MX23RW : Friday, July 23 18:03:44| >> :120:34744:34744:
Jun 26, 2021 at 10.30pm UK at Livestrong Sporting Park
KansasSporting Kansas City
2-1
Los AngelesLos Angeles FC
Pulido (61'), Salloi (87')
Sanchez (44')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Kim (24')
Blackmon (12'), Romero (65')
Blackmon (58')

Preview: Sporting Kansas City vs. Los Angeles FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Major League Soccer clash between Sporting Kansas City and Los Angeles FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Los Angeles FC will hope to climb into a playoff position in the Western Conference on Saturday when they travel to Children's Mercy Park for a matinee affair against Sporting Kansas City.

The Black and Gold are unbeaten in their last two matches since the international break, while the Wizards remain in second place in the Western Conference after a comprehensive 3-1 victory over the Colorado Rapids.


Match preview

Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes on June 12, 2021© Reuters

Kansas City got their campaign back on track with an impressive showing against a top-class side in Colorado, to move back to within four points of the Seattle Sounders for the best record in the league.

They were strong in virtually every category on Wednesday, scoring on 50% of their targeted efforts (three goals on six shots), with some strong movement on the ball that created multiple high scoring chances.

Peter Vermes has built a solid foundation for this team, who are just as savvy off the ball as they are on the ball and they rarely give the ball away in dangerous areas, as is evidenced by the fact that they have limited their last three opponents to three shots or fewer on target.

Vermes knows that his side will need to maintain their sharpness as the season rolls along, particularly against an LAFC team who scored five times in the last meeting versus the Wizards in 2019, a match in which KC lost 5-1.

Two years on from that drubbing, this match up on Saturday could be a big test for the psyche of this squad, who face a tough stretch with matches against the LA Galaxy and the Sounders next month.

It has been an up and down 2021 for LAFC so far, with three wins, three defeats and three draws as they are currently tied with Real Salt Lake for the final playoff spot in the Western Conference, though they are on the outside because of goal difference.

Their match on Wednesday was definitely a high point, as they had perhaps their most complete performance of the year, scoring early and never looking back in a dominant showing against albeit a poor Dallas side who are dead last in the Western Conference.

Following the international break, Bob Bradley has seen his side be strong defensively, allowing only three shots on target in their last two games.

The next test for this team will be finding a way to win on the road, which they have yet to do this season, losing twice and drawing once away from Banc of California Stadium.

The results so far in 2021 have not always gone their way, but Bradley knows that his side are capable of stringing together unbeaten runs, winning five in a row last season and putting together unbeaten streaks of seven, eight and six games respectively in 2019.

An unbeaten run like that would seriously improve their standing in the Western Conference, as three of their next four matches are against teams slightly above them in the table (twice against Real Salt Lake and once versus the Portland Timbers).

Sporting Kansas City Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • L
  • W

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:
  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • D
  • L



Team News

Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley on May 9, 2021 © Reuters

KC striker Daniel Salloi notched a pair of goals and an assist on Wednesday to overtake Alan Pulido for the team lead in both categories (six goals and three assists).

Midfielder Felipe Hernandez scored his first goal of the season, becoming the seventh different KC player to find the back of the net in 2021.

The backline of Luis Martins, Andreu Fontas, llie and Jaylin Lindsey have played together in defence in back-to-back games, allowing only six shots on target.

Los Angeles will be without defender Diego Palacios who is representing Ecuador at the Copa America, while his teammate, striker Brian Rodriguez, is with the Uruguayan national team in that competition.

LAFC striker Carlos Vela and midfielder Latif Blessing each notched a goal in their last outing, the first of the season for both of them.

Their top scorer Diego Rossi has now gone goalless in three consecutive matches, while backup goalkeeper Tomas Romero only had to make one stop for his first career clean sheet in his first MLS start.

Rossi and Vela each had a goal and an assist the last time they faced KC back in 2019, when LAFC trounced the Wizards 5-1 at Children's Mercy Park.

Sporting Kansas City possible starting lineup:
Melia; Lindsey, Dia, Fontas, Martins; Duke, Busio, Hernandez; Pulido, Shelton, Salloi

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Sisniega; Kim, Murillo, Segura, Blackmon; Blessing, Atuesta, Cifuentes; Vela, Baird, Rossi


SM words green background

We say: Sporting Kansas City 2-2 Los Angeles FC

These sides have only faced each other four times in the regular season, with each team scoring at least once in all but one of those encounters.

These are two evenly matched teams with a strong attacking presence, but KC have conceded in five straight matches, while LA have given up at least a goal in three of their last four encounters.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a double chance bet on a home win or draw in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home/Draw:data


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How you voted: Kansas vs Los Angeles

Sporting Kansas City
73.1%
Draw
16.4%
Los Angeles FC
10.4%
67
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Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer reacts on May 9, 2021
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Saturday's key events


ROWING
· Two-time Olympic gold medallist and comeback queen Helen Glover teams up with Polly Swan in the heats of the women's pair (12.30am-4.30am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Two-time Rio gold medallist Max Whitlock leads Team GB's charge in the men's qualification, while Rhys McClenaghan flies the flag for Ireland (2am-2pm)

SHOOTING
· The first gold medal of the Games will be awarded in the Air Rifle women's final (from 2.45am)

CYCLING
· The men's road race should be a wide-open thriller, with Team GB among those going for gold (3am-10am)

TENNIS
· Andy Murray, Novak Djokovic and Naomi Osaka are among the names in action on the opening day of tennis (from 3am)

SWIMMING
· Adam Peaty and many others get their Olympics campaigns underway on the opening day of swimming (11am-2.50pm)

FOOTBALL
· Team GB's women try to make it two wins from two against hosts Japan (11.30am)
· Netherlands and Brazil, who scored 15 goals between them on matchday one, face off (12pm)
· World champions USA look to bounce back from a shock opening defeat against New Zealand (12.30pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England1593328181030
2Orlando City147432314925
3Nashville SCNashville145812114723
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
5CF MontrealMontreal146441916322
6Columbus Crew145631512321
7New York City FCNY City136252115620
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta142841417-314
11FC CincinnatiCincinnati133461726-913
12Chicago Fire143381625-912
13Toronto142481831-1310
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England1593328181030
2Orlando City147432314925
3Nashville SCNashville145812114723
4Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia156541915423
5CF MontrealMontreal146441916322
6Columbus Crew145631512321
7New York City FCNY City136252115620
8New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls135351816218
9DC United145272018217
10Atlanta UnitedAtlanta142841417-314
11FC CincinnatiCincinnati133461726-913
12Chicago Fire143381625-912
13Toronto142481831-1310
14Inter MiamiInter Miami12228922-138

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