Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Orlando City
Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, September 10 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/7 – Draw 3/1 – Orlando 4/1
LA Galaxy host Orlando City in what should be an exciting battle on Sunday night as both sides are fighting hard for different goals in either conference.
Orlando will be looking to repeat the result from last year’s meeting between the two sides, in which the Lions ran out 4-0 winners at home. A similar result this weekend would be an enormous statement and would further boost their playoff push.
City only have a two-point cushion over Eastern Conference rivals DC United as they look to make the postseason for the first time, so a win here would be massive. Although no side has yet won at StubHub Center this season so it’s a massive ask for the Lions.
They might still be well in the playoff picture, but it has been another average season for Orlando, having struggled along before replacing manager Adrian Heath with Jason Kreis. Things look to be slowly improving but they must now make the top six to take a step forward as a franchise.
LA Galaxy are the favourites though and the home fans will be incredibly excited following the huge announcement in the week that MLS and USMNT legend Landon Donovan is back on the team, coming out of retirement to try and help the Galaxy win a sixth MLS Cup title.
The Galaxy are second in the West going into the weekend, but are seven points behind FC Dallas, who are seemingly running away with both the Western Conference title and the Supporters’ Shield. A second-place finish would leave LA in a great position to head into the post-season, but they won’t have given up on the Western title just yet.
The injury list will worry LA at the moment with key figures on the sidelines, so it will be interesting to see if they can maintain performances and solidify a top two finish in the West. They battled well to draw 3-3 at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday and will be out to avenge last year’s humiliating defeat in Orlando on Sunday.
Orlando City are without Pedro Ribeiro who has a back injury, while Cristian Higuita has a hamstring injury troubling him. Harrison Heath is a major doubt but could make the squad.
LA Galaxy are without four first team members. Jelle Van Damme has a MCL sprain, Gyasi Zardes has a broken metatarsal, Steven Gerrard has a hamstring injury and Robbie Keane has an undisclosed injury and is set to miss out again.
Orlando City’s last five: D/D/L/W/W
LA Galaxy’s last five: L/D/D/W/D
Key Stat: Fortress – LA Galaxy are still unbeaten in MLS this season, winning seven and drawing seven of their 14 games at StubHub Center so far.
Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican forward has been making waves in the past few weeks and we expect him to have a big impact once again for the Galaxy. There is added pressure on Dos Santos, with Zardes out for the season.
LA Galaxy 2-2 Orlando City – Both sides haven’t stopped scoring recently as they have 11 combined goals in their last two fixtures. We cannot pick a winner so a score draw is expected on Sunday night – a result that would be better for Orlando than the home side.