After losing to Portland 3-1 on the road, the struggling LA Galaxy head home to square off against the red hot New York City FC.
Current Record (W-L-D): 6-11-5, ninth in the Western Conference.
Last Time Out: 3-1 loss to the Portland Timbers on the road.
Player to Watch For: Midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos didn’t get much playing time in his debut for the Galaxy against Portland. He subbed into the game during the 63rd minute, when the Galaxy were already losing 3-1. There’s a good chance he may get the start against NYCFC. It will be interesting to see what he can contribute for the Galaxy as a starter. His role as holding midfielder could play a factor in stifling NYCFC’s dynamic attack.
Why They Win: There’s a chance Romain Alessandrini will be ready to go against NYCFC. The midfielder previously suffered a knee injury that kept him sidelined against Portland. In order for the Galaxy to win, they’ll need Alessandrini back and forwards Gyasi Zardes and Giovanni Dos Santos will also have to step up. New York City FC tends to struggle against aggressive lineups. If the Galaxy can find its footing, the team should do well.
Why They Won’t: The Galaxy struggle against faced paced team like NYCFC. Time and time again we’ve seen the Galaxy backline fold like a piece of paper. With David Villa and Jack Harrison on a roll, the Galaxy backline could be in serious trouble.
Predicted Starting XI (4-2-3-1):
New York City FC
Current Record (W-L-D): 12-7-4, third in the Eastern Conference.
Last Time Out: 3-2 win over the New York Red Bulls at home.
Player to Watch For: Forward David Villa has been on an absolute tear recently. The Spanish striker scored a hat trick against the Red Bulls and currently leads the MLS in scoring with 17 total goals this season. Considering how slow and disorganized the LA backline has been this season, Villa could have another great game on Saturday.
Why They Win: The fast paced style of NYCFC may easily overwhelm the Galaxy. The LA backline struggles to defend after losing ball possession. They don’t contain attacks well and they haven’t shown any real consistency this season. With Villa, Harrison and Jonathan Lewis leading the attack for NYCFC, the LA backline may be in serious trouble.
Why They Won’t: As bad as the Galaxy have played recently, the team should not be counted out so easily. When NYCFC defend poorly, they defend really poorly. In games against aggressive teams like Toronto, Atlanta, and Vancouver, the New York side has allowed a lot of goals. In many cases, they have even blown leads. The Galaxy have more than enough talent to pull out a win if head coach Patrick Vieira and his team take their feet off the pedal.
Predicted Starting XI (4-3-3):
How to Watch/Listen:
Where: StubHub Center, Carson, California.
When: 11 p.m. ET, Saturday, August 12
Channels: ESPN2, ESPN Deportes