Carson, CA – Two teams searching for rebound performances clash on Thursday as the Los Angeles Galaxy host the Columbus Crew at StubHub Center.
Columbus enters the Independence Day tilt in poor form having lost three of their last four matches in league play, but the Crew is still within shouting distance of the playoff place just three points behind fifth-place Houston.
In their last league encounter, the Crew put up a good fight on the road at Sporting Park, but ultimately fell to Sporting Kansas City by a 3-2 count last Saturday.
Sporting struck first as Soony Saad lofted a spot-perfect 40-yard pass to Kamara, waiting at the front left of Columbus' penalty area, and Kei Kamara took one touch to settle before firing a left-footed rocket past Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum for a 1-0 lead.
The Crew pulled it back level in the 48th minute when Jairo Arrieta beat Sporting goalkeeper Jimmy Nielsen down the middle.
That deadlock lasted only until the 50th minute. Sporting's Chance Myers sent in a long cross from the right side, the ball deflecting off defender Tyson Wahl and fell to Claudio Bieler for a cool finish that put the hosts up 2-1.
But the Crew showed resilience to fight back again as Seth Sinovic's weak back pass allowed Dominic Oduro to jump on the loose ball and slide it past an out- of-position Nielsen.
Kamara bagged his second of the day in the 80th minute to seal the win for Sporting.
"We just need to tighten up defensively and take advantage of our chances," Gruenebaum said of his side's current two-match losing streak. "I'd like to score one without giving one up for a change."
Los Angeles, meanwhile, is also looking to bounce back after a stunning 3-2 loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday at Stanford Stadium.
The defending champs had the upper hand early on as Marcelo Sarvas scored his second goal of the season to put the Galaxy up 1-0 after 20 minutes.
The Galaxy made it 2-0 five minutes after the hour mark when Hector Jimenez bagged his second of the season, but then things began to fall apart for the defending champs.
Just three minutes later Alan Gordon netted his first of the season to bring the 'Quakes within one and Shea Salinas fired one in from close range two minutes into stoppage time to put the sides on level terms at 2-2.
But San Jose wasn't done as just one minute later Gordon headed home his second of the match to give three unlikely points to San Jose.
Galaxy head coach/general manager Bruce Arena was not pleased with his club's late collapse.
"I'm absolutely embarrassed at that performance," Arena said. "Give our opponent credit, you can't take that away, but our performance is embarrassing. It's disgraceful.
"Poor play, a lack of intelligence by our team," Arena continued. "To have a team of players and coaches that are that poor and stupid in the last five minutes of a game, that's my responsibility. It can't be on anybody else but me."