Match Recap

Recap: Alan Pulido scores twice as Sporting picks up point with late penalty in LA

Sporting Kansas City (5-9-6, 21 points) rescued a road result in second-half stoppage time on Wednesday as Alan Pulido scored both goals -- including a 91st-minute penalty kick -- in Sporting's 2-2 draw at the LA Galaxy (3-9-5, 14 points).

The Mexican international opened the scoring in the 12th minute before the Galaxy rallied with a pair of goals from Martin Caceres and Preston Judd at Dignity Health Sports Park. However, just four days after Sporting conceded in the 90th minute of a 2-1 home loss to LAFC, this time it was Sporting KC striking late against an LA side as Manager Peter Vermes' squad has now secured points from four straight road trips to the West Coast.

After missing all of the 2022 season while recovering from knee surgery, Pulido continues to re-assert himself in Major League Soccer amidst a scintillating run of form. The Designated Player has scored in four straight league matches - the longest active streak in Major League Soccer - for the first time in his illustrious professional career and he leads all MLS players with six goals and seven goal contributions (six goals, one assist) in the month of June.

Pulido's first goal of the night came a dozen minutes into the mid-week match-up as the 32-year-old headed home a cross from eight yards out. Erik Thommy provided the pass and the German playmaker now leads the team with six assists in all competitions this season, including assists in three of his last four matches.

Sporting Kansas City's early lead would be short-lived as the hosts equalized in the 24th minute on a free kick taken by Douglas Costa. The Designated Player sent the set piece to the backpost, where his former Juventus teammate Caceres directed a header past Kendall McIntosh for the game-tying goal.

The goal would prove to be the Galaxy's only shot on goal of the first half and LA would then cash in on the club's only attempt on target of the second half too in the 64th minute. Former FC Barcelona midfielder Riqui Puig delivered a pinpoint pass with the outside of his right foot and Judd took care of the rest with a diving header beyond the reach of McIntosh.

Judd, who originally signed with Sporting KC II before being drafted by the Galaxy in the 2021 MLS SuperDraft, nearly helped stretch the Galaxy's lead to 3-1 in the 73rd minute with a perfectly-placed pass into the path of Tyler Boyd inside the box. The U.S. Men's National Team forward made full contact on the first-time strike only to be denied by the crossbar as Sporting emerged unscathed to set the stage for the dramatic finish.

Remi Walter won a free kick near the edge of the penalty area and the Frenchman would ultimately latch onto the loose ball at the top of the 18-yard box in the aftermath of the set piece. His shot toward goal struck the arm of second-half substitute Daniel Aguirre - who 10 days earlier had scored a game-tying goal in the 85th minute for the Galaxy - and referee Filip Dujic pointed to the penalty spot. Pulido calmly converted the ensuing penalty kick to level the scoreline and improve to a perfect five-for-five on penalty attempts in his MLS career.

The goal goes down as Sporting's only game-changing goal of the season after the 60th minute and keeps Sporting unbeaten in six straight matches against the Galaxy. Sporting Kansas City will now return home to host the Chicago Fire at 7:30 p.m. CT on Saturday at Children's Mercy Park with tickets available online via SeatGeek.

2023 MLS Regular Season | Match 20
Dignity Health Sports Park | Carson, California
Attendance: 20,960
Weather: 69 degrees and sunny

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 LA Galaxy
Sporting Kansas City (5-9-6, 21 points)
LA Galaxy (3-9-5, 14 points)

Sporting Kansas City: Kendall McIntosh; Jake Davis, Dany Rosero, Andreu Fontas, Tim Leibold; Nemanja Radoja, Erik Thommy (Roger Espinoza 76'), Remi Walter, Khiry Shelton (Johnny Russell 65'), Alan Pulido (C), Daniel Salloi

Subs Not Used: John Pulskamp, Robert Castellanos, Robert Voloder, Danny Flores, Felipe Hernandez, Stephen Afrifa

LA Galaxy: Jonathan Bond; Julián Aude (Raheem Edwards 62'), Chris Mavinga, Martín Cáceres (Kelvin Leerdam 85'), Calegari; Gastón Brugman (C), Mark Delgado, Riqui Puig; Tyler Boyd (Mauricio Cuevas 86'), Preston Judd (Aaron Bibout 76'), Douglas Costa (Daniel Aguirre 75')

Subs Not Used: Jonathan Klinsmann, Efrain Alvarez, Gino Vivi, Adam Saldana

Scoring Summary:
SKC - Alan Pulido 6 (Erik Thommy 5, Daniel Salloi 4) 12'
LA - Martín Cáceres 2 (Douglas Costa 2) 24'
LA - Preston Judd 2 (Riqui Puig 3, Raheem Edwards 1) 64'
SKC - Alan Pulido 7 (penalty kick) 90+1'

Misconduct Summary:
SKC - Erik Thommy (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 17'
SKC - Dany Rosero (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 23'
LA - Daniel Aguirre (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 90'

Match Statistics
Shots on Goal
Corner Kicks

Referee: Filip Dujic
Assistant Referee: Mike Rottersman
Assistant Referee: Stefan Tanaka-Freundt
Fourth Official: Alexis Da Silva
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
AVAR: Craig Lowry