Galaxy, Sporting KC face off in battle of contrasting styles

ByField Level Media ESPN logo
Saturday, March 23, 2024

They might have identical records, but the LA Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City have taken different paths to get there. They'll face each other Saturday night in Kansas City for a crucial early-season match at Children's Mercy Park.

The Galaxy (1-0-3, 6 points) have used an offensive attack, scoring nine goals in their first four matches. Their first victory occurred in their second match of the season, a 3-1 road win over the San Jose Earthquakes. The Galaxy's nine goals are second in MLS to Miami's 13.

Sporting KC (1-0-3, 6 points) have relied on their defense, allowing just three goals in getting to six points and a tie for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Galaxy and St. Louis. Sporting KC's lone victory came in their last match, a 2-1 victory at home over San Jose. OK, there is one similarity.

Los Angeles got a third-minute goal by Dejan Joveljic in the Galaxy's last match against St. Louis to take a 1-0 lead. Maya Yoshida scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time to draw even at 3-3.

Still, the Galaxy felt like they let a victory get away.

"We missed, and/or (St. Louis keeper Roman Burki) made a bunch of great saves, and we missed some great chances," Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said. "We shouldn't have even been in the game. We should have buried enough of our chances because they were really good chances. I think there were six or more in there tonight if we were clinical."

Sporting allowed a goal in the 11th minute against San Jose, but answered quickly with a header by Dany Rosero in the 18th minute. Alan Pulido scored his first goal of the season in the 29th minute. It was set up by a 17-pass sequence, with 10 of 11 players on the field touching the ball -- including goalkeeper Tim Melia -- that resulted in Pulido's tap-in.

Sporting manager Peter Vermes was happy with the result.

"It was beautiful," Vermes said. "It's the kind of thing that you work on tirelessly, and then when you see it happen, you're pretty pleased."

--Field Level Media