Following a surprising 0-1 loss to the Colorado Rapids, Los Angeles FC hits the road again to face another inferior opponent in Sporting Kansas City. Sitting at opposite ends of the table, can LAFC (11-2-4) rebound against struggling club Sporting Kansas City (4-6-7)? Let’s consider a few keys to the game:
For Sporting KC:
OUT – Erik Hurtado, Jaylin Lindsey, Rodney Wallace, Roger Espinoza, Jimmy Medranda, Johnny Russell
QUESTIONABLE – Graham Zusi, Botond Barath
You may ask: can things get any worse for Sporting KC? Taking a look at their injuries, everything is falling apart for them at the moment. Just when the team was appearing to get healthier, the injury report has grown again. The injuries have been causing the team to struggle in recent weeks and the team appears to be both physically and mentally fatigued. Now they must play the first game of three total this week. With this in mind, keeping the team healthy may be their biggest priority. Overall, they’ll have limited options against LAFC.
LAFC is ready to bounce back
LAFC manager Bob Bradley stressed the importance of getting the team back together and regrouping. A key issue with the Colorado match was LAFC was coming off of a 7-day break from the US Open Cup. Midfielder Joshua Perez expressed similar optimism saying, “We didn’t do the things we do well on Friday. Cleaning up is going to be crucial for us.” Finally, a key contributor Mark-Anthony Kaye is returning to the team earlier than expected after Canada was upset in the Gold Cup. He is an important piece to the team and his return will certainly give LAFC a boost. Whether he gets the start or gets subbed in, LAFC appears to be back in their routine, however, will the results follow?
Since April, Sporting KC has only won twice. A home win against the Seattle Sounders who had their fair share of injuries and simply lost that game in the first half. Their other win coming against Columbus, a 1-0 victory against one of the two teams below them in the table. In terms of recent form, in their last five MLS matches Sporting KC has had 0 wins, 2 losses and two draws The draw came against Houston and Toronto has visitors and the two losses came against Salt Lake (away match), and the LA Galaxy (home match).
It cannot be argued, Los Angeles FC is not a team to bet against this season, in 17 matches, the team has a +25 goal differential and has 11 wins, 4 draw, and only 2 losses overall. In their last five matches, LAFC has four wins and only one loss against Colorado just a few days ago. However, as we briefly mentioned earlier, the Colorado loss was at a strange time for the team. They had just returned from a week-long break and even had a long weather delay in the middle of the match. Combining these two factors, and I think an argument can be made about the team perhaps being somewhat out of rhythm. With Mark-Anthony Kaye expected to return tonight, they will have yet another piece and look to get back to their winning ways against a team like Sporting Kansas City with lots of injuries and struggles the entire season.
Los Angeles FC win @ (2.10/+110)