ExLink - 10/28/18 - SKCvLAFC

Sporting Kansas City vs. LAFC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 35

Children’s Mercy Park — Kansas City
October 28 — 4:30 pm ET

The top seed in the Western Conference is at stake when Sporting Kansas City host LAFC in a Decision Day presented by AT&T clash at Children’s Mercy Park.

Sporting moved atop the West with a convincing 3-0 victory over host FC Dallas, while LAFC leapfrogged over FC Dallas following a 2-2 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

This is the second all-time meeting, with SKC winning 2-0 at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 11. Gerso Fernandes and Ilie Sanchez scored a goal in each half to lead the visitors.

Sporting Kansas City

Sporting (17-8-8) jumped on top of the West by beating the previous leaders FC Dallas at Toyota Stadium on Sunday.

After Daniel Salloi put the visitors in front just before halftime, Roger Espinoza doubled the lead in the 64th minute and Johnny Russell put the game out of reach from the penalty spot three minutes from full time for SKC, which won by three goals for a second consecutive road game and stretched an unbeaten streak to four games.

“The difference for us is our work ethic was exceptional tonight on both sides of the ball, and I thought we showed a real hunger in and around the boxes, which was really good,” manager Peter Vermes said. “I think it was the difference.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: D - Jimmy Medranda (knee surgery), M - Cristian Lobato (quad injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Yohan Croizet (quad injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tim Melia — Graham Zusi, Ike Opara, Matt Besler, Seth Sinovic — Felipe Gutierrez, Ilie Sanchez, Roger Espinoza — Johnny Russell, Khiry Shelton, Daniel Salloi

  • Notes: Tim Melia is tied for the MLS lead with 13 shutouts this year, which is tied for the fifth-most ever in one season. He is one of two keepers with 30+ clean sheets over the last three years. … Sporting Kansas City have lost just three home games in league play over the last two seasons. Only LAFC – which joined MLS this year – have fewer (one).


LAFC (16-8-9) raced out to a two-goal lead, but were disappointed to settle for a 2-2 draw against the Whitecaps Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.

Diego Rossi opened the scoring five minutes after kickoff and made it 2-0 with his 12th goal of the season just 10 minutes later. But Yordy Reyna pulled the ‘Caps back from the penalty spot in the 22nd minute and Jordon Mutch equalized in the 65th minute. It was a draw that ended Vancouver’s playoff hopes and LAFC squandered a chance to go top of the West.

“For me, it’s a bad tie,” Bob Bradley said. “It’s two points that we let get away. We’ve done it before this year. If you do it late in the year, obviously it feels worse.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture), M - Mark-Anthony Kaye (fractured ankle), M - James Murphy (concussion)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Danilo Silva, Walker Zimmerman, Jordan Harvey — Benny Feilhaber, Lee Nguyen, Aaron Kovar — Carlos Vela, Adama Diomande, Diego Rossi

  • Notes: Carlos Vela has 14 goals+assists on the road for LAFC, tied for the second most in the league this season. … LAFC have only been shut out once on the road this year. Only two teams since 2007 have completed a season with as few away games without scoring.

All-Time Series

  • There has been one all-time meeting between Sporting Kansas City and Los Angeles Football Club, with Sporting winning 2-0 at Banc of California Stadium on Aug. 11.


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Adam Wienckowski, CJ Morgante
4th Official: Silviu Petrescu
VAR: Mark Geiger