Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo
Venue: StubHub Center – Friday, July 15 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/7 – Draw 3/1 – Houston 5/1
The Galaxy enter Friday’s match looking for a third-straight win for the first time this season. They saw off the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday to win just their second away game of the season.
That result will have boosted confidence in Bruce Arena’s squad and the players will now have their eyes fixed on the top of the Western Conference table with 16 games to go.
LA are sitting eight points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders, FC Dallas, but are renowned for their late-season surges and will believe they can still catch the long-time leaders.
Houston are facing a somewhat different battle, as they are trying to stay off the bottom of the conference table after another below-par campaign has left them set for another without playoff football.
There is, of course, a long way to go and so the Dynamo are not down and out just yet. However, they have picked up just four wins all season and don’t look poised to improve dramatically enough to close the gap to the top six.
They are ten points off the playoff spots in the West and have the third-worst points-per-game ratio in Major League Soccer. Seattle’s win on Wednesday moved Houston back to the bottom of the West and they look in real trouble.
They drew 0-0 away at Orlando on Saturday, earning their first road clean sheet of the season. Although repeating that feat at StubHub seems highly unlikely.
LA beat Houston 4-1 in the reverse fixture at BBVA Compass Stadium back in April, despite going a goal down early on and will fancy their chances of completing a first league double over the Dynamo since the 2010 season.
LA Galaxy will be without widemen Robbie Rogers and Ashley Cole, who are both injured, while Ariel Lassiter is a doubt. Nigel De Jong will serve an extra game’s suspension for his red card picked up against Vancouver two weeks ago. Galaxy defender Daniel Steres is one booking away from suspension and needs to watch his step.
Houston’s only injury worry is DaMarcus Beasley, who is set to be out for the rest of the month following minor knee surgery. Alex is one booking away from suspension.
LA Galaxy’s last five: L/D/D/W/W
Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/W/D
Key Stat: Houston have not won any of their last 18 away games in MLS. Their last away win came on July 10, 2015 at San Jose.
Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Galaxy frontman has returned from Euro 2016 in great form, by scoring in back-to-back games. He now has six in eight appearances for the season and will expect to add to his tally in front of the home crowd on Friday evening.
LA Galaxy 3-0 Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo look set for another convincing defeat at the hands of the Galaxy here. LA are a real force at home and have not lost in front of their own fans all season. The Dynamo, meanwhile, have only won one of their last seven and haven’t won away from home in over a year now. The Galaxy to find their scoring boots and put Houston to the sword.