Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. FC Dallas
Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, October 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 11/8 – Draw 85/40 – Dallas 2/1
LA Galaxy have won the Shield four times but are not in the running this season, although they have secured a playoff berth and will be targeting the MLS Cup in December.
The Galaxy can’t finish anywhere other than third place in the West, so they will have to take part in the Knockout Round of the playoffs no matter what the result of Sunday’s game. But they might well be out to spoil the Dallas party, as watching their opponents lift the shield on their own turf wouldn’t be ideal for the home fans.
Dallas only need a point to claim the Supporters’ Shield after last week’s comeback win over Seattle moved them back to the top of the West over Colorado.
FC Dallas booked their place in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals with a 5-2 win over Suchitepequez during the week but all focus will now be on trying to secure the Supporters’ Shield.
Oscar Pareja’s men have been in good form of late and should be able to get a result at LA on Sunday to finish top of the West for the second successive season.
A defeat in California would open the door for Colorado, who need to beat Houston at home on Sunday, with all ten games in MLS kicking off simultaneously.
LA Galaxy will be without Gyasi Zardes and Steven Gerrard, while Robbie Keane is listed as ‘questionable’. Bruce Arena may decide to rest a few players ahead of the playoffs but Jelle Van Damme is available again after serving his one-game suspension last weekend.
FC Dallas remain will be without playmaker Mauro Diaz for the rest of the year after he tore his achilles tendon, while Kellyn Acosta has also been ruled out for the foreseeable future. Zach Loyd is out with concussion but Maynor Figueroa is back in contention after serving a one-match ban.
LA Galaxy’s last five: W/D/L/L/W
FC Dallas’ last five: L/D/D/W/W
Key Stat: LA Galaxy have won their last five home games against FC Dallas in MLS by an aggregate scoreline of 11-4.
Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican attacker is LA Galaxy’s leading scorer this season with 14 and has three in his last three at home. Expect him to cause the Dallas defence problems throughout Sunday’s contest.
LA Galaxy 2-2 FC Dallas – The fact that LA can’t finish any higher of lower than third in the West means they may not take this game as seriously as they could perhaps have done. Their focus will be on the playoffs but entering the postseason with a strong platform is always important and so they won’t want to lose this. Dallas know they only need a point to claim the Shield and should be able to get that in what could be an exciting game.