Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Sporting Park – Sunday, October 25 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT)
Match Odds: Sporting Kansas City 6/4 – Draw 5/2 – LA Galaxy 13/8
SKC are currently sixth in the Western Conference and clinging on to a playoff spot by the skin of their teeth with just one point separating them from San Jose in seventh.
Their fate is still in their own hands and they know that a win in this game is vital in order to secure a place in the postseason – a draw may still be enough but they would be relying on San Jose failing to beat FC Dallas or Seattle Sounders losing against Real Salt Lake.
Peter Vermes doesn’t bring his team into this game in particularly high spirits after a poor run of form. They’ve lost their last two games without scoring and have won just two of their last 11 (D2, L7).
Sporting Kansas City’s MLS record: P33 – W13 – D9 – L11
LA Galaxy arrive in Kansas having experienced similar fortunes to their opponents recently. Since a run of four straight victories through August, the Galaxy have managed just one win in their last six (D2, L3).
Most disappointingly, they were convincingly beaten 5-2 at home to Portland Timbers last time out in MLS, although they did pick up a 1-1 draw away to Guatemalan side Comunicaciones in midweek, which saw them win their CONCACAF Champions League group stage and advance to the quarter-final.
Despite a run of poor results, Bruce Arena’s side are still second in the Western Conference and will clinch an automatic semi-final berth with victory – a draw would be enough if Vancouver Whitecaps and Portland Timbers both fail to win.
Whatever the outcome, LA Galaxy will be in the postseason having already secured a top six finish.
LA Galaxy’s MLS record: P33 – W14 – D9 – L10
The last meeting between these two sides saw LA Galaxy edge a 2-1 home victory back in April. The last clash at Sporting Park was a 2-1 success for SKC in July 2014.
SKC have a number of doubts as Ike Opara (achilles), Seth Sinovic (hamstring), Amadou Dia (knee) and Roger Espinoza (foot) are all struggling with injuries.
LA Galaxy will be without injured goalkeeper Brian Perk (ankle) and Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion). Todd Dunivant (foot) and Baggio Husidic (leg) are also doubts.
Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/L/L
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/W/D/L
Key Stat: LA Galaxy have only kept one clean sheet away from home in MLS this season.
Key Player: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy have scored more goals than any other side in the Western Conference and Keane is one of the main reasons why. He has 19 goals and eight assists this season and has netted in his last three. He will be hoping for more of the same on Sunday.
Sporting Kansas City 1-1 LA Galaxy – Neither side comes into the game with any real form to boast about. As a result, we could see a tight affair with both sides relying on other results to decide their fate.