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Sporting KC comes up short in LA

SKC could not continue their winning ways



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City traveled to Los Angeles hoping to string a pair of results together after defeating Seattle last weekend. The LA Galaxy denied the bid for that second straight result with a 4-2 defeat of Sporting KC.

Manager Peter Vermes needed to juggle the lineup again with Daniel Salloi out with an ankle injury. Felipe Hernandez is unavailable after being put on administrative leave. Dany Rosero was available but still working his way back into the lineup. Alenis Vargas got the start at forward, Khiry Shelton at right back and Zorhan Bassong on the left.

The Galaxy took the lead in the 40th minute. Tim Melia made a pair of good saves as SKC defenders were slow to react. First a save on Gabriel Pec’s shot and then he stopped Dejan Joveljic once before the Galaxy striker poked it home.

The Galaxy doubled the lead in the 54th. This time Joveljic fed Pec for the goal. Robert Castellanos was defending Pec but the Brazilian attacker slid a ball through the SKC defender. Melia was screened and could not react quick enough to make the save.

Vermes made two subs to bolster the attack in the 61st with Wily Agada in for Alan Pulido and in the 65th with Stephen Afrifa in for Memo Rodriguez. Brining Afrifa in made an almost immediate impact with a goal a minute later. Erik Thommy drove to the end line and cut the ball back towards the center of the box. Afrifa one-timed it past the Galaxy defender and into the net for his first MLS goal. Afrifa has previously scored for SKC in the Open cup match versus Tulsa this season.

Sporting KC started to gain a little momentum but a turnover by SKC in the attack created a fast break the other way.  LA’s Pec added his first assist for the evening when he crossed a well-timed ball to Joseph Paintsil for an easy goal. Vermes was not pleased with the turnover, “We lose a terrible ball again on the counter. Our team is pushing but you just can’t lose that ball. It’s not like it was a tough ball. It was a great pass, but we’re trying to be cheeky, we play behind the leg and we lose the ball.”

Both Agada and Nemanja Radoja had opportunities to close the gap but Galaxy defender Jalen Neal and keeper John McCarthy came up big for the home fans. McCarthy’s reaction save on Agada’s shot in the 80th minute was impressive.

A short couple of minutes later SKC did narrow the gap for the second time. Castellanos made the far post run and knocked in a Johhny Russell free kick. McCarthy got a hand on the point-blank shot but was unable to keep it out of the net for LA.

Sporting KC’s defense was again caught ball-watching as time wound down.  Miguel Berry was beneficiary of another Pec assist as he slid a pass along the six-yard box. Berry stepped forward an easy tap-in goal to put the game out of reach.

The game ended 4-2 in LA’s favor, dashing hopes that the second half of SKC’s season would start on a strong note. Sporting KC returns home to face Real Salt Lake Wednesday evening. Salt Lake sits on top of the Western Conference and will be another tough match for Kansas City.


Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Khiry Shelton, Robert Castellanos, Andreu Fontas, Zorhan Bassong; Nemanja Radoja, Memo Rodriguez (Stephen Afrifa 65′), Erik Thommy (Marinos Tzionis 82′); Johnny Russell (C), Alan Pulido (Willy Agada 61′), Alenis Vargas (Jake Davis 46′)

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Tim Leibold, Kayden Pierre, Dany Rosero, Robert Voloder

LA Galaxy: John McCarthy; Miki Yamane, Jalen Neal, Maya Yoshida (C), Julian Aude; Edwin Cerrillo, Mark Delgado, Gabriel Pec (Tucker Lepley 90+4′), Diego Fagundez (Ruben Ramos Jr. 90+4′), Jonathan Perez (Mauricio Cuevas 46′, Joseph Paintsil 65′); Dejan Joveljic (Miguel Berry 82′)

Subs Not Used: John Nelson, Eriq Zavaleta, Martin Caceres, Novak Micovic

Scoring Summary:
LA — Dejan Joveljic 10 (unassisted) 40′
LA – Gabriel Pec 5 (Dejan Joveljic 3, Miki Yamane 2) 54′
SKC – Stephen Afrifa 1 (Erik Thommy 2) 66′
LA – Joseph Paintsil 5 (Gabriel Pec 5, Miki Yamane 3) 75′
SKC – Robert Castellanos 1 (Johnny Russell 2) 82′
LA – Miguel Berry 2 (Gabriel Pec 6, Diego Fagundez 3) 90+2′

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Dejan Joveljic (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 44′
LA – Jalen Neal (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 49′
LA – Joseph Paintsil (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 68′
SKC – Jake Davis (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+3′

Shots 20 11
Shots on Goal 4 10
Saves 6 2
Fouls 6 10
Offsides 1 0
Corner Kicks 4 5

Referee: Chris Penso
Assistant Referee: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt
Assistant Referee: Eduardo Jeff
Fourth Official: Allen Chapman
VAR: Carol Anne Chenard
AVAR: Logan Brown


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