(13-4-4, 43 points, first place in Western Conference) vs. (6-9-5, 23 points, fifth place in East)
All-time record: Galaxy lead 21-16-10
One side is heating up while another is in a slump, roles that have been reversed from the first half of the season. A surging Kansas City side will visit Los Angeles, who hope to reclaim some of their early-season dominance against a team they were unable to score on earlier this year. The two teams met in April at CommunityAmerica Ballpark and finished in a 0-0 draw.
The Galaxy hope to put some distance between themselves and Columbus (40 points) and(39) in the chase for the Supporters' Shield. The Wizards, meanwhile, are hoping to maintain their best run of form all season in what will be their first of two trips to Carson, Calif., in the next four weeks. Kansas City visit on Sept. 19.
Los Angeles Galaxy
Bruce Arena's men are beginning a final stretch of games that will see them enjoying home comforts – seven of their last nine games will be played at the Home Depot Center, including an Oct. 3 “road” match against Chivas USA.
Their last two home games were not successful ones, as San Jose tied the Galaxy 2-2 on July 22 before Chicago handed LA a 3-2 loss on Aug. 1. With CONCACAF Champions League games and a friendly against Real Madrid highlighting their summer slate, the Galaxy have not had a league home game since Aug. 1 and only three since June 5.
Kansas City Wizards
The Wizards are enjoying their most prosperous time of the year, a stretch of games that started at Crew Stadium on July 14, when KC beat Columbus 1-0. Since then, the Wizards have piled up 11 points and have climbed to within three points of thein the Eastern Conference standings, and just five out of the eighth and final playoff seed.
Like the Galaxy, 1-0 losers at San Jose last weekend, Peter Vermes' side counts a 1-0 loss at the Earthquakes among their recent games, having lost there on Aug. 14. But that's the Wizards' only setback since July 10.
Saturday’s 4-1 win over New England matched their season high in goals as the Wizards opened the year with a 4-0 win over.
Heroes and Villains
vs. – Everything about Kansas City has been quiet this season, and that’s most epitomized by Kamara. Sitting on eight goals this season, he's one behind and , and even with , and .
Kamara has come into his own, and Gonzalez must be aware of Kamara at all times. With Berhalter battling a virus, the Galaxy center back should be the anchor of the LA defense and must help avoid the kinds of mistakes that have sunk the Galaxy in recent games.
Stat that makes you go “Hmm…”
Over their last six league games, Kansas City have more wins (three to two), points (11 to seven), goals (eight to seven) and have fewer losses (one to three) and fewer goals allowed (four to nine) than the Galaxy.
Keys to the Game
- Score first – Galaxy are a perfect 13-0-0 when scoring first this season
- Use the flanks, make the Wizards remember they’re not on a small pitch like they have at home
- Pressure early; Galaxy have allowed goals in the second minute, fourth minute (twice) and fifth minute in recent games
- Get the ball to Kei Kamara, who picked up his first two assists of the year last week
OUT: MF David Beckham (L Achilles tendon surgery); QUESTIONABLE: DF Todd Dunivant (neck spasms); DF Gregg Berhalter (virus)
OUT: MF Zoltan Hercegfalvi (R knee sprain/torn ACL)