Sporting KC vs. LA Galaxy
When: Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 7:30 PM CT (Kickoff 7:55!)
Where: Children’s Mercy Park
How to Watch/Stream: Fox Sports 1 (FS1) | Fox Deportes | Fox Sports App
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)
Much of the attention following Sporting Kansas City’s crucial 2-1 win in Seattle has been focused on the play between Tim Melia and Cristian Roldan. I’m just as guilty as anyone, finding myself a bit excited that a wrestler from my youth (okay, I was nearly an adult) was commenting on Melia’s exceptional form on his Rock Bottom of Roldan. And that could still have reverberating effects, as the MLS Disciplinary Committee is likely to meet and talk about retroactively punishing Melia (though our own Robert Rusert gives a spirited defense against said punishment). The memes alone have been marvelous.
But as Johnny Russell said after the game against Seattle, it’s all for nothing if Sporting KC don’t keep winning. They are now three points behind the Seattle Sounders in a race for Western Conference superiority. Seattle play LAFC Tuesday, but are idle on the weekend. If both teams win all their games this week, they’ll be level on points and even on wins (which is the first tiebreaker). The next tiebreaker is goal differential, which Seattle have a three goal lead in right now. It’s all going to be super close. Every minute of every game down the stretch will matter and if Sporting KC want homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, they have to keep winning.
They will welcome to town the fifth place LA Galaxy who are nine points behind Sporting but only four points ahead of eighth place Real Salt Lake (who have a game in hand on LA). They are quite literally fighting for their playoff lives.
Galaxy’s Recent Form
The Galaxy have been up and down in recent weeks, but it’s an improvement over the proceeding games. In their last 12 games they have just two wins (2-5-5) which included losses to Austin FC and Minnesota United by a combined 5-0 scoreline. Most teams are lifting themselves up by beating up on the Texas teams but the Galaxy have lost to Austin and Dallas and have draws against Houston and Dallas as well. Points dropped.
- September 29th @ Real Salt Lake - 1-2 Loss
- October 3rd vs. LAFC - 1-1 Draw
- October 16th vs. Portland Timbers - 2-1 Win
- October 20th @ Houston Dynamo - 3-0 Win
- October 23rd vs. FC Dallas - 2-2 Draw
What’s changed for the LA Galaxy since these teams last met?
These teams last met on July 4th, before the secondary transfer window had closed, so let’s look at the moves.
IN: The Galaxy have added three players since the last meeting with Sporting KC. They added defender Niko Hämäläinen from the Queens Park Rangers (England) and forward Dejan Joveljic from Eintracht Frankfurt (Germany). They also brought up midfielder Daniel Aguirre from Los Dos.
OUT: Just one subtraction as the Galaxy loaned defender Giancarlo Gonzalez to Alajuelense in Costa Rica.
For all the moves from earlier in the season, check out our previous preview.
Suspended Next Yellow - Roger Espinoza
*This will be updated based on the official injury report. Much of this information is from the weekend’s injury report.
OUT - Nick DePuy (yellow card accumulation)
QUESTIONABLE - Jorge Villafana (undisclosed)
GOALS: Daniel Salloi (16), Johnny Russell (12), Alan Pulido (8), Gadi Kinda (5),
Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Luis Martins, Jose Mauri, Remi Walter (1)
ASSISTS: Daniel Salloi (8), Johnny Russell (7), Khiry Shelton (6), Graham Zusi (5), Gadi Kinda (4),
Gianluca Busio, Alan Pulido, Luis Martins (3), Felipe Hernandez, Roger Espinoza (2), Andreu Fontas, Jaylin Lindsey, Remi Walter, Jose Mauri (1)
GOALS: Chicharito (14), Kevin Cabral, Sasha Kljestan, Rayan Raveloson (5), Samuel Grandsir, Victor Vazquez (3), Efrain Alvarez, Dejan Joveljic, Sebastian Lletget (2), two with one (1)
ASSISTS: Julian Araujo (6), Grandsir, Victor Vazquez (5), Kljestan, Lletget (4), Alvarez, Chicharito, Derreck Williams (3), Dejan Joveljic, Daniel Steres (2), two with one
Starting XI Predictions
This will have it’s own story, as always.
I fully believe that Sporting Kansas City are capable of winning this match. They beat the Galaxy on the road when they were in much better form and they hold an outstanding 5-1-6 record against them in Kansas City going back to 2008. However, the Galaxy haven’t been to CMP in two years, and when they were last here they picked up that one win (that was during the awful 2019 season).
The bigger concern for me is two fold: is Tim Melia going to be available and do SKC have anything left in the tank? We’ll know more on Melia soon, but on Saturday Kansas City used zero subs in a highly emotional road win. That’s draining. Rotation seems necessary for Wednesday with another game this Sunday against Minnesota United on the road. This game just feels ripe for a let down. Let’s hope I’m wrong.
What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.
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