In what seems like a familiar story, Sporting Kansas City gave up a goal early in the game. What was a little more unusual is Sporting KC did not come back and LAFC took the victory 4-0. LAFC’s 18-year-old rookie center back Mamadou Fall scored twice on set pieces.
Bob Bradley’s squad was seriously depleted, only managing to field five players on the bench but they gained confidence throughout the first half. Peter Vermes’ side was short a couple key players and used recently arrived Jose Mauri despite him having almost no time to practice with his new team.
Sporting KC came out controlling possession and creating the better chances in the first half but LAFC struck first. Eduard Atuesta delivered a well-placed corner and Fall’s header in the 18th minute got the home side out to a lead.
The visitors came out of the half on the front foot and SKC looked likely to claw back a goal and at least earn a draw when veteran midfielder Roger Espinoza was called for a foul on Cristian Arango in the 55th minute. Espinoza had grabbed Arango’s jersey and appeared to accidently step on his ankle. Referee Drew Fischer did not issue a card but was called to review the play. After using VAR, Fischer came back and issued a straight red card to Espinoza.
With Espinoza off and SKC down to ten men, the situation deteriorated again a couple minutes later when Fischer called a foul on Khiry Shelton. Atuesta took the free kick and again delivered a good ball that Fall was able to head in the back of the net. With Sporting KC taking risks to look for a goal, Arango was able to get a goal in the 71st and Atuesta put home a penalty in the 87th.
SKC manager Peter Vermes was not happy with the red card Espinoza received and a couple other calls made through out the game. “It’s profiling, simple as can be. It’s profiling. That’s all I can tell you. Because it’s Roger Espinoza, he gets a red card. I’ve watched it. If you watch and you know the game, you understand that it’s accidental contact. He is stepping his foot and he actually goes underneath the other foot and when his foot comes down, it steps on the back of his leg. He doesn’t mean to do it. He’s not even looking. He’s getting his feet under him. He just ran 60 yards to return into the play and was slowing down. It’s not a red card.”
SKC returns home to face the Chicago Fire on September 11th.
Sporting Kansas City:
Tim Melia; Graham Zusi, Ilie Sanchez, Andreu Fontas, Luis Martins; Jose Mauri (Cam Duke 68’), Roger Espinoza, Remi Walter; Johnny Russell (C), Alan Pulido, Khiry Shelton
Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Amadou Dia, Roberto Puncec, Kaveh Rad, Jake Davis, Grayson Barber, Wilson Harris
Los Angeles FC: Tomas Romero; Mamadou Fall, Sebastian Ibeagha, Raheem Edwards, Jesus Murillo (Jordan Harvey 88’); Latif Blessing, Francisco Ginella, Bryce Duke (
Marco Farfan 88’), Eduard Atuesta (C), Cristian Arango (Daniel Crisostomo 80’); Cal Jennings (Danny Musovski 46’)
Subs Not Used: Pablo Sisniega
LAFC - Mamadou Fall 1 (Eduard Atuesta 5) 18’
LAFC - Mamadou Fall 2 (Eduard Atuesta 6) 61’
LAFC - Cristian Arango 2 (Danny Musovski 2, Bryce Duke 1) 71’
LAFC - Eduard Atuesta 2 (penalty kick) 87’
LAFC - Sebastian Ibeagha (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 41’
SKC - Roger Espinoza (red card; serious foul play) 58’
LAFC - Bryce Duke (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 77’
LAFC - Danny Musovski (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 79’
SKC - Tim Melia (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 85’