Connect with us

Sporting KC

Sporting KC draw at LAFC

SKC and LAFC fought hard and settled for a draw



Tim Liebold vs LAFC 2023 | Thad Bell

Sporting Kansas City earned their third straight result with a 0-0 draw at Los Angeles FC. Sporting KC traveled to LAFC for their third match of the season with a pair of 1-1  draws under their belt in their first two matches. SKC faced a tough test at LAFC who were looking to bounce back from a tough result. The home team won their first match of the season 2-1 over Seattle in LA but lost 3-0 at Real Salt Lake in a highly criticized blizzard.

SKC Manager Peter Vermes left midfielder Remi Walter at home with an ankle injury sustained in the match versus the Philadelphia Union last weekend. Newcomer Memo Rodriguez started in Walter’s spot for Sporting KC.

The first half started heavily in SKC’s favor in terms of possession and chances but LA’s opportunities were a little more dangerous and the stats reflected those differences. Sporting KC dominated possession early but despite LA closing the gap the half ended with a 57% advantage for the visitors. SKC also outshot LA but the home team led in XG 1.2 to .7 with one of their most dangerous chances requiring a big save from Tim Melia.

The second half followed the same template as the first with SKC having the upper hand with possession and LA having the higher percentage chances on goal. SKC did have good opportunities with shots off the crossbar and post. LA matched that with shots off the crossbar and shots just wide and high, including an opportunity from a rare restart inside the box.

LA was called off on a play and during the restart, there was confusion when Andreu Fontas played the ball to Jake Davis the referee signaled the ball was still moving. Melia thought Davis was giving him the ball to do the restart but the referee thought that Davis restarted it. When Melia picked the ball up, the referee gave the indirect free kick inside the box. Sporting KC does practice for that situation. LAFC did manage to get off a shot on a creative restart but the shot went wide around the wall and past the post.

“I’ve got to go back and watch it again,” Tim Melia told media post-game. “When (Andreu) Fontas hit the ball out, the ball was clearly moving and then the ball went to Jake and Jake paused it and kicked it back, and at that point, the ref had made a signal that the ball was moving. So when he played it back to me, I thought we were resetting the offside line. That was why I was walking forward, because I was trying to get closer to where the actual offside was. And then they started to run at me and I was like, ‘what’s going on here? I’m just going to pick this up.’ I got lucky. I want to go back and watch it. Hopefully, it’s one I can laugh about later, but we didn’t get scored on so moving on from that.

Melia made big saves in both halves and this one at the end of the game was crucial to preserve a road point.

The match was back and forth throughout both halves but Sporting KC started to slow down in the second half. The only substitution of the match was LA bringing in David Martinez to replace former SKC midfielder Ilie Sanchez. That almost paid off for LA as Martinez created a pair of shots that were worth .89 XG for LA.

“I think we could have taken two more points, but I don’t necessarily think that I would say that we deserved it. I think we gave up some counters due to our own mistakes, but we also created some really good chances. (Hugo) Lloris made a couple of really good saves. Tim (Melia) made an unbelievable save in the first half when (Eduard) Atuesta came in on the one-two. He made a great save there and then he made a couple more in the second half. Tim was outstanding in the game. We were very good tonight,” Vermes stated.

“Don’t get me wrong, we were very good, but they were also good,” Vermes continued. “I think, if you want to watch a game in MLS, that’s the kind of game you want to watch. Both teams play. There’s a little difference in the styles of both teams, but it was a good match. They probably think they could have scored a few. We probably think we could have scored a few. I think at the end of the day, the result is pretty fair and the goalkeepers deserved to get shutouts because they both played well.”

Sporting KC returns home to face San Jose next Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Jake Davis, Dany Rosero, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold; Nemanja Radoja, Erik Thommy, Memo Rodriguez; Johnny Russell (C), Alan Pulido, Daniel Salloi

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Zorhan Bassong, Robert Castellanos, Kayden Pierre, Robert Voloder, Felipe Hernandez, Stephen Afrifa, Willy Agada, Alenis Vargas

LAFC: Hugo Lloris; Ryan Hollingshead, Jesus Murillo, Aaron Long, Omar Campos; Timothy Tillman, Ilie Sanchez (C) (David Martinez 78′), Eduard Atuesta; Cristian Olivera, Mateusz Bogusz, Denis Bouanga

Subs Not Used: Abraham Romero, Sergi Palencia, Eddie Segura, Erik Duenas, Tommy Musto, Tomas Angel, Nathan Ordaz

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
SKC — Memo Rodriguez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 27′
LAFC — Omar Campos (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 31′
SKC — Andreu Fontas (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 49′
SKC — Dany Rosero (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 60′
LAFC — Eduard Atuesta (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 88′
SKC — Jake Davis (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90+2′



Recent Comments

KC Soccer Journal in your Inbox!

Be the first to know when news breaks, sign up to get all of our posts sent directly to your inbox.


Follow us on Twitter