Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: StubHub Center – Friday, May 22nd – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1
The Galaxy haven’t won in their last five games and have lost their last two on the bounce. Last weekend’s 4-0 defeat to Orlando City was an awful result and they need a positive reaction here.
Arena has an injury crisis with eight players who could miss out. They have a chance to turn their problems around with two home games on the bounce now. Galaxy need to turn their fortunes around as they cannot afford to go into the game against New England Revolution without picking up any points.Embed from Getty Images
LA are missing Robbie Keane, not just for his goals, but his leadership qualities. His absence is affecting the performances of Gyasi Zardes, who has just two goals this season.
Houston Dynamo have just started to hit form, winning their last two in a row. Owen Coyle will feel his side have a good chance of getting something from this game given Galaxy’s recent form, but the hosts haven’t been beaten in their last 24 games at StubHub.
This is the first of two away games in a row for the Dynamo, who have only lost once on the road this season. The game has added incentive for these two sides as they are separated by just two points in the Western Conference.Embed from Getty Images
Will Bruin has three goals in his last two games, including two in last weekends 3-1 win over Portland Timbers, and he will want to prove his form is not just a purple patch and he can send out message if he can help his side win this tie against the reigning champions.
LA Galaxy have eight injury concerns to Brian Perk, Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant, Jose Villarreal, Kenney Walker, Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez, leaving Arena scratching his head at fielding a side. Keane has been a big miss and has played just four games. The sooner he returns the better for Galaxy.
By stark contrast, Houston Dynamo have just one injury to deal with Nathan Sturgis set to miss out for Coyle’s side. Ricardo Clark and Kofi Sarkodie are just one yellow card away from a suspension so will need to be weary of their approach.
LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/D/W/W
Houston Dynamo last five: D/L/L/W/W
Key Stat: Galaxy haven’t beaten Dynamo in their last three attempts and every passing game without a win now for Arena’s side becomes a bigger problem.
Key Player: Giles Barnes – The forward has six goals in 11 appearances so far this season and his partnership with Bruin is what Dynamo have to thank for being in a playoff spot at this stage.Embed from Getty Images
LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo – A cagey affair in this one is expected with a rusty Galaxy side desperate for a win as they cannot afford to lose. Dynamo need to take points from their upcoming two away games and a point would be respectable here.