"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.
903 The number of lives lost due to alcohol-related crashes in Kansas from 2009-2018.
Riding a wave of newfound momentum, Sporting Kansas City (8-5-2, 26 points) will return to Children's Mercy Park on Sunday for an inaugural meeting with expansion side Nashville SC (4-5-6, 18 points) at 6:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the cross-conference clash are available at SeatGeek.com and fans following from home can catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.
A recent uptick has strengthened Sporting’s hold of third place in the ultra-competitive West, and Sunday presents an opportunity for Manager Peter Vermes’ men to continue their winning ways against a tough Nashville SC outfit that currently occupies the 10th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
As Sporting and Nashville prepare to battle for the first time, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.
- MLS record: 4-5-6, 18 points (10th in Eastern Conference)
- MLS away record: 1-4-3 (2 GF, 8 GA)
- Last five regular season matches: 1-1-3, 6 points (L-W-T-T-T)
- Last Match: T 0-0 vs. Minnesota United FC on Tuesday, Oct. 6
- Nashville are unbeaten in four matches, conceding just one goal during that stretch (1-0-3 record).
- Nashville have drawn each of their last two matches by a 0-0 scoreline. Their four scoreless draws on the season are the most in MLS.
- Nashville are tied for fifth in MLS with a 0.93 goals against average and have allowed one goal or fewer in 10 of 15 matches this season.
- Nashville have scored just two goals in eight road matches. Their two away goals are the fewest in MLS.
- Nashville's 11 goals scored and 0.73 goals per game are the second-fewest in MLS.
- Nashville ranks second-to-last in MLS in both shooting accuracy (42.1%) and shot conversion rate (6.2%).
- Nashville are 4-1-1 when scoring the first goal and 0-4-1 when conceding the first goal this season.
- Goalkeeper Joe Willis is tied for the MLS lead with seven shutouts.
- Forward Daniel Rios has scored twice this season and is the only Nashville player with more than one goal. Nine other players have one goal apiece.
- Midfielder Dax McCarty leads Nashville with four assists. He has scored or assisted on five of the club's 11 goals.
- Defenders Walker Zimmerman and Dave Romney have played every minute of all 15 matches for Nashville this season. Zimmerman leads MLS with 80 clearances.
Sporting Kansas City
- MLS record: 8-5-2, 26 points (3rd in Western Conference)
- MLS home record: 3-3-1 (12 GF, 11 GA)
- Last five regular season matches: 3-2-0, 9 points (W-L-L-W-W)
- Last Match: Won 1-0 vs. Chicago Fire FC on Wednesday, Oct. 7
- Sporting are the only MLS team yet to be shut out this season. They have set a club record by scoring in their first 15 matches of the regular season.
- Sporting are 9-3-4 in their inaugural regular season meetings against MLS expansion teams dating back to 2005.
- Wednesday's 1-0 win over Chicago snapped Sporting's two-game losing skid at Children's Mercy Park.
- Sporting rank third in MLS with five wins by a one-goal margin.
- Sporting rank second in MLS in shots per game (15.0) and also lead the league in fewest shots faced per game (9.2).
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia has saved 11 of the 25 penalty kicks he has faced in his MLS regular season career, including four of the last five. His 0.56 goals conceded percentage on penalties is the lowest in MLS history among keepers who have faced at least 10 penalty kicks.
- On Wednesday, defender Winston Reid became the second Sporting player since the dawn of the Opta era in 2010 to record seven interceptions and a game-winning goal in a shutout victory.
- Defender Roberto Puncec has played the full 90 minutes in each of Sporting's four shutouts this season.
- Forward Johnny Russell has four goals and an assist in his last five games and leads Sporting with six goals on the season.
- Russell has scored or assisted on each of Sporting's last five home goals.
- Midfielder Gadi Kinda and forward Khiry Shelton are tied for third on the team with four goals apiece, behind Russell's six and Alan Pulido's five.
- Shelton is one of six MLS players with at least 20 chances created from open play and 80 duels won this season. He also ranks eighth in MLS with 73 touches in the opponent's box.
Milestones and Miscellany
- Goalkeeper Tim Melia is one shy of his 50th career shutout in the MLS regular season.
- On Wednesday, defender Graham Zusi moved into a tie with teammate Matt Besler for first place on Sporting's all-time chart with 294 regular season appearances.
Team Stats (2020 regular season)
(Per Opta; MLS rank in parenthesis)
|Category (per game)||Sporting||Nashville|
|Goals scored||1.80 (5th)||0.73 (25th)|
|Goals conceded||1.40 (13th)||0.93 (t-5th)|
|Shots||15.0 (2nd)||11.9 (15th)|
|Shots on goal||4.5 (14th)||3.9 (20th)|
|Shooting accuracy||44.7% (20th)||42.1% (25th)|
|Shot conversion rate||12.0% (13th)||6.2% (25th)|
|Shots faced||9.2 (1st)||11.2 (11th)|
|Passing accuracy||81.8% (12th)||81.5% (16th)|
|Possession||50.3% (13th)||45.2% (24th)|
|Chances created||9.7 (11th)||8.5 (19th)|
|Duels won||50.9 (13th)||50.1 (14th)|
|Tackles won||10.1 (10th)||9.1 (18th)|
|Interceptions||11.4 (18th)||11.2 (20th)|
|Clearances||14.5 (20th)||19.3 (6th)|
|Fouls committed||12.9 (12th)||13.3 (9th)|
|Fouls suffered||11.0 (18th)||11.3 (16th)|