Monday, August 20, 2012

How Good Has Sporting Been on the Road?

Here is a bit of a statistical look at Sporting's road form this season and how it compares to the rest of the league all time and KC's road history.  For comparison purposes I mainly did the non-shootout years where the game wasn't decided by the shootout for a more level comparison.  I do throw the shootout years out in a few of the comparisons though.

This past weekend in Toronto, Sporting Kansas City picked up their 7th road win of the season.  Needless to say, winning on the road has not exactly been something that Sporting fans are used to.  My record as a traveling supporter (0-5-4 before last season in competitive games, 3-2 in the last two seasons) speaks to that.  KC mainly relied on their home form as a way to get them into the playoffs.  This year though, as KC has struggled at times to find the net at home they've picked up their away form.  Right now the two records are about the same.  At home KC is 7-3-2 and 7-4-2 on the road.

KC isn't the only team that has struggled on the road, traditionally the home team in MLS has controlled the series.  Sporting still has 4 road games left, and at this time there are only 4 MLS teams in the league's history (post shootout, so 2000 and after) that have recorded more than the 7 wins Sporting currently have.  San Jose in 2005, LA in 2010, and Seattle in 2011 all finished with 9 road wins (SJ 9-4-3, LA 9-3-3, Seattle 9-3-5) and New York in 2000 finished with 8 wins (8-8).  Seven other teams have finished the season with 7 road wins.  Currently points per game wise, KC has the 4th best points per game in league history at 1.77 PPG, tied with the 2001 Chicago Fire. Only the 2010 Galaxy, 2 PPG, Seattle 2011, 1.88 PPG, and 2005 San Jose at 1.86 have a better PPG than Sporting currently has away from home.  So this is an area that few MLS teams had been in the past if KC can keep the form up, they'll finish with a very good away record.

As I mentioned earlier, KC is not known as a team that traditionally does well on the road.  For more information on KC's road history, look at it this way.  With 4 road games left, KC has already set a team record for away wins in a non-shootout season.  The previous record was only 5, done 3 times, in 2000, 2004, and 2005.  The seven wins is also the second most all time, including the shootout years, behind only the 9 wins in 1997.  Take away the top 3 away wins (9 in 1997, 7 in 2012, and 6 in 1996) and KC averages under 3.5 wins a season away from home. 

Besides averaging under 3.5 wins a season, KC only averaged 14.4 points per season on the road up until this season.  In this season alone, KC has already earned 23 points.  That 23 points equals the best ever point total on the road in the season, tying the 2000 season when KC went 5-3-8.  The 2000 season is also the only season currently where Sporting has finished with a winning record on the road in a non-shootout season (in 1997 the team finished 9-7 on the road with 3 shootout wins and 2 shootout losses, so 6-5-5 if you want to take shootouts out of the equation).  The 2005 season saw KC finish with a .500 road record at 5-5-6. 

One more win by KC guarantees Sporting with a winning record on the road this year.  Two draws will also guarantee that as well.  The final 4 road games see KC travel to New York twice, and Montreal and Columbus once each.  While New York will be two tough trips KC could definitely pick up points in the other two games.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Awesome post! this is the type of stuff I love to read.

I'm sure it took you a while to put it together though. Keep it up!