The Full 90

The Leftovers: Sporting KC keep winning on the road

It might not have been pretty, but Kansas City got the full three points from Toronto on Saturday and, in the process, managed to break a nasty 500-plus minute goalless stretch at BMO Field.

As it stands today, Sporting Kansas City holds onto first place in the Eastern Conference and, thanks to Montreal's shocking win over San Jose, have pulled within one point of the Earthquakes in the Supporter's Shield race.

Here are some relevant notes, quotes, stats and facts from the 1-0 win.

• Sporting Kansas City are now 14-7-4 and have eclipsed their win total from 2011.

• In franchise history, KC has finished with more than 14 wins just twice: 21 in 1997 and 16 in 2000. (The 21 wins in 1997 included 7 shoot-out wins since the league didn't have ties.)

• We'll call the team record 16 regulation-wins for KC. That's what the current club is chasing. They'll have 9 games to pick up three wins.

• Kansas City's 46 points and 1.84 points-per-game are second only to San Jose (47/1.88). The chase for the Supporter's Shield seems to be a very tight one.

• Sporting KC are also just 11 points away from it single-season best 57 in 2000.

• Given KC's current pace (1.84 ppg), they would top off at 63 points.

• I wrote a

great deal about KC's shot at history on Friday


• The win on Saturday was Sporting KC's seventh away from home in 2012, the most regulation road wins in club history.

• Not surprisingly, seven away wins also tops MLS so far; San Jose and Los Angeles are in second place with six wins.

• Peter Vermes on his team's performance: "What I takeaway from the game is that it is another victory on the road, I think right now we have the best record in the [league]. To be successful in any league you have to be successful on the road so from that perspective I appreciate the effort and also getting a clean sheet and not giving up a goal. This isn't an easy place to come in and get a result, it really isn't. It's a tough place to play. There are some places that are tough in the league and this is one of them."

• Kei Kamara bagged his 29th goal in his Kansas City career. He's now in sixth place in franchise history.

• The goal gives him nine for the season, which leads the team.

• Kamara's goal was also his ninth game-winning goal for Kansas City

• and the first Sporting KC goal from outside the penalty area in 2012.

• One more thing on the goal: It as Sporting's fourth game-winning goal after the 75th minute in 2012.

• Graham Zusi picked up his 11th assist, which is tied for the league lead with Landon Donovan.

• Zusi is one of five MLS players with seven or more assists in '11 and '12. He's in good company, the other four: Seattle's Mauro Rosales, D.C. United's Dwayne De Rosario, Houston's Brad Davis and Los Angeles' David Beckham. Three 2011 MVP candidates and one of the greatest passers of the ball in football history. Not bad company.

• What's more, Zusi turned 26 on Saturday. He's the only one from the group above who's

under the age of 30


• Roger Espinoza became the third active player to surpass 8,000 minutes in a KC uniform.

• Kansas City is unbeaten in the last six matches against Toronto FC (4-0-2) and 6-3-4 all-time against them.

• KC has not lost to TFC since April 26, 2009. Though, KC had gone 541 minutes without scoring a goal at BMO Field.

• Toronto returns to Livestrong Sporting Park on Sept. 1. It will be the third matchup between the two teams this season.

• When Vermes has his first-choice defense (Chance Myers, Aurelien Collin, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic), Kansas City is 22-2-5.

• Saturday was the first time those four played together since July 14 -- a 2-0 road win against Columbus.

• Jimmy Nielsen made two saves on Saturday to earn his 11th shutout this season.

• That's good for second-most clean sheets in a single season for KC behind Tony Meola's 16 in 2000.

• Nielsen also leads MLS this season in clean sheets.

• The defense for KC is allowing an MLS-best 0.88 goals per game this season.

• A few of the other notable benchmark stats: KC leads the league in corner kicks (151), Zusi leads the league in individual corners (103), KC still leads the league in shots (404) and fewest shots against (251).

• Speaking of shots: Kansas City led the league in that category in '11, '10, '07 and '06. That's amazing.

• Speaking of shots, some more: On Saturday, KC out-shot TFC 17-6. It was the 12th time this year KC out-shot an opponent by double-digits.

• On the injury front, four players missed the game on Saturday: Jacob Peterson, Bobby Convey, Neven Markovic and Peterson Joseph.

• Vermes made three changes from last week's 2-1 win over D.C. United with Myers, Sinovic and Cesar returning to the lineup for Michael Harrington, Markovic and Michael Thomas (respectively).

• Lightning round time. Kansas City

• 12-5-2 when outshooting their opponent in 2012.