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MLS: LA Galaxy at Sporting Kansas City

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Sporting KC v LA Galaxy: Preview, Predictions & How to Watch

A quick rematch to a game that helped turn KC’s season around a bit.

Peter Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Sporting KC @ LA Galaxy

When: Sunday, September 4th, 2022 at 7:00 PM CT (Kickoff 7:08)

Where: Dignity Health Sports Park

How to Watch/Stream: 38 the Spot | UniMás | TUDN | Twitter (English audio)

Sporting Kansas City just keep finding a way. They were all but eliminated from the playoffs with a horrific start to 2022 but, somehow, they remain alive. They got to a point where they essentially needed to win out to stay alive and they’ve started doing that with back-to-back wins over the Portland Timbers and the San Jose Earthquakes. If they drop any points in the next six games then they’ll really rue the blown 3-1 lead against Austin FC.

They hit the road this week to head to Los Angeles to take on the LA Galaxy who will be looking for revenge for the wild 4-2 win SKC pulled off over them at the beginning of August.

The Galaxy still have a two game lead in the all time series (31-29-16) over Sporting, but that’ll be the least of these team’s concerns. LA had climbed into the seventh and final playoff spot but dropped points midweek and let the Portland Timbers pass them. LA will be looking to put some distance between themselves and the Vancouver Whitecaps (four points back) and pull back that one point lead the Timbers have (the Galaxy have two games in hand).

Sporting KC find themselves now 10 points back of the final playoff spot, but they have a game in hand on the Timbers. The good news for Kansas City is they have climbed out of the Western Conference basement for the first time in months. They jumped from 14th to 12th before slipping back to 13th when the Houston Dynamo improbably beat LAFC. SKC are now just two points clear of last in the West (but the San Jose Earthquakes have a game in hand).

In a Wooden Spoon update, D.C. United find themselves four points behind KC and level on games played after their equally improbable win over NYCFC on Wednesday. The two teams meet in SKC’s last midweek game of the year on Tuesday, September 13th, the first game Kortne Ford will be eligible to return from his suspension. That game may decide who ends up dead last, but lets home Kansas City keep stringing wins together.

Galaxy’s Recent Form

Since the loss to Sporting, the Galaxy have gone 2-0-2 and put 12 goals into the net. That’s a tidy little run heading into the pivotal rematch.

What’s new for the Galaxy since the last meeting?

You’ll want to head back to our preview for the game at the beginning of August for a run down on the Galaxy’s offseason. Only three official moves have happened since then.

IN: Riqui Puig has joined the club from Barcelona (Spain) somehow. He isn’t a Designated Player, though he made $5 million with Barca. That’s quite a pay cut to get down under the $1,612,500 max for a Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) signing. The team also added defender Martin Caceres who was out of contract. The 35-year-old last played for Levante in the Spanish second division, primarily at CB.

OUT: To make room, midfielder Rayan Raveloson had to be transferred to Auxerre (France).

Injuries/Availability*

Sporting KC

OUT - Alan Pulido (knee surgery), Gadi Kinda (SEI - knee surgery), Kortne Ford (suspension), Tim Melia (hamstring)

QUESTIONABLE - Ozzie Cisneros (hamstring), Ben Sweat (back)

*This has been updated based on the official injury report.

LA Galaxy

OUT - Jorge Villafaña (left knee), Jonathan Perez (knee)

QUESTIONABLE - None

Discipline Watch for Sporting KC

Suspended Next Yellow Card: Kortne Ford, Roger Espinoza

Stats

Sporting KC

Goals: Johnny Russell (7), Daniel Salloi (6), Willy Agada (5), Remi Walter (3), Roger Espinoza, Erik Thommy, Andreu Fontas (2), Marinos Tzionis, Felipe Hernandez, Graham Zusi (1)

Assists: Felipe Hernandez, Cam Duke, Daniel Salloi, Roger Espinoza (3), Ben Sweat, Remi Walter, Graham Zusi (2), Uri Rosell, Khiry Shelton, Kayden Pierre, Willy Agada (1)

LA Galaxy

Goals: Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez (12), Dejan Joveljic (10), Efrain Alvarez, Samuel Grandsir, Rayan Raveloson (3), Diego Costa, Marky Delgado, Victor Vazquez (2), four with one (1)

Assists: Julian Araujo (7), Raheem Edwards (6), Alvarez, Raveloson (4), Daniel Aguirre, Kevin Cabral, Grandsir, Joveljic, Vazquez (3), Delgado, Chicharito, Sacha Kljestan (2), four with one (1)

Starting XI Predictions

Sporting KC have played the same starting lineup for four straight matches. I don’t expect them to change what’s been working so well (though I hold out hope for Logan Ndenbe returning). Because of that, I’ll forgo the full articles on the lineups unless there is a big injury update or some other shakeup, like a playoff eliminating points drop.

Predictions

Let’s not forget, the last time these two teams met, the LA Galaxy had played a midweek friendly against Chivas Guadalajara before coming to Kansas City and losing. They had to play midweek in Toronto, a much longer road-trip, this time around. They earned a draw, which isn’t as good as a loss, but it’s a team Sporting KC is chasing in the standings.

The hope of salvaging the season is fun and Kansas City have looked like a wildly different team for the last month. Starting with that win over the Galaxy, they’ve scored 12 goals, won three of four and simply been a joy to watch. I think they could very much go win on the road. They nearly did it against second place Austin FC before a complete collapse late.

However, they only have two road wins on the season (2-9-3) and a mere nine road points of a possible 42. You never know, they could keep the season alive, but it’s probably safer to expect disappointment and be pleasantly surprised if that doesn’t happen.

2-2 Draw

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