Confident Galaxy prepares to face division-leading Sporting KC on Sunday
Moments after last weekend’s improbable win over the Los Angeles Football Club, Galaxy captain Ashley Cole gathered his giddy teammates in a circle in the center of the StubHub Center field for a four-word victory speech.
“What a [expletive] comeback!” he shouted over the din of the crowd.
A week later, the excitement has barely subsided, leaving coach Sigi Schmid searching for a way to translate that emotion into momentum heading into Sunday’s home game with division-leading Sporting Kansas City (FS1, 6 p.m.).
“I guess sports psychologists call them team-building moments,” Schmid said after the LAFC game. “This is the kind of game that becomes a defining moment. There’s a realization within that group that nothing is impossible.”
Only once in league history had a team rallied from a 3-0 deficit to a 4-3 win before the Galaxy did so last week, with the tying and winning goals coming from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in his MLS debut. The first came on a jaw-dropping 40-yard volley so improbable it has been viewed more than 26 million times on social media.
“Do you expect him to score a goal like that in the first game? You’d probably say no,” Schmid said. “But are you shocked? No. Just because of what he’s done in the past.
“With Ibra it’s more you expect great things to happen. It’s just a question of when.”
Sunday would be a good time for a repeat performance because a victory would give the Galaxy just their second two-game winning streak since July 2016. And they will be trying to accomplish that against a team that hasn’t lost in more than a month and hasn’t lost to the Galaxy in six matches dating to April 2015.
Sporting Kansas City (3-1-1) also went into the weekend tied for the league lead with 10 goals, with five of those coming from newcomer Felipe Gutierrez of Chile.
Ibrahimovic is the leading scorer for the Galaxy (2-1-1) and he’s played only 19 minutes.
Schmid expects to have most of the Galaxy’s other weapons at his disposal for the first time in more than a month. Midfielders Romain Alessandrini and Jonathan dos Santos both trained with the team this week after missing the last two games because of hamstring strains, while center back Michael Ciani is also available for the first time since straining his abdomen March 11.
Midfielder Giovani dos Santos remains out indefinitely with his third hamstring injury since last August.
Kamara gets a raise
Striker Ola Kamara has been given a two-year contract extension that will reportedly pay him approximately $1 million a season. Kamara made $450,000 in base salary last season with the Columbus Crew, according to figures released by the MLS players union.
ESPN’s Jeff Carlisle first reported the deal, which will include a third-year option and will be funded with targeted allocation money. The Galaxy confirmed the extension but declined to discuss terms of the deal.
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