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Sporting KC at LA Galaxy: Preview, Predictions, Injuries & Starting XI

First place SKC are back on the road in the City of Angels to play a Galaxy team coming off a mid-week victory.

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MLS: LA Galaxy at Sporting KC John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ LA Galaxy (#LAvSKC)

Saturday, June 24, 2017 at 9:30 PM CT

Fox Sports KC | fuboTV (free trial) | MLS Live

The Los Angeles Galaxy have an eight-game unbeaten streak. Sporting Kansas City do not. On top of that the Galaxy have a four-game home unbeaten streak against SKC (3-0-1). The last time Sporting KC won against the Galaxy in LA was waaaaaay back in 2010. In fact KC have only won five times ever in LA (5-16-7). Why would Saturday be any different?

There are actually a couple things going in Sporting’s favor. First, the Galaxy just played on Wednesday against the Colorado Rapids. If you look at their starting lineup you may think it’s not their premier starting eleven. That brings us to the second thing that is going SKC’s way. LAG are dealing with lots of injuries and one very notable international absence — Giovani Dos Santos.

This is a very different LA team than the team that played Sporting to three draws in 2016. First, Bruce Arena is no longer their coach. He has been replaced by Curt Onalfo. A familiar, and some would say infamous name, around Kansas City. Of course Onalfo coached the then Wizards from 2007-2009. He had a losing record for two of those three seasons (yet still made the playoffs twice because the Eastern Conference was so bad). Before the clubs current run of form things were looking pretty bad in LA too.

Another big change from the 2016 Galaxy is the loss of Robbie Keane. In six season with Los Angeles he scored 83(!) goals. Instead of directly replacing Keane the Galaxy looked to move Gyasi Zardes up top. He has dealt with injuries and that move hasn’t really worked. He has zero goals and only a single assist and has more recently moved back out wide. Surprisingly Jack McBean, who was with the LA Galaxy II last season, stepped in to start Wednesday and scored a brace.

The real replacement for Keane has been Romain Alessandrini, who is the new Designated Player on the club this season. Alessandrini has been a beast scoring eight goals and adding seven assists in just 15 games. That production has mostly come with Romain playing out wide.

Injuries

Sporting KC

OUT: None

QUESTIONABLE: Erik Palmer-Brown (thigh injury) — somehow Espinoza isn’t on this list despite holding his back constantly during games.

Galaxy

OUT: Robbie Rogers (ankle injury), Sebastian Lletget (foot surgery), Baggio Husidic (fractured fibula), Daniel Steres (hamstring injury), Brian Rowe (groin injury), Jermaine Jones (MCL sprain),

QUESTIONABLE: Bradley Diallo (hamstring injury), Raul Mendiola (undisclosed injury)

Suspensions

Sporting KC - None [Seth Sinovic and Roger Espinoza suspended the next yellow card]

Galaxy- None [Romain Alessandrini suspended next yellow card]

International Duty

Sporting KC - None

Galaxy - Giovanni Dos Santos (Mexico, Confederations Cup)

Recent Form

Sporting KC - Last Five: L/L/W/D/D (5 Points)

Galaxy - Last Five: W/W/D/D/W (11 Points)

Leading Scorers

  • Sporting KC: Gerso Fernandes(6), Dom Dwyer (5), Latif Blessing, Benny Feilhaber (2)
  • Galaxy: Romain Alessandrini (8), Giovanni Dos Santos (6), Emmanuel Boateng, Jack McBean (2)

Starting XI Predictions

Rest of the 18: Zendejas, Blessing, Mustivar, Abdul-Salaam, Salloi, Ellis, Rubio

Let me start by saying, I’d really like to see Roger Espinoza rest. He doesn’t seem like he’s 100% and despite him being the highest paid player on the team, he potentially is hurting his team by playing hurt. I’d love to see Jimmy Medranda fill in that spot and Latif Blessing start on the wing (or even Daniel Salloi for that matter).

We all know the Starting XI that will be on the pitch though. It’s almost always the same set of guys. This is the last time these guys may be together for a while with the United States starting their CONCACAF Gold Cup Camp on June 25th. Dom Dwyer, Graham Zusi and Matt Besler could all get called into the team.

As for the outcome to this match, it’ll probably be a draw or a loss for Sporting KC, because that’s just what happens when they travel to Los Angeles. Something just feels different about this game though. LA have injuries or absences on every line, including at goalkeeper. If KC are going to steal a match on the road, this feels like the one.

Prediction: 1-0 Sporting KC

Also, I’ll be there with my family. Come say hi and let’s celebrate a Sporting Kansas City victory!

Who do you think will start? Who do you think should start? And what is your prediction for an outcome? Let us know in the comments.