LAFC reach 300th win at Kansas City

LAFC came from behind and defeated Sporting Kansas City 2-1 Saturday night, snapping their three-game winless streak.

LAFC heralded in their 300th win as a club in their 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in front of a sold-out Children’s Mercy Park, with goals from Denil Maldonado and Carlos Vela ending the 4-match goalless streak and marking their first win in seven games in all competitions. But, more that giving them the points they were so desperate to gain, the win gave them the confidence to boost a struggling team mentality that had become the subject of scrutiny and rumors since their loss to Club León in late May.

Cherundolo was forced to make heavy rotations to his starting lineup due to injuries and international duty. “It means a great deal to the group. Anytime you come back it’s great for the belief,” head coach Steve Cherundolo declared. “We’ve been put through the ringer physically. Every 3 to 4 days having games… Everybody out on the field gave everything they could out on the field today.”

On the heels of a brash challenge from Denil Maldonado, Kansas City’s Alan Pulido scored on a first-half penalty kick giving the hosts a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. But Maldonado atoned for an early game mistake with his first MLS goal, also the first league goal for the club since May 20. Carlos Vela scored the tie-breaking goal, his fifth goal of the season, in the 90th minute as the visitors rallied to a 2-1 lead. Kansas City seemed to score a dramatic goal four minutes afterwards, but their goal was disallowed after video replay.

The three points tie the 2022 MLS Champions with expansion team St. Louis City for the top spot in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Seattle Sounders.

LAFC, continuing their rigorous schedule, returns home to host the Seattle Sounders next Wednesday. Sporting KC travels to play the Los Angeles Galaxy on Wednesday.