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● Two games into the new season, Sporting Kansas City are yet to score a goal in this campaign
● LA Galaxy’s opening game was canceled as they went on to lose their second game last week against FC Dallas
● When these two sides met at this venue last season, Sporting Kansas City won 4-2
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Sporting Kansas City are one of two teams yet to score a goal this season. Their new campaign started with a narrow 1-0 loss against Portland Timbers away from home. The second game of the season was also on the road as Sporting Kansas City shared the spoils with Colorado Rapids after a goalless draw.
LA Galaxy, on the other hand, saw their opening encounter of the new season against neighbors and rivals Los Angeles FC canceled due to a thunderstorm. Their first game of the season came last week when the side suffered a disappointing 3-1 defeat against FC Dallas.
This will be an encounter between two teams that are struggling in multiple aspects at the start of the season. It could go either way, but it seems that both sides will settle for a point after the full-time whistle on Saturday.
The two sides have met 21 times in the history of the MLS. Sporting Kansas City have emerged victorious on ten occasions, while LA Galaxy have won five times. Six encounters between these two have ended in draws.
Last season, Sporting Kansas City were unbeaten against LA Galaxy as they won at home and drew the away game. LA Galaxy’s last win over Sporting Kansas City came in 2019 when the five-time MLS champions won 7-2.
At the Children’s Mercy Park, it’s Sporting Kansas City with the clear advantage. In 11 encounters between these two sides at this venue, LA Galaxy have only won once. Sporting Kansas City have won six times, and four games have ended in draws.
The 2022 MLS season was disappointing for Sporting Kansas City as they finished 12th in the Western Division. This came right after the season in which the side finished third and reached the Conference semifinals, where they lost to Real Salt Lake.
Sporting Kansas City will not be title contenders this season. They have won two MLS titles in their history but the last one came ten years ago, in 2013. Their last piece of silverware came in the form of a US Open Cup in 2017.
Now, the club is chasing their first win and their first goal of the new season as they lock horns with LA Galaxy. Other aspects are weighing Sporting Kansas City down, but the club has to at least score a goal in their third fixture of the season and increase their point tally too.
One of the aspects weighing Sporting Kansas City down is their lengthy injury list. Six players are on the list, and the club will be itching to get them all back as soon as possible. The injuries are hurting all areas on the pitch for Sporting Kansas City.
In goal, Tim Melia suffered a muscle injury less than a week ago and he has been ruled out for at least a couple of weeks. Left-back Logan Ndenbe is expected to be back at the end of this month after being out since the end of February with a hamstring injury.
Defender Kortne Ford will be out till May after he picked up an Achilles tendon injury last week. Midfielder Gadi Kinda is out till April with a knee injury, while attackers Johnny Russel and Alan Pulido are expected to be out till the end of this month.
As the injury list is difficult to look at right now for the Sporting Kansas City coaching staff, they will be happy to see a couple of new defensive recruits joining the squad for the current season and strengthening the backline.
Towards the end of February, the club signed center-back Robert Castellanos from Finnish club Kuopion Palloseura. In addition to that, another center-back was brought on board when Daniel Rosero was signed from Junior FC.
Last season was one to forget for LA Galaxy. They could not get their hands on a sixth MLS title as they had to watch their fiercest rivals and neighbors Los Angeles FC lift their maiden league title at the end of the campaign.
Things are yet to get better for LA Galaxy as they suffered a 3-1 defeat in their first game of the season against Dallas FC. The five-time MLS champions suffered an away defeat and are on the road again as they visit Sporting Kansas City now.
Sporting Kansas City’s backyard has not been a happy hunting ground for LA Galaxy in the MLS. They have only won there once, but now they will have to move their focus off that record if they want to earn their first points of the season.
A major blow for LA Galaxy at the start of this season comes in the form of a hamstring injury to their talisman, Javier Hernandez. The Mexican striker scored 18 goals and assisted two for LA Galaxy last season.
Less than two weeks ago, the former Manchester United striker picked up the injury in training as he is yet to feature in a game this season. The 34-year-old is expected to return towards the end of March.
Till then, LA Galaxy will have to rely on Dejan Joveljic for goals. The 23-year-old striker has already gotten off the mark this season by scoring the only goal LA Galaxy have scored so far. The Serbian will be looking to surpass his last season’s tally of 12 goals.
There were a few positives to take for LA Galaxy from their opening-day defeat against FC Dallas. While the defense could not keep the attackers at bay, the midfield looked quite solid as LA Galaxy deployed a 4-5-1 formation.
Marco Delgado attempted the most tackles in the match and was also the most accurate passer on the pitch with a passing accuracy of 95 percent. Alongside him, former Barcelona midfielder Ricard Puig completed the most dribbles in the match. Gaston Brugman completed 80 passes in the match, which was more than any other player on the pitch.
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● Teams: Sporting Kansas City vs LA Galaxy
● Location: Children’s Mercy Park
● Time: Saturday, March 11 at 8:30 pm ET
● How to watch: Univision networks TUDN and UniMas, ESPN Deportes, Telemundo and Fox Deportes
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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