Luis Martins leads MLS defenders with 53 successful passes in the attacking third.
  • Sporting has scored seven total goals through their first two MLS matches for the second time ever (2000).

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Defender Graham Zusi made his 300th MLS appearance in Sunday's loss to Minnesota, becoming the 12th active player to reach the milestone and the fifth to play 300 games with a single club.
  • With Tim Melia serving a red card suspension on Friday, goalkeeper Richard Sanchez is set to make his first career start for Sporting.

Recent #SKCvCOL meetings

  • Regular season record vs. Colorado: 25-24-15
  • All competitions record vs. Colorado: 31-29-18
Date Result H/A Competition
04/09/2017 W 3-1 Home MLS regular season
05/27/2017 L 0-1 Away MLS regular season
03/24/2018 T 2-2 Away MLS regular season
05/05/2018 W 1-0 Home MLS regular season
03/17/2019 T 1-1 Away MLS regular season
09/21/2019 L 2-3 Home MLS regular season
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