CARSON, California (AP) – The Los Angeles Galaxy overcame a short-handed roster and 10-man lineup for the final 20 minutes to force a road draw against Sporting Kansas City to open last month.
The Galaxy will be missing players again for Thursday night’s rematch at home, but the visitors will also have to overcome some absences.
The Galaxy (5-2-5) were without Robbie Keane (knee), Nigel de Jong (suspension) and Steven Gerrard (undisclosed) for their visit to Kansas City on May 1. Ashley Cole was sent off in the 70th minute following a second yellow card, but Los Angeles managed to add to a growing unbeaten run with a 1-all tie.
The Galaxy went nine games without a loss until giving up a stoppage-time goal in a 3-2 defeat in Montreal on Saturday. Los Angeles, though, earned just one win in five contests in May.
The Galaxy won’t have Keane again for this matchup as he’s away with Ireland’s national team preparing for the European championships, and midfielder Baggio Husidic is with Bosnia and Herzegovina for the Kirin Cup in Japan. Forward Gyasi Zardes will play for the United States in the upcoming Copa America tournament.
He’ll be joined by Kansas City’s Matt Besler and Graham Zusi. SPKC midfielder Soni Mustivar will play for Haiti in that competition, and MLS is taking a two-week break.
“It’s not that we need any more motivation, playing at home in front of our fans and to get three points, but there is an extra bit knowing there is some time before the next game,” midfielder Robbie Rogers told the Galaxy’s official website.
Sporting KC (5-8-2) will try to head into that break with only its second win in 11 games. The club has suffered back-to-back losses since a 2-1 victory against Orlando City on May 15 and fell 1-0 to D.C. United on Friday.
“It’s not time to panic. We have 19 games left,” midfielder Paulo Nagamura said. “I think we’ve showed that we have a good team, a good group with good guys. And we are going to try and get results on the road, at home and wherever we go.”
Kansas City, 0-4-1 in its last five away from home, has lost each of its last three road games against the Galaxy. The club is 5-20-6 there all-time and 1-6-3 in its last 10 visits to Los Angeles, which is 4-0-2 at home.
Veteran midfielder Brad Davis (thigh) and defender Nuno Andre Coelho (hamstring) are questionable for Sporting KC. Davis scored in last month’s matchup while Giovani dos Santos had one of his team-best six goals for Los Angeles.
Tonight’s match will start at 9:30 CT from suburban Los Angeles.