Connect with us

Sporting KC

Sporting KC v LAFC: Preview, Injuries & Predictions

Sporting Kansas City enter their third game of the year looking for their first win as they head West to take on Los Angeles FC.



Credit: Thad Bell

Sporting KC @ LAFC

When: Saturday, March 9, 2024 at 9:30 PM CT (9:40 kickoff)

Where: BMO Stadium

How to Watch/Stream: Apple MLS Season Pass

Sporting Kansas City are two weeks into a 34-game season and 2024 is off to a mildly better start than 2023. At least when it comes to points. They have two points after two games, while it took three games last year. However, they did score twice already, where it took four games to find two goals (and seven to find a 3rd).

While they haven’t won a game, they were brutally close last weekend if not for an unfortunate series of events in stoppage time. That, after stoppage time should have been over some would argue (and may still be arguing).

But Sporting KC must put the unlucky draw against the Philadelphia Union aside and focus on the task at hand in Los Angeles. This weekend’s opponents, LAFC, has to overcome a bit of controversy as well. LAFC played a wild game in the snow against Real Salt Lake that LAFC manager Steve Cherundolo called, “an absolute joke.”

Despite the 3-0 thumping from RSL, LAFC still sit a point higher in the standings than SKC having won their season opener against a depleted Seattle Sounders team. Sporting KC can say they are ‘undefeated,’ but they are desperately searching for a win to stave off the talk of the 10-game start that plagued the 2023 season.

There is no doubt that the Sporting Kansas City team that nearly beat the Union looked vastly improved week over week to the team who faced the Houston Dynamo in the season opener. Saturday presents another chance to put everything together and come away with a W.

What’s new for LAFC in 2024?

LAFC have massively overturned their roster. Gone are 17 (!!) players who were on the club last year and they are still in the process of rebuilding their team having only brought in six players.

IN: The headline stealing signing is former Tottenham Hotspur and French National Team goalkeeper Hugo Lloris coming to LA on an astonishingly low contract. He’s joined by defender Omar Campos from Santos Laguna (Mexico), former and now current LAFC midfielder Eduard Atuesta in on loan from Palmeiras (Brazil) and forward David Martinez via transfer from Monagas (Venezuela).

OUT: The list is too long to fully take in, so let’s hit the high points. Carlos Vela is out of contract and was rumored to be heading to the San Jose Earthquakes, but those talks may have fizzled. Italian center back Giorgio Chiellini retired and took a job on the team’s staff. The team also lost USMNT midfielder Kellyn Acosta who spurned Sporting KC and signed with the Chicago Fire.

They also let goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau walk (Portland Timbers scooped him up), declined the option on defenders Mahamed Traore and Christian Torres and let fellow defender Diego Palacios leave when his contract expired. The team recently loaned out U-22 forward Stipe Biuk, who came in on a big fee last year, to Real Valladolid (Spain).

Kansas City’s Form

  • (Preseason) Jan 30th vs. Nashville SC – 1-2 Loss
  • (Preseason) Feb 10th vs. Miami FC (USL) – 5-0 Win
  • (Preseason) Feb 17th vs Atlanta United – 3-1 Win
  • Feb 24th @ Houston Dynamo – 1-1 Draw
  • March 2nd vs Philadelphia Union – 1-1 Draw

LAFC’s Recent Form

  • (Preseason) Feb 7th vs. St. Louis City – 0-1 Loss
  • (Preseason) Feb 11th vs. Chicago Fire – 3-1 Win
  • (Preseason) Feb 17th vs. Toronto FC – 1-0 Win
  • Feb 24th vs. Seattle Sounders – 2-1 Win
  • March 2nd @ RSL – 0-3 Loss

LA will be happy for southern California weather after that orange ball fiasco in Utah this past weekend. This will be a good test for both teams as LAFC pulled off a win over the Sounders, who seem like contenders on paper but were missing several key players in that game.

Injury/Availability Report

Updated 3/8/2024 with official injury reports (our preliminary reports were 100% accurate for SKC).

Sporting KC:

Update from Thursday’s practice:


  • OUT – Lorenzo Dellavalle (knee)
  • QUESTIONABLE – Tomas Angel (adductor)


Sporting KC: None

LAFC: None


Sporting KC

Goals: Remi Walter, Erik Thommy (1)

Assists: None


Goals: Mateusz Bogusz, Timothy Tillman (1)

Assists: Denis Bouanga, Omar Campos (1)


In 2023, when Sporting KC were literally dead last in all of MLS, eventual Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga said that KC were the best team they had played all year. At this point, Sporting KC had just two wins and went into LA and earned a tough 1-1 draw. This was mid-May, when Sporting Kansas City were on the way to having the best record in the Western Conference from May 1st on.

Sparks of that game showed up last weekend against the Union. SKC suddenly looked dangerous, despite a few poor decisions on final passes or shooting when they should have passed. If they can continue and improve upon that form on the road in Los Angeles, I’d say they’ll have a chance at a victory. Just look at the buildup to the goal against Philly. Every player but Melia touches the ball and only a deflection from Jose Martinez takes away a Jake Davis assist.

Then again, they looked like hot garbage on the road against Houston. If not for an individual moment of brilliance by Erik Thommy, they almost certainly lose that game. I’m chalking that up to rust, but it’s on Sporting KC to go prove that’s the case.

Tactically speaking, they may try to play more like they played against Houston than against Philadelphia though. LAFC absolutely do not want the ball and want to look to hit you on the counter and stretch the field with their wingers Bouanga and Oliveira. Perhaps SKC decide to let LAFC have the ball and hope they can be the team to hit on the counter, like they did to St. Louis City in the first playoff meeting where they smoked their cross-state rivals.

I think this game could go either way, so I’ll say it’s another draw and KC will come home still looking for their first win.


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