Sporting Kansas City and the Los Angeles Galaxy meet for the first time in 2016. The two sides will battle at Sporting Park on Sunday night, in a match that kicks off at 8:00 PM Est.
Sporting and Los Angeles are heading into tomorrow night on opposite sides of the form spectrum. Los Angeles, have not tasted defeat since the second week of the season where they lost 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids. Since that time, they have gone on an impressive five game unbeaten run to take them to fifth in the Western Conference standings. This, however, could all change by the end of tomorrow night. A win for LA could see them overtake the top spot with a game in hand still.
One of the ways the Galaxy have been so dominate is their ability to hit opposition defense in multiple ways. Baggio Husidic, Steven Gerrard, Giovani dos Santos, Sebastian Lletget and Mike Magee all bring something different to the table. GdS has superb technical ability and Gerrard can pick out a pass from anywhere on the pitch.
But then, in their last match against Real Salt Lake, Emmanuel Boateng emerged as a new weapon for Bruce Arena. The MLS rookie showed great improvement since the preseason, as he assisted on two goals while notching his first goal in a Galaxy shirt. He provided phenomenal pace down the left flank, which was something different than what Lletget usually brings. The Galaxy are missing a big piece to this squad as well, in Robbie Keane. Once the captain returns, who knows how far this side can really go?
Peter Vermes’ SKC have lost three of their last four and have dropped points in all four of those matches. The goals have dried up in the process. In their three defeats, Sporting have only scored two goals while conceding five. This is a recipe set up to fail. Kansas City’s back line must remained focus throughout the entire 90 minutes. In two of the losses, have dropped all three points in either winning positions or areas where Sporting could have picked up a point.
Because of their recent struggles, tonight’s hosts find themselves sitting in sixth on 13 points. But the biggest question heading into this match is: where are the goals going to come from? Their leading goal scorer, Dom Dwyer, has four in nine matches, but outside of that, no one has more than two. Only four other players have one goal to their name. Who else is going to score goals? Krisztián Németh is no longer here and someone will have to step up if they have aspirations of advancing deep into the playoffs.
This is going to be a very tense affair. Sporting Kansas City will know that pressure will continue to should they suffer another defeat. Los Angeles, on the other hand, are looking to add more goals to their impressive tally. Final score prediction: 2-2.