Time flies, but doesn't it seem like the season opener against Sporting KC was a lifetime ago?
It was the early clash between what many believed would be the two best teams in the Western Conference. And it lived up to the hype.
Both teams went toe to toe for 90-plus minutes. LAFC came back from a goal down and Adama Diomande capped things off with a last-minute winner.
Since then, the teams have been going in opposite directions. LAFC is atop MLS and chasing history. Sporting KC - oddly enough, through LAFC's loss to Colorado - is down at the bottom of the Western Conference standings.
What a difference four months makes.
Here is the preview of LAFC's midweek match at Sporting KC:
LAFC at Sporting KC | July 3 at 5:30pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: YouTube TV (coverage starts with Matchday at 2:30pm), KVMD
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
Official LAFC Watch Party: The Stalking Horse
Sporting KC has been a tough team to figure out all season. After putting all their efforts into the Concacaf Champions League, Peter Vermes' side has yet to find a consistent run of form. They went three matches unbeaten before losing 2-0 at Real Salt Lake. Injuries have ravaged SKC and it's been reported they'll be without Johnny Russell and Jimmy Medranda on Wednesday.
What The Players Are Saying
Pablo Sisniega on being eager to get back on the field after the loss in Colorado: "Getting that loss and now having this opportunity to bounce back is great for the whole team. We really want to show up on Wednesday and get a quick turnaround from that bad result that we got on Friday."
Josh Perez on what needs to chance on Wednesday: "We didn't do the things we do well on Friday. I think cleaning up after these few days is going to be crucial. It will be good for us."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Pablo Sisniega; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Tristan Blackmon, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
Time To Bounce Back: It's the sign of a great team. How do you bounce back from adversity? In LAFC's case, the response in 2019 has been exceptional. The Black & Gold hasn't gone more than two matches without a victory all season. It's one of the reasons why Bob Bradley's team remains on a historic pace despite the recent slip-up. The last time LAFC dropped three points in a match, they responded with what was one of the best performances of the season in a 4-1 win over the Seattle Sounders.
Return Of The MAK?: Mark-Anthony Kaye was back with his teammates this week in Kansas City after Canada's ouster from the Gold Cup quarterfinals on Saturday. LAFC has been short on numbers between call-ups and injuries. The return of their All-Star midfielder is a welcome sight. Kaye trained with teammates this week and has said he's ready to contribute in any way possible. There's a good chance he's injected straight into the starting 11.
A Showcase For MLS: The scoreline aside, the last time these two teams met was one of the best matches I'd ever watched in MLS. People might be partial to a 4-3 shootout, but LAFC's 2-1 victory over Sporting KC in March was the type of match we'd love to see week in and week out. It was two sides expressing their football at high levels in a great venue, competing for every ball, speed of play and thought, and a breathtaking ending. If we got matches of that level every week, eyes from around the world would be on this league. Here's to hoping for a repeat at Children's Mercy Park.