Match Recap

Everything But The Finish

LAFC’s attack impresses, but can only secure a point in scoreless draw with SKC

Atuesta LAFC SKC 20240309

LAFC and Sporting Kansas City battled to a 0-0 draw at BMO Stadium in Los Angeles on Saturday night in a clash of styles that saw LAFC create scoring chances mainly in transition while SKC did so with possession. The Black & Gold (1-1-1, four points) held the upper hand in terms of chance quality, with goalkeeper Hugo Lloris winning Man of the Match honors for snuffing out all six shots on target SKC sent his way.

“We didn't accomplish the main goal which was to win the game,” LAFC midfielder Ilie Sánchez said, “and I think that we need to be cleaner in our game with the ball, especially when we find that final third in the last pass, to finish the action.”


LAFC fielded the same starting eleven that began the first two games of the season with Lloris leading the group from the back of the formation. The former Tottenham and France captain made six saves and has not allowed a non-penalty goal in two home starts.


Eighteen-year-old LAFC winger David Martínez was the only substitute of the match for either side, checking in for Ilie Sanchez, a player 15 years his senior, in the 78th minute. Wearing new braids that were inspired by Sanchez’s hairstyle in Week 1 - and that were created by the same East LA stylist - the young Venezuelan made an instant impact in his home debut, helping create a handful of chances, including a long dribbling run in transition, followed by a slick move in the 18-yard box that preceded a shot over the bar.

Martínez was the youngest player on the field, for either side, by more than three years.

David Maretinez Bouanaga LAFC SKC 20240309

“He just turned 18 and moved to a new country,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said postgame. “So it's obviously a big step for him and in his career. Getting used to our training methodology here at LAFC and, also in the United States is different, it’s a big change …

“We've had him for two weeks in training, and I can tell you his finish is excellent, which is why I think he's disappointed more than anyone with his finishing tonight.”


LAFC created more quality chances than SKC, with an expected goals mark (xG) of 3.3, to Kansas City’s 0.9.

In 2023, over 53 games, LAFC exceeded 3.3 xG just once, in an October win over Minnesota – LAFC’s next opponent.

“I think we created plenty of opportunities tonight and some real chances to score,” Cherundolo said. “I just think in the final moment, a little bit of quality or patience is lacking. All areas we can improve on. And we certainly expect some of our players – for example, Kíke [Cristian Olivera] will improve in those areas so he can become more productive. And we are working with him on a weekly basis and I have seen improvements, but there's still plenty of room to go in the final third so he can get his name on the scoring sheet more often.”


Midfielder Eduard Atuesta’s next start will mark his 100th regular-season appearance for LAFC.

LAFC has held all three of its 2023 opponents to 1.5 xG or lower.

Forward Denis Bouanga has not scored a goal in the first three games of 2023, narrowly missing a few ripe chances against Kansas City. Bouanga endured goalless streaks of three games or more four times during his Golden Boot campaign of 2023. “For us to be successful we need Denis in form,” Cherundolo said, “and I have no doubt he will be back.”

“We need to put our forwards in better positions for them to be able to, in an unselfish way, finish the play,” Sánchez observed.

LAFC’s 2023 regular season resumes on Saturday, March 16, with an away match at Minnesota United FC. Kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. PT. The game can be seen live on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV.

2024 Season Membership

2024 Season Membership

Secure your spot in our priority line for the 2024 season.

Place a deposit today!

Receive The Latest LAFC Developments

Receive The Latest LAFC Developments

Including special invitations and offers, Academy updates, and opportunities to get involved in the community.