Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC
2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 8
Sunday, April 17 | 3 p.m. CT (3:08 kickoff)
Banc of California Stadium | Los Angeles, Calif.

English TV | ESPN
Spanish TV | ESPN Deportes
Streaming | ESPN.com, ESPN App
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM

Sporting Kansas City (2-5-0, 6 points) will face first place Los Angeles FC (4-1-1, 13 points) at 3 p.m. CT on Sunday at Banc of California Stadium in a nationally televised match-up between the Western Conference foes.

The Easter Sunday showdown will be broadcast live on ESPN, with Jon Champion and Taylor Twellman on the call, and ESPN Deportes, featuring the commentary team of Mauricio Pedroza, Alex Pareja and Herculez Gomez. In addition, the MLS Week 7 finale will have a global audience on six continents courtesy of an enhanced production available via 20 of the league's international broadcast partners. Radio broadcasts will also be available locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM, and Sporting KC pub partners across the Midwest will be showing the match.

Two Sporting Kansas City veterans are poised to reach major milestones on Sunday as Graham Zusi is on the cusp of his 350th appearance in MLS competition. Additionally, Roger Espinoza is one regular season match away from tying Matt Besler for second on the club's all-time games played chart.

Sporting Kansas City will be aiming for the club's first win in April after back-to-back losses as well as the club's first away result of the year following defeats in each of the team's four road trips in 2022. Dating back to last season, Sporting has lost each of their last six road matches - a streak that is the team's worst since the non-shootout era began in 2000 and the league's longest active skid.

Nevertheless, Sporting is the only team to have beaten LAFC twice at Banc of California Stadium in MLS competition and Manager Peter Vermes' squad holds a narrow advantage in the all-time series with a 4-3-0 record since LAFC entered MLS in 2018. Sporting won the season series in 2021 with a 2-1 comeback win at Children's Mercy Park in June thanks to Daniel Salloi's 87th-minute match-winning goal. Salloi struck again in a 4-1 victory at LAFC in August - and represented Sporting at the 2021 MLS All-Star Game at Banc of California Stadium later that month - but missed the final meeting between the clubs in September due to international duty as LAFC prevailed 4-0, scoring three goals after going up a man in the second half.

Supporters' Shield winners in 2019 and Concacaf Champions League runners-up in 2020, LAFC missed the playoffs in 2021 and parted ways with head coach Bob Bradley. New manager Steve Cherundolo has his side atop the Western Conference table and the odds-on favorite in Las Vegas to win both the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup.

While Sporting has scored the fewest goals in MLS in 2022, LAFC leads the league with 14 goals scored by nine different players. The team's potent attack boasts 27-year-old Colombian forward Cristian Arango, who led the team with 14 goals in 2021, and 21-year-old Uruguayan striker Brian Rodriguez, who is expected to miss Sunday's match after exiting LAFC's last match early in the first half with a hamstring injury.

But no star shines brighter in LAFC's illustrious lineup than 2019 MLS MVP and Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela. The 33-year-old Mexican winger opened the season with a hat trick and provided the game-winning goal in LAFC's last home match to give Vela four goals this season - one shy of the league lead in a Golden Boot race he's currently favored to win - along with two assists.

However, Vela's production has been limited historically against Sporting Kansas City with his 0.63 goal contributions per 90 minutes in the series ranking lowest of any team he's played at least three times in his MLS career.

Since arriving in MLS in 2018, Vela set the league's single-season record for goals with 34 in 2019 and leads all MLS players with 98 goal contributions (61 goals, 37 assists) in the past five seasons. Third on that list is Sporting KC captain Johnny Russell with 41 goals and 31 assists, presenting an enticing head-to-head match-up between two of the league's most dangerous wingers on Sunday.

Sporting will remain without two of the team's most dangerous attacking players as Designated Players Gadi Kinda and Alan Pulido are sidelined with long-term knee injuries. Midfielder Uri Rosell is questionable to return from a thigh injury that kept him out of Sporting's 2-1 loss to Nashville SC last weekend.

LAFC are also coming off a 2-1 loss after suffering their first setback of the season against rivals LA Galaxy. Midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who played the past five seasons with Sporting KC before joining LAFC as a free agent, is the only LAFC field player to play every minute this season and joins former Sporting KC teammate Latif Blessing in the LAFC midfield.

In addition to Ilie's arrival in the offseason, LAFC acquired goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and midfielder Kellyn Acosta in seven-figure deals to boost a defense that is yet to concede a second-half goal this season. LAFC have outscored opponents 7-0 in the second half in 2022 after dropping 23 points - second most in MLS - from leading positions in 2021.

Following Sunday's match, The Final Whistle postgame show will air live on Sports Radio 810 WHB with host Chad Reynolds. Listeners can tune in via the Sporting KC mobile app or online at 810WHB.com.