Sporting Kansas City Vs. Los Angeles Galaxy: Match Preview

Posted In Match Previews and Reviews - By Bryan Ashlock On Friday, May 13th, 2011 With 0 Comments

For the last place team in MLS’s Eastern Conference, Sporting Kansas City, the nightmare early-season road trip just won’t end. Still almost a month away from their first home game of the season SKC travel to the Home Depot Center to take on the Western Conference leading Los Angeles Galaxy. On paper this game looks like an easy way for LA to end their five-match winless streak against Kansas City (LA hasn’t beaten KC since May 24, 2008), but the Galaxy need to be careful.

Sporting Kansas City have not played since April 30 and the side, which has been hit hard by injuries so far, should be well rested. The Galaxy meanwhile are wrapping up a three games in eight days stretch that involved a trip across country. David Beckham, who didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia, though, should be well rested for this game and ready to feature in the Galaxy midfield.

Kansas City’s defense has been leaky, at best this year, but manager Peter Vermes seems to think he’s found a solution. He’ll continue the partnership of Aurelien Collin and Julio Cesar in central defense and hope that they can keep Landon Donovan, the league’s second leading scorer, from adding to his tally.

Sporting Kansas City Player to Watch: Stephane Auvray. SKC’s combative midfielder has been largely absent from the lineup this season, but following the suspension of Birahim Diop Auvrey re-entered the line-up and performed well against the New York Red Bulls. If Auvrey can continue to break up possession like he did against New York it will help ease the pressure on SKC’s shaky back-line.

Los Angeles Galaxy Player to Watch: Landon Donovan. This one is easy. Donovan has been playing like a man possessed this season and his early season goal return is a result of him playing much further up the pitch than usual. Sporting Kansas City has had some poor play from their fullbacks all season and David Beckham and Juninho will challenge them with balls over the top. Look for Donovan to run rampant.

Prediction: Los Angeles 3-1 Sporting Kansas City. Even with their misfiring strikers the Los Angeles Galaxy are going to be too much for Sporting Kansas City. Landon Donovan will have a brace and look for another goal from a set-piece, perhaps from Omar Gonzalez. Kansas City will get a consolation goal through Davy Arnaud, but that’s it.

About Bryan Ashlock - Soccer aficionado living in Atlanta. Contributor to Cartilage Free Captain, a Tottenham Hotspur blog on SBNation. Follow me on twitter @BryanAshlock

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