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Sporting KC v LAFC: Preview, Predictions, Stats and Roster Changes

Sporting KC are up 2-0 on Los Angeles FC in 2021.

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SOCCER: JUN 26 MLS - LAFC at Sporting Kansas City Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Sporting KC @ Los Angeles FC

When: Friday, September 3, 2021 at 9:00 PM CT (Kickoff 9:08)

Where: Banc of California Stadium

How to Watch/Stream: UniMas | TUDN | Bally Sports KC Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports Midwest Plus (regionally) | Bally Sports App | ESPN+ (out of market or over VPN locally)
How to Listen: Sports Radio 810 WHB | La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish)

Sporting Kansas City hit the road again to cap off a slew of Friday night games around MLS. They’ll make their second trip to Banc of California Stadium to take on LAFC for the third time this season. They’ve put in six goals across two wins against Los Angeles in the prior two meetings.

Kansas City find themselves in second place still in the Western Conference (40 points) despite their recent run of draws. Stunningly LAFC are all the way down in 11th place, three points out of the playoffs and 16 points behind KC.

LA are 4-2-5 at home while KC are 6-3-2 on the road. One of those Los Angeles losses was the stunning 4-1 beatdown KC handed LAFC on August 5th. Less than a month later, LA get a chance to redeem themselves, but it won’t be easy as they’ve just lost one of their best players in recently transferred Diego Rossi.

LAFC’s Recent Form

Los Angeles FC are currently reeling. They haven’t won since July 17th and since that win they are 0-5-3. Three points in eight games is just awful and LA have to turn their season around soon.

What’s changed for LAFC since these teams last met?

Since these clubs last met, LA have made two moves. One in and a huge one out. To see the moves prior to that, head to our prior previews.

IN: Sebastian Ibeagha arrived via trade from New York City FC. The team is without center back Eddie Segura who is out for the year and Jesus Murillo has been less than 100 percent throughout the year. That Walker Zimmerman trade before the 2020 season looks worse by the day.

OUT: One of the team’s best young players, Diego Rossi, is on his way to Europe. Turkish club Fenerbahce is finalizing a transfer that snuck in before the European window closed. He was overseas doing medicals earlier in the week.

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Felipe Hernandez (personal reasons), Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring), Jaylin Lindsey (hamstring), Gadi Kinda (Int. Duty - Israel), Daniel Salloi (Int. Duty - Hungary)

QUESTIONABLE - Nicolas Isimat-Mirin (hamstring)

*This has been updated by the official injury report. Isi was moved to questionable, which is great.

LAFC

OUT - Diego Palacios (Int. Duty - Ecuador), Brian Rodriguez (Int. Duty - Uruguay), Mahala Opoku (left knee), Eddie Segura (right knee), Erik Duenas (left knee), Julian Gaines (pelvic stress fracture), Alvaro Quezada (chest), Tristan Blackmon (injury), Carlos Vela (right quad), Jose Cifuentes (Int. Duty - Ecuador), Kim Moon-Hwan (Int. Duty - South Korea), Tony Leone (Int Duty - Mexico), Christian Torres (Int. Duty - Mexico)

QUESTIONABLE - Mohamed Traore (left knee)

[Updated: LAFC are without 14 (!) players due to injury or international duty.]

Stats

Sporting KC

GOALS: Daniel Salloi (12), Alan Pulido (8), Gadi Kinda, Johnny Russell (4), Gianluca Busio, Jaylin Lindsey (2), Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Hernandez, Khiry Shelton, Cam Duke, Luis Martins (1)

ASSISTS: Daniel Salloi (6), Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton (5), Graham Zusi (4), Gianluca Busio, Gadi Kinda, Alan Pulido (3), Felipe Hernandez (2), Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins, Jaylin Lindsey (1)

LAFC

GOALS: Diego Rossi (6), Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Vela (5), Corey Baird (3), Brian Rodriguez (2), six with one (1)

ASSISTS: Vela (5), Eduardo Atuesta (4), Cifuentes (3), Baird, Latif Blessing, Diego Palacios, Eddie Segura (2), seven with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

This will have it’s own story, as always.

Score Predictions

If LAFC are without Vela (he was out last week), then the only multi-goal scorer that will be available is midfielder Jose Cifuentes. Gone are Rossi (transfer), Baird (trade) and Rodriguez (international duty). Sporting KC will be without their golden boot leader in Daniel Salloi and Designated Player Gadi Kinda, but they still have Pulido and Russell who have a combined 12 goals to Cifuentes’ six.

Because of that, and just general form of LAFC, Kansas City have to find a way to keep winning on the road. SKC are unbeaten in six straight road games (four wins). If they keep the unbeaten run going, that’ll tie a club record. But a draw, which is usually fine on the road, feels like it’s not enough. LAFC aren’t very good right now and Kansas City has to find a way to win.

Update 9/2/2021: LAFC’s injury report came out and they are down 14 players. That revises the above portion of the story that LA are without all their multi-goal scorers. SKC have to win this game.

3-1 Sporting KC Win

What do you think? Predictions in the comments are welcome. Let’s chat about it.

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