SKC, LAFC prepare for busy stretches

With three MLS matches plus a Leagues Cup match against Mexican side Leon, Sporting Kansas City will be on the pitch a lot over the next 10 days, beginning with their Wednesday match against host Los Angeles FC.

The busy run requires a fit and deep club, but manager Peter Vermes believes his squad is ready for the challenge.

Vermes will welcome back two stars from national team duties. Forward Alan Pulido (Mexico) and midfielder Gianluca Busio (United States) competed in the CONCACAF Gold Cup final Sunday night.

Sporting KC (9-4-3, 30 points) is coming off its first home loss of the season, a 2-1 setback against FC Dallas on Saturday.

“Buse was in the building (Tuesday),” Vermes said. “Pulido is going to meet us in California. He’s already there. The team has gotten some rest after the (Saturday) game and has trained well. We’re just getting ready for the next step.

“We’ve got a lot of games in (not) a lot of days here. It’s about us recharging the battery and getting ready for the next one.”

LAFC (6-5-5, 23 points) are above the playoff cutoff line in the Western Conference, but they are just four points ahead of the eighth-place Portland Timbers, who have a game in hand. LAFC, which will have three matches in 11 days, have not won in their past three outings, going 0-1-2 against Portland, the Vancouver Whitecaps and Minnesota United.

“I’m still in a little bit of shock,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said after Minnesota tied the July 28 match in the fifth minute of second-half stoppage time. “Overall, I thought we played a really good game, but we just (didn’t) finish it out.”

Los Angeles FC announced Monday that they had acquired Colombian forward Cristian Arango from Millonarios Futbol Club of Colombia’s top league. Arango had 20 goals and three assists in 50 matches across all competitions.

“Cristian is an accomplished striker and an important acquisition for us at this stage of the season,” LAFC co-president and general manager John Thorrington said of the 26-year-old. “We believe that he will be a great fit and, given his age and experience, will help us now and into the future.”

–Field Level Media

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