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PREVIEW: SKC look to keep up the momentum on road trip against LA Galaxy

SKC look to keep up positive momentum on road trip to face LA Galaxy who currently sit in 4th place in the West.



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles Galaxy

When: Saturday, June 15 at 9:30 p.m.
Where: Dignity Health Sports Park, Carson, California
How to Watch: MLS Season Pass


LA: 7W-3L-7D

Last Result
2-1 Win vs Seattle Sounders
LA: 2-1 Loss at Chicago Fire


Coming off a win versus 10-man Seattle Sounders at Children’s Mercy Park that ended a 10-game winless streak, Sporting Kansas City now head to the west coast to face the Los Angeles Galaxy in hopes of starting a new, more positive streak.

Though the win did feel like a weight was lifted off what was an abysmal stretch of performances, SKC will need to continue their winning ways if they hope to repeat the magic from the 2023 season, and that starts against the No. 4 team in the Western Conference.

SKC’s win came on the backs of Johnny Russell and Alenis Vargas goals, with the latter also forcing a second yellow from Reed Baker-Whiting in the second half to give Sporting the man advantage one minute after subbing on.

Johnny Russell’s Real Middle Name

Erik Thommy returned to the lineup after missing time due to injury and played all 90 minutes, finishing with a 90% pass completion percentage. With Dany Rosero sidelined, Robert Castellanos filled in at center back and had one of his most solid performances since joining SKC in 2023.

In another match where he subbed on for Jake Davis at right back, Khiry Shelton tallied another assist on Vargas’ goal giving him two on the season, tying him with Willy Agada, Alan Pulido and Daniel Salloi for second on the team.

Speaking of Salloi, he left in the 72nd minute of the match due to an injury to his right leg which will see him sidelined for “a few weeks,” according to Peter Vermes.

Salloi’s exit made way for Vargas who made an immediate impact. Vargas is a likely candidate to start in the Hungarian’s absence starting against the Galaxy.

As SKC look to build momentum, they run into yet another foe they’ve already faced this season.

The Galaxy visited CMP on March 23. Goals from Nemanja Radoja and Willy Agada saw SKC head into the halftime break with a 2-0 lead, but in the second 45 minutes, Riqui Puig had other plans.

Los Angeles came screaming back and scored three goals in eight minutes (72nd, 75th and 80th) in a dominating comeback that saw them leave Kansas City with all three points.

Since then, the Galaxy have only lost three matches, all of which have been on the road. Greg Vanney’s squad have yet to lose at Dignity Health Sports Park this season.

They are led up top by Dejan Joveljic who has nine goals on the season and though the Serbian did not start in their loss against the Fire last week, he will likely be present in the starting XI against SKC.

Joveljic and Puig have been a consistent duo throughout the season with Joveljic having the fourth highest xG in the league at 9.99 and Puig’s 14 goal contributions.

The Galaxy have scored the third most goals in the league so far this season (31), behind only Inter Miami (42) and Real Salt Lake (36). And though they sit with a mere +6 goal differential, it has translated into 28 points, 5 points behind conference leaders Real Salt Lake.

Sporting still has a lot of questions to answer but ending the 10-game winless streak was a step in the right direction to try and turn the season around. They face a tall task against a Galaxy team that already has plenty of momentum of their own and are seeking a high seed in the MLS Cup Playoffs and complete a bounce back season after a poor 2023.

A win would be huge for Vermes’ squad, proving once again that SKC can hang with anyone. A well-fought draw might be enough to ease some of the (deserved) criticism Vermes and the boys have been facing. A loss… well, that would just be another harsh reality the club and fans need to face.

Update 6/15/2024: 

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