By The Numbers presented by KDOT: #RSLvSKC | Nov. 8, 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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13,531  The number of injury crashes in Kansas in 2018.


A crucial Western Conference clash beckons on Sunday as first-place Sporting Kansas City (11-6-3, 36 points) looks to clinch a No. 1 seed in the Audi MLS Cup Playoffs against a Real Salt Lake side (5-9-7, 22 points) that has already been eliminated from postseason contention. The momentous matchup is slated for 5:30 p.m. CT with live coverage on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports GO, ESPN 94.5 FM and La Grande 1340 AM.

MLS Decision Day 2020 presented by AT&T will see all 26 clubs close the curtains on the regular season campaign this Sunday, and Manager Peter Vermes' men are currently in the driver's seat to finish at the Western Conference summit. RSL will surely want to spoil the party, however, despite the fact that their playoff hopes have already been dashed.

As Sporting prepares for a gargantuan showdown on the cliffs of the Wasatch Mountains, we take a statistical look at the fixture in our newest edition of By the Numbers, presented by the Kansas Department of Transportation.

Playoff Scenarios

  • RSL are eliminated from playoff contention
  • Sporting have clinched a top-three finish in the West and can secure the No. 1 seed on Sunday if:
    • Sporting wins at RSL, OR
    • Portland loses/draws at LAFC AND Seattle loses/draws vs. San Jose

Head-to-Head

  • Sporting hold a 10-13-8 record in the regular season series and a 13-14-10 mark in all competitions.
  • Sporting have a 3-9-3 road record in the regular-season series, including a seven-game winless run at Rio Tinto Stadium (0-5-2).
  • Sporting are just 2-8-5 in their last 15 regular season meetings against RSL dating back to 2014, but won the most recent meeting by a 2-0 scoreline in the MLS is Back Group Stage on July 22. Johnny Russell and Gerso Fernandes scored on either side of halftime.
  • Sporting have not won an MLS match at Rio Tinto Stadium since prevailing 2-1 on July 20, 2013.
  • Sporting notably defeated RSL in MLS Cup 2013, the 2018 Western Conference Semifinals and the 2015 and 2018 editions of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.
  • RSL won both regular season meetings in 2019, including a 2-0 home victory and a 2-1 result at Children's Mercy Park
  • Sporting forward Johnny Russell has three goals and four assists in seven appearances against RSL in all competitions.
  • RSL forward Corey Baird has four goals in five career appearances against Sporting.

Real Salt Lake

  • MLS record: 5-9-7 (22 points)
  • MLS Standings: 11th in West (1.05 points per game)
  • MLS home record: 3-3-3 (12 GF, 14 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 1-3-1, 4 points (L-W-T-L-L)
  • Last Match: L 1-2 at LA Galaxy on Nov. 1
  • RSL are 1-5-1 in their last seven matches since the start of October.
  • RSL's three home wins (3-3-3 record) are tied for the fewest in the Western Conference.
  • RSL have scored 11 of their 25 goals after the 75th minute. Their 11 goals in the final 15 minutes plus stoppage time are the second-most in MLS.
  • RSL rank second-to-last in MLS with six goals in the first half.
  • RSL's 1-4 record in one-goal games is the second-worst in MLS.
  • RSL leads MLS with 6,621 minutes played among Homegrown Players (Justen Glad, Aaron Herrera, Corey Baird, Donny Toia).
  • Midfielder Damir Kreilach leads RSL with eight goals. No other player has more than three. He also ranks fourth in MLS with 137 duels won.
  • Midfielder Albert Rusnak ranks 13th in MLS with 35 chances created but has just two assists this season, three fewer than any of his previous three MLS campaigns.
  • Aaron Herrera leads MLS defenders with 41 dribbles completed.

Sporting Kansas City

  • MLS record: 11-6-3 (36 points)
  • MLS Standings: 1st in West (1.80 points per game)
  • MLS away record: 4-2-2 (12 GF, 9 GA)
  • Last five regular season matches: 3-1-1, 10 points (W-L-T-W-W)
  • Last Match: Won 1-0 at FC Cincinnati on Oct. 28
  • After collecting 10 wins during a 34-game regular season in 2019, Sporting has eclipsed that total with 11 wins in 20 matches this year.
  • During the month of October, Sporting was tied for the MLS lead with five wins and 16 points (5-1-1 record). It marked the second time Sporting has earned five regular season wins in a single month since the dawn of Major League Soccer's non-shootout era.
  • Sporting's 4-2-2 regular season road record is the second-best mark in MLS.
  • Sporting's nine road goals conceded are tied for the fewest in MLS.
  • Sporting have scored in 19 of their 20 regular season matches this season, including eight of nine on the road.
  • Sporting have outscored opponents 17-8 after the 60th minute this season.
  • Fifteen of Sporting's 20 regular season matches this season have been decided by one goal or less (7-5-3 record).
  • Sporting rank third in MLS in shots per game (15.1) and first in fewest shots faced per game (9.5).
  • Sporting are one of three MLS teams to have five players with at least four regular season goals (Johnny Russell 6, Alan Pulido 6, Gadi Kinda 6, Khiry Shelton 4 and Erik Hurtado 4).
  • Among MLS players with at least 10 appearances, forward Alan Pulido ranks third in MLS with 0.92 combined goals and assists per game (six goals and five assists in 12 appearances).
  • Pulido (six goals, five assists) and midfielder Gadi Kinda (six goals, four assists) are two of six MLS newcomers with 10 or more combined goals and assists.
  • Forward Erik Hurtado has played the fewest minutes of any player with at least four goals this season (331).
  • Defender Roberto Puncec has played the full 90 minutes in all six of Sporting's shutouts this season.
  • Goalkeeper Tim Melia boasts a 0.538 goals conceded percentage on penalties, the lowest in MLS history among keepers who have faced at least 10 penalty kicks. Only 14 of the 26 penalties he has faced in the regular season have been successful.

Milestones and Miscellany

  • Manager Peter Vermes has become the first head coach in MLS history to lead a single club to nine playoff appearances.
  • Midfielder Roger Espinoza is 76 minutes shy of 20,000 minutes in his MLS regular season career.

Recent #RSLvSKC meetings

  • Regular season record vs. RSL 10-13-8 (38 GF, 41 GA)
  • All competitions record vs. RSL: 13-14-10 (50 GF, 48 GA)
Date Result H/A Competition
04//29/2017 W 3-0 Home MLS regular season
07/22/2017 T 1-1 Away MLS regular season
10/22/2017 L 1-2 Away MLS regular season
06/06/2018 W 2-0 Away Open Cup 4th Round
07/04/2018 L 2-4 Away MLS regular season
09/30/2018 T 1-1 Home MLS regular season
11/04/2018 T 1-1 Away MLS Cup Playoffs
11/11/2018 W 4-2 Home MLS Cup Playoffs
06/29/2019 L 0-2 Away MLS regular season
08/10/2019 L 1-2 Home MLS regular season
07/22/2020 W 2-0 Neutral MLS is Back Tournament

Team Stats (2020 regular season)

(Per Opta; MLS rank in parenthesis)

Category (per game) Sporting RSL
Goals scored 1.80 (5th) 1.19 (19th)
Goals conceded 1.25 (10th) 1.57 (17th)
Shots 15.1 (3rd) 12.8 (12th)
Shots on goal 4.9 (8th) 3.6 (22nd)
Shooting accuracy 46.6% (15th) 42.1% (25th)
Shot conversion rate 12.0% (11th) 9.3% (21st)
Shots faced 9.5 (2nd) 10.3 (4th)
Passing accuracy 81.7% (13th) 80.6% (17th)
Possession 49.7% (14th) 52.8% (7th)
Chances created 10.2 (7th) 8.7 (17th)
Duels won 51.3 (11th) 51.2 (12th)
Tackles won 10.1 (9th) 9.5 (13th)
Interceptions 11.5 (21st) 11.6 (20th)
Clearances 14.5 (22nd) 14.7 (21st)
Fouls committed 12.6 (13th) 13.7 (4th)
Fouls suffered 10.9 (18th) 10.0 (23rd)
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