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Sporting Kansas City vs LA Galaxy, 2016 MLS: Match Preview

Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

After the weekend performance the LA Galaxy put in against Real Salt Lake, Bruce Arena's side pay a visit to Sporting Kansas City on Sunday.

When the tournament started, the feeling was that depth was going to be an important tool for the Galaxy going forward. After eight weeks, it has certainly paid its dividends.

In beating an undefeated Real Salt Lake side, the Galaxy both made a breakthrough in form and turned a tough game into a thrashing. The return in goal-scoring form is all the more surprising because it has arrived without several key players at full-fitness.

As Emannuel Boateng made so clear, winning MLS Player of the Week following his performance against Real Salt Lake, opponents have to think about more than one or two Galaxy players. In Week 1 it was Mike Magee who stole headlines with his two goals, and Giovani Dos Santos was just as clinical against the Houston Dynamo in Week 7. It is that kind of ability to get players up to speed and produce that makes this Galaxy side so impressive.

As such, Bruce Arena and his managerial staff have even more reason to celebrate. Captain Robbie Keane has resumed training after surgery on his right knee, and joining him back from injury is 28-year-old Brazilian center back Leonardo.

Spring Kansas City, meanwhile, arrive into this game winless in their last four games. The early season MLS schedule has not been kind to Peter Vermes' side, having to visit Dallas, San Jose, and Vancouver in consecutive weeks.

At home, however, Sporting Kansas City have not lost an MLS match to the LA Galaxy since 2007. At the time, Sporting KC still played at Arrowhead Stadium, and Jimmy Conrad got a red card that night.

Sill, depth has changed the thinking around this team. The Galaxy have clearly recovered their confidence and they look like a side that are enjoying themselves again. It is still early days in the season, but if they can keep their momentum going, the Galaxy will be a tough team to beat in any stadium.

LAST MEETING

Sporting Kansas City 2-1 LA Galaxy - October 25, 2015 - MLS

Sporting Kansas City clinched a spot in the 2015 MLS Playoffs with a 2-1 victory over the LA Galaxy on the final day of the regular season. Dom Dwyer scored a second half winner after Kevin Ellis and Robbie Keane had the teams leveled at the break.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Rowe; DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; Boateng, Husidic, Gerrard, Magee; Dos Santos; Zardes

Sporting Kansas City (4-3-3): Melia; Abdul-Salaam, Coelho, Besler, Dia; Feilhaber, Olum, Espinoza; Zusi, Dwyer, Davis