Match Preview

Preview | LAFC vs Sporting Kansas City 3/9/24


LAFC vs Sporting Kansas City

Saturday, March 9 at 7:30 pm PT

Location: BMO Stadium, Los Angeles California

Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera

After dropping its first points of the season with a 3-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake, LAFC now prepares to host Sporting Kansas City on Saturday, March 9, at BMO Stadium.

In a game that was delayed for over two hours by wind and lightning then played under heavy snow, LAFC (1W-0D-1L) was unable to capitalize on its scoring chances against an opportunistic RSL side (1-1-1) that managed to finish theirs.  

Against SKC, the Black & Gold have an all-time record of 6W-4L-1D, in all competitions. LAFC is unbeaten in its last five meetings in the series.

Sporting Kansas City in-depth

Led by head coach Peter Vermes, who’s been in charge since 2009, SKC is in search of its first win of the season after playing to 1-1 draws against Houston and Philadelphia – two teams that, like SKC, made the MLS Cup playoffs in 2023.

SKC have not beaten LAFC since August 2021, when they managed a 4-1 win in Los Angeles. In the five matches since, SKC has scored just three goals. 

With the offseason departures of key players Roger Espinoza, Graham Zusi, and Gadi Kinda, Sporting will look to new additions Zorhan Bassong and Memo Rodriguez to fill the void. Bassong, a 24-year-old Canadian international, returns for his second MLS stint after spending time on the CF Montréal backline from 2021-2022 prior to spending 2023 in the Romanian League. Rodriguez, a midfielder who split time in 2023 between the Austin FC and Galaxy rosters, is no stranger to facing the Black & Gold, having scored three goals in 13 appearnces against LAFC. 

SKC will be without defender Logan Ndenbe (ACL) and forward Khiry Shelton (ankle) on Saturday.

The Black & Gold Will Win If:

It can shake off a bad game played in a blizzard and have its defense return to form. Prior to last Saturday’s loss in Utah, the Black & Gold had only allowed five goals in its previous six games, dating back to the the 2023 playoffs. LAFC newcomers Omar Campos and David Martínez, who had never seen snow before, can breathe sigh of relief playing their next match in LA, where pleasant weather is expected for Saturday.

Sporting Kansas City Can Win If:

Alan Pulido finds pockets of space along the LAFC back line. The striker and 2023 MLS Comeback Player of the Year enjoyed his best season in MLS last year (14g/3a) after missing all of 2022 with a knee injury. He’ll be waiting for LAFC’s back line – which features two new starters this season – to make a mistake.

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