Sporting hopes to rebound at home vs. Galaxy
Kansas City, KS – Sporting Kansas City continues its lengthy home spell on Monday when it hosts the Los Angeles Galaxy.
It is the eighth match in a stretch of nine straight at Livestrong Sporting Park, and Kansas City will undoubtedly be hoping for a different result than its last encounter.
Sporting suffered a 3-2 loss to FC Dallas that saw the home team concede two injury time goals en route to surrendering all three points.
It was only the second loss for Sporting at its new stadium, which opened on June 9. The first defeat came in similar fashion, a 2-1 loss to Seattle Sounders FC with two goals coming in the dying minutes for Seattle.
"It was a wake-up call the first few times it happened," Sporting midfielder Graham Zusi said. "If we want to get anything out of this season, we've got to be able to hold on to a lead. That's the bottom line."
Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes believes his side were good enough to claim all three points, but was instead left to rue their poor defensive mistakes down the stretch.
"We did more than enough, being up two goals at home to secure the win," Vermes said. "It's not even closing down the game. At the end, we weren't competing enough. They got two balls in from the outside, which we should be close enough to even block them."
Sporting will need to do much better in closing players down on Monday when it faces Los Angeles, the top team in the league.
With dangerous players like David Beckham and Landon Donovan, the Galaxy can certainly hurt Sporting at any point in the match.
Beckham is enjoying an impressive season for the Galaxy, recording a single- season high 11 assists including four in his last five matches.
Donovan was originally slated to miss the game in favor of the United States national team's friendly at Belgium on Tuesday, but the Designated Player has opted to remain with his Galaxy teammates.
"It's certainly a bonus," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told MLSsoccer.com. "Landon is one of our better players and one of the better players in the league."
Los Angeles and Sporting will both be missing key offensive players for the match though.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane is on international duty with the Republic of Ireland, while Sporting striker Teal Bunbury is suspended after picking up a red card in the club's loss to FC Dallas.