By Carlos Hernandez, Sports Writer
The LA Galaxy faced off against Sporting Kansas City on Sunday May 1st 2016 in Children’s Mercy Park. The match began on a defensive struggle for the LA Galaxy in preventing the home team from finding possession, leading them to create goal scoring opportunities, which were not capitalized well. The LA Galaxy would then get punished in the 29th minute in the first half. Off a long ball service from Matt Besler, Graham Zusi off a first time header found Brad Davis, who was running through both Jelle Van Damme and Emmanuel Boateng towards the penalty box, where he eventually dribbled past both players in delivering a long diving volley resulting in the first goal of the match. Despite the rude awakening the LA Galaxy did not generate constant goal scoring chances up until a counterattack. Off an offensive misplay and clearance by Sporting Kansas City, Gyasi Zardes took control of the ball and delivered a long ball service to Giovanni dos Santos who made his run towards receiving the ball and then shooting it up and over into the goal net, tying the game one to one in the 41st minute of the first half.
With the score being leveled the LA Galaxy still found it difficult to defend against the one time passing sequences of Sporting Kansas City, which caused the defense to not pressure and to retreat far back where they would see multiple shots on goal. In the end the LA Galaxy were saved by the bell as in one case by Jelle Van Damme who in the second half prevented a low left diagonal pass from finding the feet of Dom Dyer in his pursuit of creating a goal scoring opportunity. Ashley Cole was first shown a yellow card for taking too long in throwing the ball back into the field for the benefit of the LA Galaxy to maintain possession and was seconds later given a red card for tackling down Benny Feilhaber. The LA Galaxy, playing a man down for the last 20 minutes of the second half were able to maintain the draw which is how the match would end.
Defense and offense must be well balanced for the LA Galaxy if they wish to start and end their remaining away matches on a winning note, for if they sit back and create little goal scoring chances it can cost them points and their chances of making this year’s playoffs. For Sporting Kansas City their possession and movement of the ball was right on point, but all that is left is to convert every chance into the back of the net. The next match for the LA Galaxy will be on Sunday May 8, 2016 at the StubHub Center against the New England Revolution who is in seventh place with ten points in the eastern conference standings, as to the LA Galaxy who is in fourth place with fifteen points after a one on one settlement.