Beyond the Box Score presented by Compass Minerals: Matt Besler eclipses 30,000 minutes as five Homegrowns take the field

"Beyond The Box Score" is a weekly series presented by Compass Minerals that takes a statistical dive into every Sporting match, bringing to light the intriguing numbers and factoids that don't appear in the typical box score. To visit the series archive, click here.


If there's any silver lining to emerge from Sporting Kansas City's 5-2 home loss to the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday, it's the fact that Manager Peter Vermes' men have the opportunity to bounce back quickly with a visit to the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.

But before we turn the page to this weekend, it's well worth examining two major milestones from the first MLS match at Children's Mercy Park since Sporting beat Houston by a 4-0 scoreline on March 7.

In the 54th minute of Tuesday's clash, 12th-year veteran and hometown club legend Matt Besler became the first player in Sporting history to eclipse 30,000 minutes played across all competitions. That total includes 25,141 minutes of regular season action, as the center back returned to the lineup for his first league appearance since July 17.

The other landmark moment to take place on Tuesday occurred shortly after Besler reached 30,000 minutes, as a flurry of second-half substitutions resulted in a seminal moment for the Sporting KC Academy. With the introductions of 19-year-old Cameron Duke, 22-year-old Felipe Hernandez and 24-year-old Daniel Salloi—who joined 18-year-old midfielder Gianluca Busio and 20-year-old right back Jaylin Lindsey on the pitch—Sporting fielded five Homegrown Players in a competitive match for the first time ever.

Another tidbit worth noting: goals on either side of halftime from Johnny Russell and Gadi Kinda kept Sporting at the top of the MLS scoring charts with 17 goals. Now in his third season in Kansas City, Russell has 23 goals for the club in all competitions. Kinda, who arrived last winter from Israeli outfit Beitar Jerusalem, has a team-best four league goals in 2020.

Sporting remains four points clear at the summit of the Western Conference despite the loss and will now prepare for Saturday's away test at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado. The contest will kick off at 8 p.m. CT and air live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.

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