Home Galaxy PREVIEW: LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City

PREVIEW: LA Galaxy vs Sporting Kansas City

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It’s been two weeks since the LA Galaxy have played an official match. The players have taken the time to recover and get healthy while the front office has been busy building up the club. 
They kick off Saturday night’s second half of the season against Sporting Kansas City.

17 long, arduous days have passed since Galaxy supporters last met at Dignity Health Sports Park.

While the parking lot has been quiet and tailgate-free, Will Kuntz and his team’s hallways and offices have been loud, with the sounds of a team working towards growth.

As is always the case with a side as widely known as the LA Galaxy, there’s been a steady stream of rumors to occupy the mind during the lack of gameplay. While many are worth discarding, such as recent murmurs of Turkish League champion Vincent Aboubakar, which have reappeared for the umpteenth time, there are others that prove the intention of the new front office.

The report that the Galaxy communicated with Marco Reus and his team during the Champions League Final shows how proactive they are now in securing their targets. Despite seemingly every MLS team interested in Marco Reus, none went so far as to arrange a meeting at Wembley during the middle of their season. Under Will Kuntz’s direction, the Galaxy are raising the bar for recruitment efforts that most teams in MLS would struggle to match.

In order to further push them beyond their competition’s reach, Will Kuntz has also moved towards acquiring a new staff member to serve as the club’s new technical director.

The club is reportedly in talks to sign Mikkel Dencher from Danish Superlig side FC Copenhagen. As a younger scout with experience, Dencher would be excellent at using his networks to expand the Galaxy’s access to young, exciting talents from Europe. 

With Dencher focused on the dirty work involved with identifying talents using analytics and networks, Will Kuntz and Greg Vanney will be able to thrive at what they each do best. By adding key personnel to the team, the front office is likely to enjoy even more success.

It is worth remembering that until Will Kuntz arrived and took over the general manager role, Greg Vanney was responsible for EVERYTHING. He served as general manager and director of soccer operations, responsible for coaching the first team, organizing the academy, and building a scouting network from the ground up.

It becomes clear that the Galaxy used to operate in the Wild West and has been brought into the 21st century. Their new habits of delegation and proper team building are already paying off.

With this continuously improving platform, all signs around the club suggest that the second half of the season will be one of growth for Los Angeles. 

They kick off the first of the last 17 games of the season tomorrow night against a struggling Sporting Kansas City.

SKC is currently in 26th place in the Supporter’s Shield race after posting a 3-5-9 record in the first half of 2024. Expectations must be low as they prepare for another away game, as they’ve only won once and lost five times in eight attempts away from home. 

To come to Dignity Health Sports Park, the fortress where the Galaxy have gone undefeated this year, and take away points seems like a tall order for Kansas City. The threats of designated player Joseph Paintsil and a rested home team loom especially large when considering their away record.

However, it seems some clouds are beginning to shift from Kansas toward LA. The latest report from Damian Calhoun reveals that Riqui Puig has appeared on the injury list as questionable with a groin injury. Details are yet unclear, but SKC may have the luck of not having to try to stop Riqui Puig.

The LA Galaxy must continue to aim to begin the second half of their campaign with their best foot forward against Sporting Kansas City despite not having their brightest star. Greg Vanney and his more rested side still have a long way to prove just how much they’ve improved in their first full season under Will Kuntz. They started the campaign admirably well, but only they can determine how much further they’ll climb.

Kickoff is at 7:39 PM PST at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Tune in on Apple TV+, and don’t forget to come back to Galaxy Nation for media coverage straight from the press box.

PHOTO: Los Angeles Galaxy

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