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Los Angeles Football Club vs. Sporting Kansas City | 2018 MLS Match Preview

LAFC vs. Sporting Kansas City
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 24

Banc of California Stadium — Los Angeles
August 11 - 10:30 pm ET

WATCH: ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN (Canada)

Looking to put the disappointment of a U.S. Open Cup ouster behind them, LAFC have a short turnaround and will face a difficult test when Sporting Kansas City come to Banc of California Stadium Saturday night.

While LAFC are smarting from a penalty kick defeat to the Houston Dynamo in the semifinals, their third loss in their last four games in all competitions, Sporting is buoyed by a 1-0 victory at Houston last Saturday.

Seven teams enter this weekend averaging more than 1.70 xG (ex. penalties). Among them are LAFC (1.85) and Sporting Kansas City (1.72), per Opta.

LAFC

LAFC (10-6-6) staged a furious comeback, but ultimately fell short in the USOC semifinals to the Houston Dynamo Wednesday night.

Diego Rossi put the visitors in front in the 6th minute, but Houston roared back on goals by Andrew Wenger, Mauro Manotas and Memo Rodriguez to take a 3-1 lead into the final quarter hour. Rossi, though, provided the late dramatics with two more goals, including the equalizer deep into stoppage time.

After 30 minutes of extra-time, the match was decided on penalty kicks where the Dynamo prevailed, 7-6, after eight rounds.

“I told the guys after the game, man, I couldn’t be prouder and there’s a lot to build on,” Bob Bradley said. “If they continue to believe in what we do and we continue to improve and work, we’ll get rewarded. It just didn’t happen tonight.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Walker Zimmerman
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture), M - Mark-Anthony Kaye (fractured ankle); QUESTIONABLE: F - Adama Diomande (hamstring injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Walker Zimmerman, Dejan Jakovic, Jordan Harvey — Benny Feilhaber, Aaron Kovar — Diego Rossi, Eduard Atuesta, Latif Blessing — Christian Ramirez

  • Notes: Laurent Ciman has scored three goals from outside the box this season. Since the start of 2010, only nine other defenders have had multiple goals from there in a season, and only one has more than two. … Since a 4-1 win over Orlando on July 7, LAFC have scored four goals, going 0W-2L-2D in that time.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City (10-6-6) snapped a five-match winless streak with a 1-0 victory at Houston in a feisty affair that saw 11 bookings and three Dynamo players sent off.

The game’s lone goal was scored in the 74th minute by second-half substitute Diego Rubio off an assist from 16-year-old Gianluca Busio, who was the third youngest player in MLS history to start a game.

“Man of the match for me. For a 16-year old to play in a game like this at the level that he did consistently for 90 minutes, he took some shots, physically, but he never got rattled, and he easily could have,” Peter Vermes said. “For me, he was the man of the match. Not only because he was 16, but because he played very well in the game. He was mature for a 16-year old. He has a bright future.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee injury), F - Khiry Shelton (right MCL tear, lateral meniscus tear), D/M - Brad Evans (Achilles injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Johnny Russell

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic — Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza — Gerso Fernandes, Diego Rubio, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Last weekend was Ilie Sánchez’s 17th game with 9+ recoveries for Sporting Kansas City. Since the start of 2010, only eight players have had more such games (inc. playoffs). … Sporting snapped a five-game road winless run in their 1-0 win in Houston last weekend. They have won back-to-back league road games just once since the start of 2015.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Los Angeles Football Club and Sporting Kansas City

Officials

Referee: Ismail Elfath
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Chris Wattam
4th Official: Kevin Stott
VAR: Tim Ford

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Current Form

LAFC
Sporting KC

Season Goal Leaders

Season Stats

Los Angeles Football ClubSporting Kansas City
22Games Played22
10Wins10
6Losses6
6Draws6
45Goals40
37Goals Conceded30
257Shots278
130Shots on Target126
230Fouls committed247
260Fouls suffered225
34Offside24
134Corners140

Goals Scored

01234+TotalAvg
LAFC28615452
SKC54823401.8
01234+Avg
LAFC134021.9
SKC223222.2
01234+Avg
LAFC152132.2
SKC325011.5

Goals Conceded

01234+TotalAvg
LAFC65623371.7
SKC83731301.4
01234+Avg
LAFC442000.8
SKC415101.3
01234+Avg
LAFC214232.4
SKC422211.5
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