Los Angeles Galaxy Have Big Test Against Sporting Kansas City: A Fan’s Preview

The Los Angeles Galaxy may have slipped in the power rankings. They may have lost two out of three games this season. Yet, now is the time to turn it all around. On April 7, the Galaxy play Sporting Kansas City. Considering Los Angeles will be the away team and SKC has won four in a row, I'd say this is a pretty big test. Heading into the game, here are some of the biggest factors that may determine our grade.

Defense

For most of the season, the Galaxy's defense has been porous. During the regular season, we have allowed seven goals. On the other hand, Sporting's defense has been pretty tight. In fact, they have posted three shutouts in four games. Furthermore, they have only allowed one goal. In 2011, one of the keys to the Galaxy's strong season was their defense. If we can get our defense together, we will have a good shot at winning. This means having tough defending all over the field and making sure we don't give our opponents any space.

Away Game

The game against Sporting will be the Galaxy's first away game in the regular season. With travel and rival fans, being the away team is never easy. Since the Galaxy has lost twice at home, it will be a bigger challenge to win on SKC's home turf. In September of 2011, we managed a 2-2 draw at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park.

Injuries

In the March 31 loss to the Revs, Landon Donovan's absence was apparent. On the April 6 MLS injury report, both David Beckham and Donovan are on the questionable list. Beckham is listed as having back spasms. This was an injury that sidelined him in 2011. Arena says that the midfielder has an "assortment" of "nagging injuries." As for our captain, Arena is "hopeful" that Donovan will be able to play. I am hopeful that both will play. However, since it is early in the season, I would rather have both of them sit out to avoid more serious injuries. Brian Perk, Leonardo and Omar Gonzalez continue to be out with injuries. On the other hand, Sporting's injury list is incredibly short.

Confidence

With 12 points, Sporting Kansas City leads the East. Thus, they should be confident. On the other hand, with three points the Galaxy is 8th in the West. In addition, Todd Dunivant says, the fact that SKC know each other well makes them a strong team. The Galaxy squad is made up of players who are familiar with one another but also players who are new to the team. Marcelo Sarvas, Tommy Meyer and Andrew Boyens are all new to the team. In addition, Edson Buddle and Robbie Keane haven't played together very long. I think being familiar with one another makes a team more confident.

For the Galaxy, the game against Sporting Kansas City is a big test. Tune in on April 7 at 1 p.m. PT to see if we pass or fail.

Melissa Matters is a long time Los Angeles resident and devoted Los Angeles Galaxy fan.

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Updated Friday, Apr 6, 2012