Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders
Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, April 23 – 16:00 ET (21:00 BST)
Match Odds: LA Galaxy 11/10 – Draw 9/4 – Seattle 12/5
LA Galaxy host Seattle Sounders on Sunday evening as the Western rivals go head-to-head in the hunt to try and
LA Galaxy have lost twice as many games as Seattle through their first six games but yet the two sides are level on six points and are closer to the bottom of the West than the top at this early stage of the campaign.
Curt Onalfo has watched the Galaxy lose four times already this term but they did get a first home win of the season at StubHub Center two weeks ago, beating Montreal 2-0.
They then fell 2-1 at Orlando City last weekend, with Romain Alessandrini’s hot form the only real positive for the team so far this term. A win over the MLS Cup holders on Sunday would lift spirits around the club and is something they must chase from kickoff.
Seattle are struggling to live up to the billing as the reigning champions and stretched their winless run to three with last week’s 2-1 defeat in Vancouver.
Brian Schmetzer’s men have yet to win away from home this season, losing two and drawing two of their four road games so far. They know a trip to California won’t be easy but given both sides’ struggles, it’s impossible to pick an outright favourite.
The Sounders came alive late last season after the arrival of Nicolas Lodeiro and might need to rely on a similarly spectacular surge late this season if they are to try and retain their crown.
These two rivals met four times in total last season, meeting three times in league play and once in the US Open Cup. LA won two of the four games but Seattle won the most recent meeting 4-2 at StubHub in September – just their second-ever win at the Galaxy.
Robbie Rogers and Sebastian Lletget are both still long-term absentees for LA Galaxy, while Clement Diop picked up a hip injury in last weekend’s defeat in Orlando and is doubtful for Sunday’s game as a result.
Seattle Sounders will be without Roman Torres, Aaron Kovar and Brad Evans, with all three ruled out through injury.
LA Galaxy’s form: L/W/L/W/L
Seattle Sounders’ form: D/W/D/D/L
Key Stat: Seattle haven’t won any of their last five away games in MLS but have managed to score in each of those games.
Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – Despite the Galaxy’s struggles, Alessandrini has been excellent through his first six games in MLS. He has four goals and two assists and is averaging the second-highest total of shots per game this season. If LA are to succeed on Sunday, they’ll need the Frenchman to be as good as he has been in recent weeks.
LA Galaxy 1-1 Seattle Sounders – Both sides need a win here to try and kickstart a strong run of form but neither has shown anywhere near enough in recent weeks to suggest they are about to turn a corner. LA should be better at home but they are struggling for an identity and are unlikely to be good enough to beat a Sounders side that is still stacked with talent, despite some poor results this season. Score draw.