Teams: LA Galaxy vs Philadelphia Union
Kick-off: 08:00 a.m. IST at StubHub Center – Carson, California
Where to Watch: The game will be live telecasted on DSport, this Sunday
Last Game Played: May 12, 2016; PHI 2 – 2 LA
Season Goal leaders: LA Galaxy – Romain Alessandrini (4 goals), Philadelphia Union – C.J. Sapong (4 goals)
Despite LA earning two wins in 2017, their season thus far looks similar to Philadelphia: An identical 8 goals scored, 13 goals against (Philadelphia have 14), and the dangerous combination of unorganized midfield play and a flustered backline. It’s hard to imagine two teams that will be more desperate for a win this weekend than the LA Galaxy and the Philadelphia Union.
Typically one of the league’s premier clubs, the Galaxy have fallen on hard times to start the Curt Onalfo era, losing five of their first seven games in 2017, including a 3-0 shellacking at the hands of Seattle last week. The loss matched the most lopsided one in franchise history as the Sounders completely controlled the game from the opening whistle.
The Union are even in more dire straits, having failed to win a game since last August. Last week’s 3-3 draw with the Montreal Impact may have been the most brutal result of their 15-match winless streak as Philly blew a 3-0 lead at home to remain the last MLS club without a victory this season.
The Galaxy still have plenty of offensive firepower with newcomer Romain Alessandrini continuing to look like one of the league’s top midfielders and playing behind the dynamic striker duo of Gyasi Zardes and Giovani dos Santos.
But dos Santos has only one goal to his name and none since the opener, failing thus far to pick up the scoring void left by the departure of Robbie Keane. When asked about dos Santos’ lack of production after Sunday’s loss to Seattle, Onalfo said, “I won’t comment on that.” But others certainly are talking about it.
Philly’s offense came alive last week with playmaker Roland Alberg and striker C.J. Sapong teaming up for three first-half goals.
But head coach Jim Curtin, a former center back, is still searching for defensive answers as his team allowed multiple goals for the sixth straight game. He tried to inject some life into the backline with club veteran Ray Gaddis replacing last year’s MLS Rookie of the Year runner-up Keegan Rosenberry but may go back to Rosenberry this week and hope center backs Richie Marquez and rookie Jack Elliott can find a way to keep up with LA’s star-studded attack.
Int’l Duty: NONE
Injury Report: OUT – D Robbie Rogers (ankle injury), M Sebastian Lletget (foot surgery 3/24); QUESTIONABLE – GK Clement Diop (hip injury)
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): Brian Rowe – Nathan Smith, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole – Romain Alessandrini, Joao Pedro, Jermaine Jones, Emmanuel Boateng – Giovani dos Santos, Gyasi Zardes
Notes: The Galaxy’s next regular-season loss will match their loss total from the entire 2016 season. … The Galaxy were outshot on target, 4-3, by Seattle last weekend. It was the fourth time in their last five home games where their opponent had more shots on target. There were only four instances in their previous 19 home games where the same thing occurred.
Int’l Duty: None
Injury Report: OUT: Joshua Yaro (shoulder surgery), Maurice Edu (left ankle/tibia surgery recovery), John McCarthy (concussion), Ken Tribbett (left ankle sprain); QUESTIONABLE: Warren Creavalle (right calf contusion)
Projected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Jack Elliott, Richie Marquez, Fabinho — Haris Medunjanin, Alejandro Bedoya — Ilsinho, Roland Alberg, Chris Pontius — C.J. Sapong
Notes: The Union have only beaten the Galaxy once in nine MLS regular season games (6L-2D). They have never held the Galaxy scoreless, and concede an average of 2.4 goals per game when they play against LA. … Winger Chris Pontius has won 27 aerials this season, the most of any MLS player.
Although the Galaxy have only lost to the Union once, that Philly win came in LA with McInerney, the Galaxy’s newest acquisition, scoring a pretty goal to lead the Union to a surprising 2-1 win five years ago.
Overall: LA Galaxy 6 wins (22 goals) … Philadelphia 1 win (9 goals) … Ties 2
At LA: LA Galaxy 4 wins (14 goals) … Philadelphia 1 win (5 goals) … Ties 0
Watch out the MLS matches on DSport.