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Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Sporting Kansas City: 6 Things We Learned

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 7:   Kei Kamara #23 of the Sporting Kansas City celebrates a goal against the Los Angeles Galaxy at Livestrong Sporting Park on April 7, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images
Jo-Ryan SalazarSenior Analyst IApril 7, 2012

The Los Angeles Galaxy drop yet another match in Major League Soccer play, losing 1-0 to Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park.

Kei Kamara's header in the 41st minute was all Sporting needed in a performance that lacked offensive production.

Here are six things we learned from Saturday's match between the Galaxy and Sporting Kansas City.

1. David Beckham's absence made all the difference.

When any of Los Angeles's main players are not in the lineup, bad things tend to happen. Although the outcome wasn't as bad as it could have been, David Beckham's play-making abilities are an asset to the Galaxy.

No Beckham equals no victory due to the lack of off the ball movement.

2. Improved defending from LA

Although the result was the Galaxy's first shut-out loss of the season, the back-line of Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant and Tommy Meyer held their own for the majority of the match.

It did provide one answer regarding the back-line: Andrew Boyens is a liability, and with Meyer in the lineup, the damage was reduced to just a simple header surrendered by Franklin, who was the worst player on defense for the Galaxy.

3. Landon Donovan eases back in

KANSAS CITY, KS - APRIL 7:   Landon Donovan #10 of the Los Angeles Galaxy prepares to kick the ball against Sporting Kansas City at Livestrong Sporting Park on April 7, 2012 in Kansas City, Kansas. (Photo by Ed Zurga/Getty Images)
Ed Zurga/Getty Images

Landon Donovan was coming into the game wounded, but his impact on the match did reduce the damage that occurs when he not in the lineup. It seemed that LD was just doing his best not to reaggravate his injury. A healthier Donovan would have possibly changed the dynamics of the game.

4. Sound possession from Sporting

The real reason why Sporting Kansas City won? Ball control. Sporting Kansas City simply dominated possession, 59.6 percent to 40.4 percent and had more open play crosses (19 to 10). In addition, they won the ball more (49 to 35 in duels won, 58 percent to 41 percent) and outshot the Galaxy 14 to four.

It's not reflected in the scoreline, of course, but Sporting dominated this match on the stat sheet.

5. More offensive ineptitude

As previously mentioned, the Galaxy were outshot 14 to 4, but the chances they had could have changed the scoreline. Mike Magee had two legit shots on goal and Chad Barrett nearly had an equalizer late.

LA's offense needs to improve, and in order to do this, they need to create more chances. We did not see that today.

6. Jorge Gonzalez...not the best official in the league

Jorge Gonzalez is no Ricardo Salazar. Not only was his officiating favoring Sporting Kansas City, but a number of potential penalty chances were not whistled.

This was a loosely-officiated game, and only one yellow card was awarded, a late one to Donovan in the 90th minute for a challenge on Kamara.

In short, Gonzalez let the players play, but he did not control the match as much as he should have on Saturday.

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