One howler, one stunner, and the LA Galaxy's long unbeaten run is over.
Sporting Kansas City's 2-1 victory on Saturday night snapped the Galaxy's streak at nine matches across all competitions, and widened Sporting's lead in the Western Conference to five points over Houston and FC Dallas.
The visitors went up 1-0 in the 22nd minute -- with the help of Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop. Diop went to punch out Roger Espinoza's blast from distance, rather than simply catching it, and instead succeeded only in deflecting the ball into his own net, sinking to the pitch and covering his face with his own jersey as Sporting celebrated.
Center back Ike Opara, playing up on a free kick, made it 2-0 in the 35th -- and in spectacular fashion. Opara let a ball from Matt Besler take a big bounce, set up with his back to goal, and sent a perfect bicycle kick past an onrushing Diop.
The Galaxy's Dave Romney pulled one back on a corner kick in the 77th minute, getting his putback just over the line after a save from Tim Melia. Melia got his fingertips to Romney's shot as well, but the ball deflected up and landed just over the line as Melia fell backward into the goal.
- SCARY FOUL: Sporting playmaker Benny Feilhaber had to be subbed off and helped off in the 61st minute after a bad two-footed challenge from Galaxy defender Nathan Smith. Initial reports from Sporting's training staff indicated that Feilhaber had a bruised left shin and injured left ankle. Smith received a yellow card on the play.
- ANOTHER STREAK ENDED: Sporting hadn't won at the StubHub Center since -- well, before they were Sporting. They were still the Wizards when they won 2-0 in Carson, Calif., on July 28, 2010. The following year, the club rebranded and moved into their new home, now Children's Mercy Park.
- THE OPPOSITE OF FORTRESS: With Saturday's loss, the Galaxy dropped to 1-4-3 at the StubHub Center this season. They haven't rewarded the home fans with three points since beating Montreal 2-0 on April 7. While they were 4-0-1 away during their eight-match MLS unbeaten run, they drew three times at home over the course of the run.
They Said It
Galaxy fans are nostalgic for the day Mike Magee played keeper https://t.co/ypt2oBabRt— Brian Sciaretta (@BrianSciaretta) June 25, 2017
- LA: Wednesday vs. Sacramento - US Open Cup (10:30 p.m. ET | USsoccer.com)
- SKC: Wednesday at Houston - US Open Cup, (6:30 p.m. ET | USsoccer.com)