"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.
4.12 The number of alcohol-related crashes every hour in Kansas in 2018.
For the third time this season, Sporting Kansas City (5-3-2, 17 points) and Minnesota United FC (5-3-2, 17 points) will rekindle their Midwestern rivalry with hopes of taking pole position in a fiercely competitive Western Conference race. Sunday's showdown at Children's Mercy Park will kick off at 7:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO and ESPN 94.5 FM.
Sporting and Minnesota enter the weekend with identical 5-3-2 records, having experienced a rollercoaster ride through the first 10 games of an unprecedented 2020 campaign. Manager Peter Vermes' men began 5-1-0 before hitting their current four-game winless skid. Minnesota began a perfect 3-0-0, went five regular season matches without a win, then responded with a pair of emphatic victories on home turf. Needless to say, Sunday's victor will make a real statement of intent as Major League Soccer's 2020 season enters its final eight-week stretch.
As Sporting prepares to host its annual Kick Childhood Cancer match, we take a statistical look at Sunday's fixture in our newest edition of By The Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
- In all competitions, Sporting are a perfect 5-0-0 against Minnesota at Children's Mercy Park.
- In five previous home matches against Minnesota, Sporting has outscored the Loons 14-1 and posted four shutouts.
- Sporting are 6-4-2 against Minnesota in all competitions since the Loons joined MLS in 2017.
- The sides first met this season on July 12 in the MLS is Back Tournament group stage. Sporting dominated early and took a 1-0 first-half lead through Khiry Shelton, but Minnesota struck twice in second-half stoppage time, including a 97th-minute winner from Kevin Molino, to snatch a 2-1 win.
- In the most recent meeting at Allianz Field, midfielder Gadi Kinda scored early and the teams traded own goals as Sporting prevailed 2-1 for their first MLS win on Minnesota soil.
- Sporting forward Johnny Russell has five assists in six MLS appearances against Minnesota.
- Sporting goalkeeper Tim Melia has a 5-2-1 regular season record against Minnesota, posting three shutouts and a 0.74 goals against average.
Minnesota United FC
- MLS record: 5-3-2, 17 points (1st in Western Conference)
- MLS away record: 2-2-0 (9 GF, 9 GA)
- Last five regular season matches: 2-3-0, 6 points (L-L-L-W-W)
- Last Match: Won 3-2 vs. FC Dallas on Wednesday, Sept. 9
- Minnesota is tied for second in MLS with 2.1 goals per game, including seven goals across their last two home victories against Real Salt Lake (W 4-0 on Sept. 6) and FC Dallas (W 3-2 on Sept. 9).
- Minnesota has scored a league-leading nine goals in four true road matches this season (2-2-0 record).
- Ten different Minnesota players have scored a goal this season, tied for the most in MLS alongside Colorado.
- Minnesota has lost each of its last two road games by a combined 6-1 scoreline (L 1-3 at Dallas on Aug. 9; L 0-3 at Houston on Sept. 2).
- Minnesota has conceded two or more goals in five of the team's last six regular season matches dating back to July 22.
- Minnesota went winless in five regular season matches from July 17 to Sept. 2 (0-3-2) before posting two straight home wins over the past week.
- Minnesota ranks second in MLS in duels won per game (55.8) and fourth in interceptions per game (13.4).
- Minnesota is a perfect 4-0-0 when scoring the first goal this season and 1-3-1 when allowing the first goal.
- Midfielder Kevin Molino is tied for fifth in MLS with a team-leading five goals, having scored twice in Wednesday's 3-2 home win over FC Dallas.
- Midfielder Jan Gregus is tied for third in MLS with five assists and tied for ninth with 18 chances created, both of which are team-highs.
- Defender Michael Boxall ranks third in MLS in both interceptions (22) and clearances (50).
- Defenders Boxall, Chase Gasper and Romain Metanire have started all 10 regular season matches this season. Metanire will miss Sunday's match through red card suspension.
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS record: 5-3-2, 17 points (2nd in Western Conference)
- MLS home record: 1-1-1 (7 GF, 6 GA)
- Last five regular season matches: 1-2-2, 5 points (W-L-T-T-L)
- Last Match: Lost 1-2 at Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Sept. 5
- Sporting ranks fourth in MLS in total goals scored (20) and goals per game (2.00), behind only LAFC and Minnesota.
- Sporting is the only MLS team yet to be shut out in the regular season. They have scored in each of their first 10 matches of a regular season campaign for the first time in 2007 and are two games shy of tying the club record of 12 set in 2003 and 2008.
- Sporting's 8.8 shots faced per game are the second-fewest in MLS.
- Sporting has lost just once in the four matches where it has conceded the first goal (1-1-2 record).
- Sporting's Homegrown Players have combined to make 17 appearances over the last four matches.
- Sporting has lost twice when scoring the first goal (4-2-0) and leading at halftime (3-2-0) this season, both tied for the most in MLS.
- Since the regular season resumed in home markets in mid-August, midfielder Gianluca Busio ranks third in MLS in tackles won (12) and has completed 88.6% of his passes.
- Among MLS players to score twice and log 90 minutes this season, forward Erik Hurtado leads the league with 1.86 goals per 90 minutes.
- Midfielder Gadi Kinda and forward Khiry Shelton are tied for the team lead with four goals apiece, while forward Alan Pulido has added three goals and a team-leading four assists. Pulido has missed Sporting's last two games with a knock.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Midfielder Ilie Sanchez is one shy of his 100th career regular season start for Sporting.
All-time #SKCvMIN meetings (all competitions)
- Regular season record vs. Minnesota: 5-3-2
- All competitions record vs. Minnesota: 6-4-2
|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|
|09/25/2019||L 1-2||Away||Regular Season|
|07/12/2020||L 1-2||Neutral||Regular Season (MLS is Back)|
|08/21/2020||W 2-1||Away||Regular season|
Team Stats (2020 regular season)
(Per Opta; MLS rank in parenthesis)
|Category (per game)||Sporting||Minnesota|
|Goals scored||2.00 (4th)||2.10 (t-2nd)|
|Goals conceded||1.50 (t-16th)||1.60 (t-19th)|
|Shots||14.4 (5th)||13.7 (9th)|
|Shots on goal||5.0 (t-5th)||4.5 (t-10th)|
|Shooting accuracy||49.5% (10th)||46.3% (16th)|
|Shot conversion rate||13.9% (9th)||15.3% (3rd)|
|Shots faced||8.8 (2nd)||13.4 (19th)|
|Passing accuracy||81.4% (12th)||80.6 (18th)|
|Possession||49.2% (t-12th)||48.1% (14th)|
|Chances created||9.4 (10th)||9.3 (11th)|
|Duels won||49.5 (16th)||55.8 (2nd)|
|Tackles won||10.0 (t-10th)||10.2 (9th)|
|Interceptions||10.8 (21st)||13.4 (4th)|
|Clearances||12.8 (24th)||18.2 (9th)|
|Fouls committed||12.8 (12th)||13.7 (7th)|
|Fouls suffered||10.3 (21st)||12.3 (9th)|