Galaxy fall at home to Sporting KC, 2-1

June 25, 2017

By Brian Kowalski

Carson, Calif. -- The Los Angeles Galaxy entered Saturday night’s home game against Sporting KC as the fifth team in the Western Conference after returning from a road win in Colorado during the week.  Unfortunately, the Galaxy also entered the game without some of their top players, as Giovani dos Santos remains on international duty for Mexico, while Sebastian Lletget and Jermaine Jones were out injured.  Their absences were felt on Saturday.

Both teams created scoring chances early, with Graham Zusi sending a cross over the top of the defense to Benny Feilhaber for a header that missed just over the crossbar in the 9th minute.  In the 14th minute, Romain Alessandrini magnificently controlled a ball over the defense and settled it to his feet just inside the box.  Alessandrini shot on goal, but Tim Melia saved the attempt to keep the game scoreless.

In the 22nd minute, Sporting KC got on the scoreboard first when Roger Espinoza shot on goal from a long distance.  The shot had plenty of power behind it, but keeper Clement Diop had time to deflect it.  As the shot approached, Diop made two fists to punch it out.  However, the ball was not properly deflected, and it hit his hands and went into goal for a 1-0 Kansas City lead.

Things got worse for the Galaxy in the 35th minute when Matt Besler sent the ball over the defense and it fell at the top of 18 yard box.  There were three LA defenders in the area, but the ball landed without clearance.  Diop began charging towards the ball, but before he could reach it, Ike Opara lunged in the air and gave the fans a bicycle kick attempt on goal that Diop was not in position to defend, as Sporting KC went up 2-0 at the Stubhub Center.

The slow start perhaps was due to the Galaxy's lingering fatigue from their midweek game.

"I think it showed in the first half," said LA Galaxy head coach Curt Onalfo about the team's tired legs. "We were kind of second to everything, we were just a little bit off. Having said that, the goals were soft. We gave up goals we can't give away to a top team in this league.”

LA battled back in the second half as they created pressure on the Sporting KC defense and made substitutions with Joao Pedro, Jose Villareal, and Bradford Jamieson.

In the 77th minute, LA reduced the score to 2-1 when a corner-kick was headed into goal by Jamieson.  The shot was barely blocked by the Kansas City defense, but Dave Romney put his head on the ball and got it over the goal-line in a frantic battle in front of the goal.  The goal was called by a line referee, as it just made its way over before being booted out.

Despite the Romney goal, LA still fell to Sporting KC 2-1 at home.  Last year, LA was 8-1-8 at home and didn’t lose at home until September.  This year, LA is 1-4-3 at the Stubhub Center -- an MLS-worst home record -- and they have been outscored 12-8.

“It’s really weird,” said center back Dave Romney, who scored in the 77th minute Saturday. “In the past we would never lose at home and we couldn’t buy a win on the road, so everything gets kind of flip-flopped.”

The Galaxy travel to San Jose for their next MLS match on July 1st.

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