Sporting KC can’t stop skid against division leader Los Angeles
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I know the game hasn’t officially ended, but technically it’s over. And just as I type that David Beckham launches in a free kick. The score is now 4-1 in favor of the Galaxy. The truth is that all five goals in this game were score by Los Angeles. That leaves you to wonder what, if anything, Sporting has done in this game. They’ve been caught napping twice on defense and they’ve squandered chances in front of goal that no one should squander.
This result will leave a bad taste in KC players’ mouths. Luckily they won’t have to play the best teams in the league next week. Kansas City is looking like it will limp into its home opener June 9th with no more points than it has now. With a bye week to prepare, Sporting needs to do much better than a 4-1 loss.
What looked to be an own goal is really the only offense Sporting has shown in the first 45 minutes of this game. The midfield possession was good for Sporting and its defense looked solid until that reckless challenge that resulted in the penalty kick.
The 1-1 scoreline at halftime is about where the game should be considering how slow the pace has been. It looks as though each team has yet to find its rhythm. That will have to change in the second half if someone is going to walk away with three points. The difference will be made by halftime substitutions. I’d expect to see Kansas City make some offensive moves while Los Angeles will probably look to make at least one change near the back. The second half will likely be ugly and defensive with minimal scoring chances produced by either side. I hope I’m wrong, but that’s the feeling I’m getting after sitting through that mundane first 45.
It’s been quite some time since Sporting Kansas City has walked away from the field with any points during this young season. In fact, the last time Kansas City won in league play was its very first game of the season. That was mid March. That’s seven weeks without a league victory. The disappointing way in which several of those games were lost just adds to the difficulty of bouncing back during this brutal road trip.
Tonight Sporting will play its second top team in the last two contests. Kansas City fell 1-0 to Eastern Conference leader New York in its last outing. Tonight the team will go up against Los Angeles Galaxy, the Western Conference leaders. Boasting starters like Landon Donovan and David Beckham is enough to intimidate most teams. Add to that the fact that Kansas City’s once dominant offense has struggled to find itself lately. It’s not good timing for sporting, even with a week off to prepare.
The talent of L.A.’s midfield should dictate the tempo of this game. The team that controls the midfield generally controls the game. They get the better scoring chances and they stay fresher on the field because they don’t have to chase the ball to get possession.
Sporting is still without designated player and striker Omar Bravo. They did return Ryan Smith to the roster against New York, and it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he gets into full game shape.
I’m going to go with the logical prediction here and say conference leader L.A. notches a goal in each half to extend Sporting’s slide.
Final score prediction: 2-0 in favor of the Galaxy.
Game: Sporting KC vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
Time: 9:30 p.m.
TV: KSMO-TV (channel 3 or 203)