Match Preview

Preview: Sporting KC travels to take on conference champions LAFC on Saturday


Sporting Kansas City at Los Angeles FC
2024 MLS Regular Season | Match 3
Saturday, March 9 | 9:30 p.m. CT (9:40 kickoff)
BMO Stadium | Los Angeles, California

Broadcast Schedule:
Apple TV | MLS Season Pass
English Radio | Sports Radio 810 WHB
Spanish Radio | La Grande 1340 AM
Satellite Radio | SiriusXM FC

After traveling to face Western Conference finalists Houston Dynamo FC on opening weekend, Sporting Kansas City's second road trip of the season will see the club take on Western Conference champions Los Angeles FC at 9:30 p.m. CT on Saturday in southern California.

All of the action will stream live on Apple TV for MLS Season Pass subscribers with English and Spanish commentary available. In addition, radio broadcasts will air on Sports Radio 810 WHB, La Grande 1340 AM and SiriusXM FC.

Pub Partners in the Sporting Pub Network will also show all of the action, including the club's official watch party at No Other Pub (1370 Grand Blvd.) in the Kansas City Power & Light District. Food and drink specials will start at 8:30 p.m. CT on Saturday including $4 domestic drafts, $5 wells and 50% off nachos.

Sporting Kansas CIty has opened the 2024 campaign with a pair of 1-1 draws - after going the final 10 games of the 2023 regular season without a draw -- and enter Saturday's showdown in Tinseltown coming off a controversial result against the Philadelphia Union last weekend. Remi Walter opened the scoring in the 19th minute and Sporting was moments away from a victorious home opener when Alejandro Bedoya struck in the 95th minute with the latest equalizer allowed by SKC in a regular season match at Children's Mercy Park.

LAFC's match last Saturday was also controversial in its own right as the black and gold played with an orange ball in a 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake amidst five inches of snow in Utah. Two young South American newcomers made their MLS debuts in the defeat as 18-year-old Venezuelan forward David Martinez and 21-year-old Colombian striker Tomas Angel were inserted as second-half substitutes.

Playing the club's first season without star striker Carlos Vela, LAFC re-acquired Colombian midfielder Eduard Atuesta last month on loan from Palmeiras where he helped the team claim back-to-back Brazilian championships. Defensively, LAFC also added 19-year-old Italian centerback Lorenzo Dellavalle and 21-year-old Mexican left back Omar Campos during an offseason that began with a blockbuster move to sign French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris.

The 37-year-old starred for Tottenham Hotspur for the past 11 seasons in the English Premier League and has started in each of the last FIFA World Cup Finals, winning the 2018 edition of the competition and setting a record in 2022 for the most career World Cup appearances by a goalkeeper (20).

The LAFC roster also features midfielder Ilie Sanchez, who made 171 appearances for Sporting across all competitions from 2017-2021 before converting the winning penalty for LAFC in the 2022 MLS Cup shootout and leading LAFC with 51 appearances in 2023.

Los Angeles FC played 53 matches in all competitions last season -- setting the record for an MLS club - as head coach Steve Cherundolo led his side to the final of Concacaf Champions Cup as well as MLS Cup. LAFC fell in both matches, after winning the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup in 2022, however star striker Denis Bouanga scored in both finals during a sensational season in which he recorded 38 goals and 14 assists in all competitions en route to earning MLS Golden Boot, MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI honors.

Bouanga scored in the last match-up between Sporting KC and LAFC at BMO Stadium, which came in May 2023 as SKC picked up a point in a 1-1 draw. LAFC has the most points and fewest losses at home in MLS since entering the league as an expansion side in 2018, however Sporting are the only club with multiple regular season away wins at BMO Stadium with a 2-3-1 record on the road in the series.

Sporting KC striker Alan Pulido has three goals and an assist in five career appearances against LAFC, including a goal in the most recent match-up last June. The World Cup veteran, who celebrates his 33rd birthday on Friday, is set to make his 350th professional club appearance on Saturday. Among players with at least 20 regular season goals for Sporting, Pulido ranks first in club history in goals per game (28 goals in 63 games) and goals per 90 minutes (28 goals in 4,769 minutes).