David Bingham - LA Galaxy - punching clear vs. Sporting KC
Peter Aiken-USA Today Sports Images

Dogged defensive effort in KC preserves LA Galaxy's playoff prospects

KANSAS CITY, Kan. – The LA Galaxy escaped from Kansas City with a point from an extremely contentious battle with Sporting KC, and they're hopeful that the resilience shown can sustain their against-the-odds late playoff push. 

For almost the entirety of the match, the Galaxy goalmouth was under siege, but David Bingham and his backline held strong.

“I think we really dug down,” Bingham said. “We knew we had to get a result. Obviously, we weren’t at our best tonight, but 1-1 here, we’re just going to have to take it.”

Bingham was outstanding, making eight saves in total, including a couple saves on shots that had most of Children’s Mercy Park already celebrating what they thought was a sure goal.

“I thought David played well tonight, made some real good saves,” said LA interim coach Dominic Kinnear, who started the centerback duo of Daniel Steres and Dave Romney over expensive imports Michael Ciani and Jorgen Skjelvik for the third straight game.

On Saturday they came out of the locker room at halftime with a 1-0 lead thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic penalty kick, and were determined to protect it. They did so until Johnny Russell made some magic on his slaloming run through the visitors’ defensive block, slotting home to make it 1-1.

If it hadn’t been for Bingham’s heroics, the result could’ve ended up much worse for the Galaxy. Their defense withstood a second-half barrage that saw 22 shots attempted, six on target, for Sporting; 15 of those 22 shots came from inside the 18-yard box.

Though very much embattled in 2018 – Bingham included – the Galaxy’s backline has held strong during their most crucial stretch in the season, only conceding one goal in the last three matches. Despite his Man of the Match performance, Bingham was still disappointed not to get the win: LA have their eye on the postseason, and anything other than a win won’t suffice.

“At the end of the day I’d rather play bad and get three points than play good and only get one,” said Bingham. “Is it nice to play well? Yeah, it’s nice to play well. But at the end of the day, we all want to win. We don’t care if we play well, we want to come away with the three points, and we didn’t tonight.”