Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy
2022 MLS Regular Season | Match 25
Saturday, July 30 | 7:30 p.m. CT (7:38 kickoff)
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Local TV | 38 The Spot
National TV | UniMas, TUDN
Streaming | Twitter
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Sporting Kansas City (5-14-5, 20 points) will host the LA Galaxy (9-10-3, 30 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park for the team's annual Sporting Salutes match presented by UMB. Tickets are available online at SeatGeek.com and the first 10,000 fans in attendance will receive Sporting Salutes lapel pins as the club recognizes local Purple Heart recipients in conjunction with National Purple Heart Day on Aug. 7.
In anticipation of high temperatures, all ticket holders will be permitted to bring one bottle of water into Children's Mercy Park on Saturday. The bottle must be sealed and no larger than 20 ounces, and the bottle's cap will be removed at the gate upon entry.
The Western Conference clash will be locally televised on 38 The Spot with three hours of coverage beginning at 7 p.m. CT. In addition, UniMas and TUDN will nationally televise the match and provide an English-language live stream on Twitter. Radio coverage of Saturday's showdown will also air on Sports Radio 810 WHB and La Grande 1340 AM.
A pair of MLS charter clubs, Sporting Kansas City and the LA Galaxy are historically two of the most successful teams in Major League Soccer. Both sides have reached the MLS Cup Playoffs on 19 occasions in the past 26 years - tied for the second most postseason appearances behind the New York Red Bulls - and have combined to win more than 700 regular season matches.
MOST WINS ALL-TIME
1. LA Galaxy 372
2. NY Red Bulls 348
3. Sporting KC 344
Sporting swept the Galaxy in 2022 with a pair of 2-0 wins, improving to 6-2-4 against LA in the last dozen regular season meetings overall and 6-1-6 in the last 13 regular season home matches in the series. A win on Saturday would level the all-time series as the Galaxy currently hold a narrow advantage with a 26-25-15 record in the 66 regular season encounters.
Johnny Russell has scored five goals in six career appearances against the Galaxy, including three goals in the two match-ups last season. The Sporting KC captain bagged a brace in the most recent meeting last October while John Pulskamp, a LA Galaxy Academy product, became the youngest goalkeeper in team history to record a shutout in the 2-0 victory at Children's Mercy Park.
Russell ranks third in club history with 46 regular season goals and leads the team with eight goals in all competitions in 2022. The Scottish winger has become the first player in club history to score six goals in five straight regular season campaigns and his 77 combined goals and assists in the regular season are third most in MLS since the start of 2018.
On the opposite wing, Daniel Salloi has six goals in all competitions and the Sporting KC Academy product could make his 100th career regular season start for the club on Saturday. Roger Espinoza is also on the cusp of breaking a tie with LA legend Cobi Jones for third on the league's list of most regular season appearances all-time among one-club players.
MOST GAMES PLAYED BY ONE-CLUB PLAYERS
1. Graham Zusi 335 with Sporting KC
2. Diego Chara 329 with Portland
3. Roger Espinoza 306 with Sporting KC
3. Cobi Jones 306 with LA Galaxy
Alongside Espinoza, the midfield duo of Remi Walter and Felipe Hernandez are the only two players to appear in all 24 matches for Sporting Kansas City this season. Hernandez leads the team in assists and interceptions, while Walter leads MLS in distance covered and ranks second among field players in the league in recoveries. Walter, the only Sporting player to start in all 24 regular season matches this year, also leads Sporting with 25 key passes.
Sporting, who rank last in MLS in points and goals, will be looking to snap a pair of unwanted streaks on Saturday. The club has lost five consecutive regular season home matches for the first time since the shootout era amidst a scoreless rut in which Sporting has gone 417 minutes in all competitions without a goal.
While Sporting have lost five of the team's last seven matches, LA has fallen in five of the team's past six fixtures - including three straight road defeats. The five-time MLS Cup champions have missed the playoffs in four of the past five seasons and currently sit two points outside of playoff position with two months remaining until Decision Day.
The Galaxy roster is headlined by club captain - and newly-named MLS All-Star captain -- Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, whose 23 non-penalty goals are second most in MLS over the past two seasons. Fellow forward Dejan Joveljic leads LA with nine goals however the Serbian striker is yet to score outside Los Angeles since arriving to MLS last August.
Left back Raheem Edwards has a team-high six assists, while right back Julian Araujo will join Chicharito at the 2022 MLS All-Star Game next week. Joveljic, 22, and Araujo, 20, are part of a youthful Galaxy contingent that also includes Young Designated Player Kevin Cabral and 20-year-old Mexican international Efrain Alvarez. In addition, LA signed 22-year-old midfielder Riqui Puig from FC Barcelona this week.
Sporting KC will be without six players on Saturday, including Designated Players Alan Pulido (knee) and Gadi Kinda (knee) as well as veteran goalkeeper Tim Melia (hamstring). Khiry Shelton (calf) and Logan Ndenbe (hamstring) are questionable after missing last week's match. On the opposite side, three players are sidelined for the LA Galaxy due to injury including former MLS Best XI selection Victor Vazquez.
Following Saturday's match, The Final Whistle postgame show will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB with hosts Chad Reynolds and Dave Borchardt. Listeners can tune in via the Sporting KC mobile app or online at 810WHB.com.