Sporting Kansas City (4-7-7, 19 points) suffered a 5-1 loss to MLS Supporters’ Shield leaders Los Angeles Football Club (12-2-4, 40 points) on Wednesday night at Children’s Mercy Park.
Yohan Croizet came off the bench to score the hosts’ lone goal in the 85th minute, but LAFC received goals from five different players to extend their cushion atop the Western Conference to nine points and keep Sporting at the foot of the standings.
An opportunity to bounce back quickly will arise Saturday when Sporting hosts long-time rival Chicago Fire (5-7-7, 22 points) at 7:30 p.m. CT. Tickets for the match are available at SeatGeek.com and fans can catch the action live on FOX Sports Kansas City, FOX Sports Midwest Plus, FOX Sports GO, Sports Radio 810 WHB and ESPN Deportes KC 1480 AM.
Coaching his 400th competitive match as Sporting’s manager, Peter Vermes made two lineup changes from Saturday’s loss at Real Salt Lake. Center back Andreu Fontas and midfielder Benny Feilhaber replaced Botond Barath and Gedion Zelalem, respectively, while left back Seth Sinovic reached a major milestone with his 250th appearance for his hometown club in all competitions.
Playing their first home match since May 29, Sporting carved out their first chance in the fourth minute when Daniel Salloi steered Ilie Sanchez’s clever scoop just over the crossbar. The visitors responded impressively and—after goalkeeper Tim Melia did well to smother Mark-Anthony Kaye’s header off a set piece—took the lead in the 28th minute. Christian Ramirez unleashed a low free kick that fizzed under Sporting’s four-man wall and nestled into the back of the net for his fourth goal of the campaign.
Two bids at an equalizer went begging in the final 10 minutes of the first half, as Krisztian Nemeth’s bouncing effort off Salloi’s impudent back heel carried wide before Sisniega thwarted the Hungarian striker with a kick save. A few minutes into the second half, Gerso experienced similar misfortune when his side volley skipped off target.
LAFC hit a second gear and doubled their advantage in the 50th minute thanks to a right-footed stunner from Diego Rossi. The winger’s long-range curler came 13 minutes before MLS MVP frontrunner Carlos Vela made it 3-0, slotting home inside the box for his league-leading 17th goal of the year.
Sporting went agonizingly close to grabbing a goal back on two occasions, as Sisniega saved Ilie’s snap header in the 72nd minute and turned away Salloi’s penalty kick 10 minutes later. Croizet had come off the bench to inject energy into the side and bagged his second goal of the season in the 85th minute, settling a clipped pass from Ilie and poking past the LAFC gloveman to put Sporting on the board.
A disjointed ending to the game saw LAFC tack on their fourth and fifth goals via substitutes Rodolfo Zelaya and Mohamed El-Munir.
2019 MLS Regular Season
Game 18 of 34
Children's Mercy Park | Kansas City, Kansas
Weather: 82 degrees and partly cloudy
|Sporting Kansas City (4-7-7, 19 points)||0||1||1|
|Los Angeles Football Club (12-2-4, 40 points)||1||4||5|
Sporting Kansas City: Tim Melia; Nico Hasler, Andreu Fontas, Matt Besler (C), Seth Sinovic; Ilie Sanchez, Felipe Gutierrez (Yohan Croizet 69'), Benny Feilhaber (Gedion Zelalem 65'); Gerso Fernandes, Krisztian Nemeth (Gianluca Busio 75'), Daniel Salloi
Subs Not Used: Adrian Zendejas, Botond Barath, Graham Smith, Kelyn Rowe
Los Angeles Football Club: Pablo Sisniega; Steven Beitashour, Tristan Blackmon, Eddie Segura, Jordan Harvey (Mohamed El-Munir 83'); Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta (Lee Nguyen 66'), Latif Blessing; Carlos Vela (C), Christian Ramirez (Rodolfo Zelaya 78'), Diego Rossi
Subs Not Used: Phillip Ejimandu, Dejan Jakovic, Adama Diomande, Josh Perez
LAFC -- Christian Ramirez 4 (unassisted) 28'
LAFC -- Diego Rossi 9 (Christian Ramirez 2) 50'
LAFC -- Carlos Vela 17 (Diego Rossi 4) 63'
SKC -- Yohan Croizet 2 (Ilie Sanchez 4) 85'
LAFC -- Rodolfo Zelaya 1 (Carlos Vela 11, Diego Rossi 5) 89'
LAFC -- Mohamed El-Munir 1 (Lee Nguyen 1) 90+1'
SKC -- Matt Besler (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 14'
SKC -- Seth Sinovic (yellow card; persistent infringement) 34'
SKC -- Ilie Sanchez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 38'
LAFC -- Latif Blessing (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 45'
SKC -- Felipe Gutierrez (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 48'
LAFC -- Mark-Anthony Kaye (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 57'
LAFC -- Steven Beitashour (yellow card; handball) 80'
SKC -- Tim Melia (yellow card; unsporting behavior) 89'
|Shots on Goal||7||7|
Referee: Kevin Stott
Assistant Referee: Adam Garner
Assistant Referee: Jeremy Kieso
Fourth Official: Ted Unkel
VAR: Jose Carlos Rivero
AVAR: Peter Manikowski