LOS ANGELES — Sporting KC are on top of the Western Conference for a reason. Their 4-1 demolition of LAFC on their own turf was spurred by a 3-0 scoreline at the end of the first half. Daniel Salloi had a goal and assist, Graham Zusi had three assists, and Alan Pulido, Gadi Kinda, and Luis Martins got on the scoresheet. This win is Peter Vermes’ 200th win in all competitions as manager of Sporting KC.
Sporting KC thumps LAFC 4-1
Sporting KC got off to an electric start, scoring three times inside a 15-minute span in the first half to put LAFC behind the 8 ball really quick. Alan Pulido finished off a broken play after LAFC keeper Tomas Romero took out Khiry Shelton on the top of the box, giving Sporting KC a 1-0 lead. The play from Romero was surprisingly not deemed violent conduct, despite the goalkeeper putting an arm/fist/body to Shelton’s head prior to the ball even arriving.
Eight minutes later, Daniel Salloi was played into the area and he cut to the end line, placing a ball back across the box towards the penalty spot. Pulido made a really clever run at the ball to drag the defender out of play while having no intent to play the ball. It opened up a perfect gap for Luis Martins to slot home for his first goal with Sporting KC, on his weaker foot no less.
Daniel Salloi capped the storm after a perfect service from Graham Zusi with an even more difficult finish into the bottom corner. Somehow, Salloi wrapped his foot and hips around the ball, taking the volley first time into the bottom corner. Graham Zusi played provider one more time in the second half, as Gadi Kinda’s header gave Sporting a 4-0 lead, the first team to ever score four in LAFC’s stadium. Danny Musovski scored the consolation prize for LAFC, giving us the final scoreline of 4-1.
Sporting aren’t one to buy into statement games, but if this wasn’t one, I’m not sure what is. Sporting have been largely ignored and disrespected by the national narrative this season, yet the are now first in the west for goals scored, goal differential, and while tied on points with the Sounders, they have a game in hand. They also beat the Sounders on the road 3-1. Maybe some point this season the national voices will step up and give Sporting KC their proper due, until then we’ll wait for pigs to fly.