On Sunday, September 18, 2016, the LA Galaxy will play Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park in Kansas City. The game starts at 11 a.m. PT and will be aired on KCOP in Los Angeles. This is the third and final matchup of the season for these two teams. During each of their two previous encounters, the game resulted in a draw (on May 1 at Children’s Mercy Park and on June 2 at the StubHub Center).
LA Galaxy faithful will be hoping to see the Galaxy in fighting form in light of the fact that the 2016 Playoffs are right around the corner. To that end, Giovani dos Santos has chosen an opportune time to round into the best form he has enjoyed since joining MLS. Dos Santos scored a brace and added a pair of assists in the Galaxy’s game against Orlando City SC – the intrepid Mexican international has had a goal and/or an assist in eight of his last ten games for the Galaxy.
The Galaxy’s performance last weekend was also bolstered by Jelle Van Damme’s return to the fold. Despite the rash of late injuries that sidelined Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Steven Gerrard and Jelle Van Damme and the loss of Nigel de Jong to Galatasaray, it was Van Damme’s return last Saturday that proved critical to the win.
— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) September 12, 2016
The game against Orlando extended the Galaxy’s unbeaten streak to five games (D-L-D-D-W-D-W). Questions remain regarding whether the Galaxy are optimizing their resources by devoting two Designated Player slots to Robbie Keane and Giovani dos Santos. Nonetheless, that Robbie Keane’s goal against Orlando came courtesy of a dos Santos pass should alleviate concerns that the two are incapable of playing together.
Dos Santos w/o Keane: 13g, 4a in 14 games
Dos Santos w/ Keane: 1g, 6 a in 11 games#LAvORL
— Matthew Doyle (@MLSAnalyst) September 12, 2016
Sunday’s match will be SKC’s third game in ten days. On Friday, September 9, Sporting Kansas City played to a 3-3 draw versus the Houston Dynamo during a wild game that saw a late equalizer from the Dynamo’s Raul Rodriguez.
FT: That was wild.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) September 10, 2016
Kansas City also played midweek against the Vancouver Whitecaps in the CONCACAF Champions League, which resulted in a late 2-1 Vancouver victory. However, SKC fielded a lineup consisting mostly of reserve players in the Tuesday matchup against Vancouver, opting to keep Dom Dwyer, Matt Besler, Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber out of the CCL game, which means SKC’s most potent players will all have fresh legs for Sunday’s game. Gyasi Zardes will be out for Sunday’s game and Steven Gerrard may also be out with a pulled hamstring. In terms of absences for SKC, Jimmy Medranda will sit out the game against the LA Galaxy after receiving a red card from the MLS Disciplinary Committee for the game against Houston.
Kansas City is currently fifth in the Western Conference (11-12-6, 39 points) three spots behind the LA Galaxy in the rankings. Kansas City’s recent record in all competitions is decidedly mixed (D-D-W-L-L-D-L) but its record at home includes only one loss in the past seven matches at Children’s Mercy Park. Further, the Galaxy’s record in Kansas City is poor – the Galaxy have not won in Kansas City since 2007.
The game begins on Sunday at 11 a.m. and will be aired on KCOP in Los Angeles.