The LA Galaxy will travel to Kansas City, Kan., on Saturday for a critical match in their push to move above the line in the Western Conference playoff race.
A win could move them into playoff position, pending the results of other weekend contests, while a loss would be costly.
Sporting Kansas City, on the other hand, sit alone in last place in the conference, and even a victory would keep them tied for the bottom spot at best.
The Galaxy (9-10-3, 30 points) are two points behind Seattle and Portland, which are tied for seventh place, and three points behind Nashville.
Los Angeles has lost three of its last four matches. In the last match, the Galaxy allowed an early goal to Dallas' Franco Jara in the ninth minute and couldn't find the equalizer. The Galaxy controlled possession, but couldn't convert on any of their 10 shots.
"The punch to the gut is that they scored exactly the way we said they were going to try to play us," Galaxy coach Greg Vanney said after the match. "It seemed like a nothing moment that ended up in the back of the net."
Sporting KC (5-14-5, 20 points) have not been good at home nor on the road. SKC are an uncharacteristic 3-6-2 at Children's Mercy Park. Knowing there's a big hill to climb, manager Peter Vermes is focused on one match at a time.
"It should be a very good game," Vermes said. "The Galaxy (are) a good team with a lot of attacking threats going forward. You always have to be aware of Chicharito (Javier Hernandez). He's very smart. He's cunning in and around the box. We have to be at our best to get a result."
Vermes is still working on blending in newcomers William Agada and Erik Thommy.
"You just try to do it where you can," he said. "You can't break the rhythm of training with the rest of them to get those two guys up to speed. It's a little bit each day. You have to get the rest of the guys to understand their strengths and play to those. It's a process."
--Field Level Media