The LA Galaxy lost a 2-1 game at Sporting Kansas City on Saturday night. This broke the team’s 8 game unbeaten streak and extended Sporting KC’s unbeaten streak to 6 games. For the first and only regular season match against Sporting KC, the Galaxy didn’t have focus in the first half and it really showed. The LA Galaxy leave this game at 7-4-6 for this season, with 27 points out of 17 games.
Sporting KC scored in both halves. In the first half at the 10th minute, Benny Feilhaber found his way, unassisted, past goalkeeper Jaime Penedo from just outside the box. Then KC brought the score to 2-0 in the 61st minute after a corner kick, when Olum got an opportunity and headed the ball past Penedo — who had, seconds earlier, blocked an attempt by Jacob Peterson.
The Galaxy had to wait until the 79th minute when Robbie Keane, assisted by Bradford Jamieson IV, went in for his tenth goal of the season. Keane has scored three goals in the last three games played by the Galaxy, all of which have been within the span of eight days. As the Galaxy’s forward, the Irishman is always realistic on how the team’s performance affected the game:
“It was a sloppy first 15 minutes from us after the kickoff. We started keeping the ball and moving it in the second half, doing better against their pressure. But we still lost the game.”
While it was evident that the Galaxy were playing “lackadaisical” in the first half (as Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan put it), this was always going to be a tough game against the defending champions of the MLS Cup. Sporting KC just signed two DP contracts with Graham Zusi and Matt Besler because of their performances for the U.S. Men’s National Team during the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The Galaxy have never won in Kansas City, leaving Sporting Park at 0-2-1. Kansas City also has this unbeaten streak that they were trying to maintain, so really the Galaxy needed to come in ready to play. This is what Donovan said about the team’s performance:
“We were lackadaisical when we started. They put a lot of pressure on us and came out with a lot of energy, which they always do at home. We didn’t do a good job of handling that or dealing with it. They deserved their first goal. In the second half we played a lot better. We were in control for a lot of the second half, but giving up a second goal certainly hurt.”
Head Coach Bruce Arena agreed:
“We started the game with 11 and ended the game with 11. We were just outplayed the first half. We played a poor half. The formation was off without Omar (Gonzalez) and injuries, which isn’t an excuse. We were just outplayed in the first half.”
Gonzalez is still out due to an ankle injury that occurred during the World Cup in the U.S.’ game against Belgium in the Round of 16. Now, the Galaxy are looking ahead to a game against a world class premier league team in an international friendly. Manchester United and the Los Angeles Galaxy will go head-to-head on Wednesday, July 23rd at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena. After that friendly, regular season games resume and the Galaxy will head to Seattle to sound off against the Sounders on July 26th. Hopefully next time the team will remember to bring their energy with them on the road.