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LAFC vs. Sporting KC

MLS 2021 Season - Match 16

Wednesday, August 4, 2021

7:30 p.m. PT

TV: Bally Sports SoCal, Estrella TV

RADIO: 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM

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Just when it looked like the Black & Gold would be able to shake off a tough 2-2 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps on July 17, the Club was served another late-game heartbreak on July 28 in a stoppage time draw with Minnesota United FC.

LAFC started the match off on a tear, scoring first when José Cifuentes intercepted a pass near midfield and quickly played the ball forward to Carlos Vela, who knocked in his fifth goal of the season. Minnesota equalized in the 49th minute on an Emanuel Reynoso strike, and the score would stay level until the 77th minute when Tristan Blackmon headed in an Eduard Atuesta corner kick just inside the post for his first goal of the season, giving LAFC a 2-1 lead.

It looked as if the game was over until Hassani Dotson found the ball at the top of LAFC’s box with just seconds remaining of stoppage time and hit a rocket past Tomas Romero to give  LAFC another point at home.

“Yeah, I'm still in a little bit of shock,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said immediately after the game. “I thought overall we played a really good game. A lot of very good effort. We just don't finish it out. It's a ball that gets hit up the field. Cifu slows down, he thinks he's been clipped in the face. Marco [Farfan] doesn't win the header, it comes loose; Moon is not quite tight enough and Dotson smashes a great shot. Incredible to let them have a point on a play like that.”

Next up for LAFC, a Western Conference opponent in Sporting KC that always brings it at the Banc and currently sits second in the conference table. LAFC is also behind in the all-time series with a record of 2-3-0. SKC is also four matches into a stretch that has them playing seven matches in 22 days so look for that schedule to potentially slow them down.

Let’s see how LAFC can come back from the tough draw last match.   

SPORTING KC IN-DEPTH

Sporting KC is a side that likes to play very direct behind dangerous and dynamic personnel the like Daniel Salloi, Johnny Russell, and Gadi Kinda. They are one of the best high pressing clubs in the league and when going forward they look to cross the ball often, relying on their aerial prowess to score goals -- something that has given LAFC problems in the past. 

THE CANDLE IS LIT

Over the last season and a half, LAFC star and 2019 MLS MVP Carlos Vela has had his struggles. He had another rough start this season after missing some games early this season with a knee injury, but as he has continued to regain full fitness the goals and assists have come too. Vela has earned a point in each of the Club’s last five matches and has scored a goal in the last four, thrusting him atop the LAFC goal leaderboard in a tie with José Cifuentes and Diego Rossi. Let’s see how strong the candle shines in this next matchup.  

LAFC WILL WIN IF

They can match SKC’s energy. If LAFC can sustain the pressure on the attack, they can find success.

SPORTING KC CAN WIN IF

Their crosses are able to penetrate LAFC’s backline, it will be a tough night for the Black & Gold.

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Inspired by Ted Lasso (2020).

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