One of the oldest rivalries in Major League Soccer, if not the first major rivalry, takes center stage this week. The rivalry between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy goes back to MLS Cup 1996, when D.C. won it in extra time and begin an early period of dominance under now Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena. Ben Olsen, a former D.C. player, is now the manager at United and he has brought a resurgence to a club who recently was in the doldrums. As for Arena’s Galaxy, they’ve had a challenging year and will need to step things up on Wednesday, Aug. 27 at StubHub Center in Carson, Calif.
It’s a battle between an Eastern Conference powerhouse and Western Conference stalwart in Southern California. Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by MLS LIVE. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Wednesday night’s match between the Los Angeles Galaxy and D.C. United.
1. At least 40 fouls and six cards
This is going to be a scrappy, chippy game, make no mistake about it. There will be fouls, there will be cards, and there may be at least one player sent off. The MLS Multiplex is boldly predicting for at least 40 fouls whistled and six cards issued.
2. At least five saves from Jaime Penedo
Aggressive, free-flowing football will be a hallmark of this contest, and this will force both goalkeepers into a number of big saves. Jaime Penedo only had three saves against the Vancouver Whitecaps last weekend and will need to make more. The Plex calls for at least five.
3. At least five saves from Bill Hamid
D.C. United goalkeeper Bill Hamid did well to maintain a shutout against Sporting Kansas City on the road and is going to be a player you will need to watch. Hamid will come up big with at least five saves on the night. He’s got a huge upside, and if he keeps this up, he may be heading abroad down the road.
4. Landon Donovan will score
Landon Donovan, on any given day, will find the target and finish. It doesn’t matter who the opponent is, LD will drop the mic, and he will do so with his 141st goal of his career in MLS regular season play.
5. Fabian Espindola on goal
This will be a goal festival, make no mistake about it. Fabian Espindola is now healthy and has had a history of success scoring against Los Angeles, as seen from his days with Real Salt Lake. Look for Espi to get on goal and make this a game.
6. Gyasi Zardes will strike
Los Angeles will get another one in this game, this time from Gyasi Zardes, who is the Galaxy’s second-leading goalscorer. Look for Zardes to poach, strike and leave the D.C. United defense wondering, how good is this young man?
7. Chris Rolfe on goal for D.C.
With six goals this season, Chris Rolfe has been an offensive beacon for D.C. United and will get on the scoresheet with his seventh of the year.
8. Perry throws the Kitchen sink
D.C. midfielder Perry Kitchen has four goals and three assists and has been a reliable safety net for United this year. The MLS Multiplex thinks he will come up big on Wednesday, so look for a goal and an assist.
9. Robbie Keane with a goal and an assist
If Robbie Keane can get the shot technique right and not come up with two unintended assists, we can’t see why he can’t add to his goal tally, against a very good team in D.C. United, no less. We’re calling for Keane to get a goal and an assist in this match.
10. This match will end in a draw
It’s going to be a high-octane showdown between two legit MLS Cup contenders. Should we dare to dream of an MLS Cup Final between D.C. United and the Los Angeles Galaxy? Sure, why not. In the meantime, this midweek encounter at the Hub will result in a high-scoring draw. Enjoy!
Los Angeles Galaxy 3, D.C. United 3