Five Things presented by Children’s Mercy Kansas City: Sporting readies for midweek test vs. LA Galaxy | June 21, 2023


Sporting Kansas City hits the road for some midweek action this Wednesday when the team jets off to the west coast to take on the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park. Kickoff is set for 9:30 p.m. CT and will be streamed on MLS Season Pass on Apple TV in English and Spanish. The match will also be available on the radio locally on Sports Radio 810 WHB (English) and La Grande 1340 AM (Spanish).


Sporting Kansas City saw the club’s four-match unbeaten streak come to an end on Saturday night when the team surrendered the lead to fall 2-1 to Los Angeles FC at Children’s Mercy Park. Sporting had previously gone 3-0-1 in their last four matches and had won four straight home matches dating back to May 13.

Still, Sporting has gone 5-2-2 since the start of May and leads the Western Conference in wins (five) and points (17) during that time period. No other Western Conference team has more than 12 points since the start of May. The team also leads MLS in goals (18) and rank third in goals per game (2.0).

Saturday’s result came in frustrating circumstances, as Peter Vermes’ side thought they had salvaged a point late on when Roger Espinoza headed home, only for VAR Younes Marrakchi to flag referee Rosendo Mendoza over to the monitor who eventually disallowed the goal for a foul 21 seconds prior to the goal.

Sporting took the lead on Saturday through forward Alan Pulido who buried a penalty kick for his team-leading fifth goal of the season in MLS play and sixth in all competitions. It was just Sporting’s second penalty of the season and first since March 18, while the team has been penalized with penalties a league-high five times in 2023.


Sporting Kansas City will embark on another busy week this Wednesday when the team heads west to take on the LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park. The match marks the second and final meeting of the regular season between the two clubs after playing out a 0-0 draw at Children’s Mercy Park in the club’s home opener.

That match on March 11, 2023 saw Sporting set a new MLS record for the most shots in a match without scoring. Sporting took 30 shots, outshooting the Galaxy 30-8, and forced goalkeeper Jonathan Bond into 11 saves on his way to a Team of the Matchday selection.

Sporting’s last visit to Dignity Health Sports Park came on Sept. 4, 2022. The two sides played out a draw on that occasion as well, but in far more entertaining fashion. Chicharito gave the Galaxy an early lead before Sporting responded with goals from Johnny Russell and Felipe Hernandez to take a 2-1 lead but a late Chicharito penalty brought it back to 2-2. Chicharito had an opportunity to win it deep into stoppage time from the spot but his Panenka’d attempt was saved by John Pulskamp.

The all-time regular-season is deadlocked at 26-26-17, with Sporting going 8-17-8 on the road. However, since mid-2015, Sporting has gone 3-1-2 at Dignity Health Sports Park.


Sporting Kansas City forward and Designated Player Alan Pulido continued his rich vein of form this past Saturday, scoring for the third consecutive match in the 2-1 loss to Los Angeles FC at Children’s Mercy Park.

Pulido stepped up to convert the penalty in the 17th minute after Gadi Kinda had been brought down in the area by Denil Maldonado. The goal was Pulido’s team-leading fifth of the season in MLS action and sixth across all competitions since returning from 16 months out following knee surgery.

Pulido now has goals in three straight MLS matches for the first time since May 2021, which was also the last time he scored four goals in a three-game stretch. He leads MLS with five goal contributions during the month of June and now has 30 total goal contributions (19 goals and 11 assists) in 38 career MLS regular season starts.

Pulido has scored or assisted on five of Sporting’s six goals during the month of June, while he is now tied for eighth in Sporting history with four successful penalty kicks in the regular season.


Sporting Kansas City center back Dany Rosero made his return to the lineup during Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Los Angeles FC after missing two matches with a hamstring injury. With usual partner Andreu Fontas still out with his own hamstring ailment, he partnered Robert Castellanos at center back with Jake Davis and Tim Leibold as fullbacks.

Rosero has been a key cog for Sporting since arriving in a transfer from Colombian side Atletico Junior in March. After adapting to the league, Rosero has started four of Sporting’s five victories this season and struck up a fruitful partnership with Fontas at the back for the club.

Due to injury, the team’s backline has seen constant change throughout the year and Saturday’s back four had never started together prior to the match. In addition, Sporting has used 17 different lineups in 21 matches across all competitions in 2023.


Sporting Kansas City forward Marinos Tzionis remains with the Cyprus Men’s National Team for the continuation of UEFA Euro 2024 qualifying in Europe and will miss Wednesday’s road match against the LA Galaxy.

Tzionis and Cyprus resumed their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 home loss to Georgia on Saturday, with Tzionis playing the first 60 minutes in his 23rd cap for his country. Cyprus will now visit star striker Erling Haaland and Norway on Tuesday, June 20. Tzionis is scheduled to return to Kansas City ahead of Sporting’s regular season home match against Chicago Fire FC on June 24.

Tzionis has established himself as a mainstay for the Cyprus national team, amassing 23 caps and scoring two goals for his home country while competing in the UEFA Nations League and FIFA World Cup qualifying. The 21-year-old earned his senior debut in 2020 and opened his Cypriot scoring account in March 2022, bagging the opener in a 2-0 Nations League win over Estonia. Tzionis added another goal in the competition as the difference maker in a 1-0 upset victory over regional rivals Greece last September.