MLS Preview and Prediction: Orlando City vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Orlando City vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Citrus Bowl – Sunday, May 17th – 17:00 ET (22:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports)

Match Odds: Orlando 17/10 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 6/4

Match Preview

Orlando City take on MLS Cup winners LA Galaxy in this delicious fixture on Sunday evening with the hosts looking to get back on track after another defeat against DC United midweek leaves them in seventh in the Eastern Conference. LA Galaxy also need to register a victory after no wins in their last four.

Orlando City are in a bit of a sticky patch at the moment with just two wins so far this season in their inaugural campaign. Those victories came at the Houston Dynamo and the Portland Timbers away from home and the expansion franchise have yet to win in front of their own fans.

No wins at home is a relatively poor return for the new franchise and this will need to be addressed imminently.

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Kaka has registered three goals this season and is the Lions’ joint top scorer with Cyle Larin, who lashed in his third of the season against DC United on Wednesday night when he opened the scoring for Orlando City.

Adrian Heath needs to rally his troops to pick up points at home to keep up the pressure in the Eastern. Registering wins will keep the fans singing and supporting them as they have done through this rough patch. Making the playoffs was the aim at the start of the year and that hasn’t changed for Orlando yet.

LA Galaxy have failed to set the Western on fire as they usually do, but they are known for their second half of the season surges as they assault and take the Western Conference by storm.

The defeat at FC Dallas last weekend ended their five-game unbeaten run. The defeat has also left them without a win in 10 away games from StubHub Center, with their last road win coming away at the Colorado Rapids on August 20th last year.

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Robbie Keane’s injury woes and Landon Donovan’s retirement has left them struggling so far, and Bruce Arena needs something to change for the better as three wins this season just isn’t good enough for the MLS Cup winners of last season.

In Alan Gordon, LA Galaxy have a reliable striker who has scored some important goals that have given precious points for the Galaxy as they strive towards a playoff spot and possibly Western Conference title.

This fixture will be the first time these two sides have played in MLS history, so no previous scores to report from, but it should be an entertaining one.

Team News

Orlando will be without goalkeeper Tally Hall, strikers Pedro Ribeiro (hamstring) and Martin Paterson (groin) along with Lewis Neal (neck) and Tony Cascio (back), plus Kevin Molino remains a long-term absentee and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

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LA Galaxy have been rocked by the news that Brian Perk is out for the season with shoulder and ankle injuries. Robbie Keane continues to miss out with groin troubles plus fellow forward Edson Buddle (calf) is out. Kenney Walker is also missing with groin problems and Todd Dunivant will miss out with a bruised knee. Good news for the Galaxy is that Jose Villarreal has resumed full training and could be welcomed back on the bench at Orlando. Dan Gargan is suspended.

Key Points

Orlando City’s last five: L/W/L/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/D/D/D/L

Key Stat: Alan Gordon’s three goals have contributed to five points this season, netting the winner against Seattle, a 90th minute equaliser against Portland Timbers and another equaliser against Colorado Rapids.

Key Player: Cyle Larin – The young Orlando striker has found his goalscoring touch, scoring in his last two and will look to chip on with more goals in this one.

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Score Prediction

Orlando City 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Lions will be tamed by the Galaxy but it will be an entertaining one with plenty of goals as Orlando’s wait for a first home win in MLS goes on.