Daniel Salloi scored his third of the season early, Diego Rubio added his fifth before halftime, and Sporting Kansas City held on to defeat the LA Galaxy 2-1 victory and move back within a point of the Western Conference lead on Sunday afternoon.
Salloi's strike comes just four days after poking home what proved the winner in SKC's 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls in the U.S. Open Cup Final. His latest helped Sporting remain MLS's only unbeaten side at home this season.
Romain Alessandrini scored his 10th of the season on a blistering second-half free kick, but couldn't prevent the Galaxy from falling to a seventh defeat in nine games. The result all-but-mathematically makes the postseason out of reach for LA, who sit 12 points beneath the playoff line with four matches to play.
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A NEW ROLE FOR GYASI?: Sunday afternoon’s game began with Galaxy coach Sigi Schmid naming Gyasi Zardes as a surprise starter at outside back. Just how much of a shock was it? Even Zardes himself told FOX sideline reporter Katie Witham after pregame warm-ups that he hadn’t expected to see his name in that position.
TIGHT AT THE TOP: Sporting moved back into sole possession of second place in the Western Conference with the victory, if only for a few hours. The Portland Timbers played later Sunday with a chance to overtake Sporting on the games-won tiebreaker with a home victory against Orlando City SC. Both first-place Vancouver and Kansas City have five matches remaining. Portland will have three left after Sunday night, and fourth-place Seattle will have four.
FEAST VS. FAMINE: Kansas City allowed one goal or fewer for the 25th time in 29 league matches this season, anchored by an exceptional season from goalkeeper Tim Melia. Their 23 goals allowed this season is by far the fewest in MLS, 10 ahead of Toronto FC's 33. By contrast, the pair of goals LA conceded put them at 58 goals conceded this season, only one better than Minnesota United’s league-worst total of 59.
Staggering number of the day: Melia would have to give up 12 goals in Sporting's last 6 matches to average 1.00 GA on the season. #SKCvLA— Steve Brisendine (@SteveBrisendine) September 24, 2017