World Cup Qualifying Preview and Prediction: USA vs Costa Rica

2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier (CONCACAF): USA vs Costa Rica

Red Bull Arena – Friday, September 1 – 18:55 ET (23:55 BST)

Match Odds: USA 7/10 – Draw 23/10 – Costa Rica 4/1

USA vs Costa Rica: Preview

The USA (2-2-2) host Costa Rica (3-1-2) in a crucial World Cup qualifier at Red Bull Arena on Friday night. The United States have not lost a game since Bruce Arena took over as head coach from Jurgen Klinsmann. But the USA’s last defeat did come in their 4-0 qualifying loss at Costa Rica last December.

That heavy defeat left the USA bottom of the Hexagonal after back-to-back defeats. Klinsmann’s time was up and Arena was brought back in. Things have improved dramatically since.

The USMNT now sit third in the Hex, three points behind Costa Rica with four games to go. If they can win here, they will move ahead of Los Ticos on goal difference.

Recent form suggests the USA should prove too strong. They are unbeaten in 14 under Arena and have won five-straight games. They beat Costa Rica 2-0 on their way to winning the 2017 Gold Cup Final against Jamaica last month and are on a roll.

Costa Rica haven’t played since that semifinal loss to the United States at last month’s Gold Cup. They started the Hex in blistering form, scoring six goals in two games without conceding. But they have since won just one of their four qualifiers.

Embed from Getty Images

They still have a squad strong enough to win any game in qualifying, but they must get back to where they were at this stage last year. They went unbeaten from June to January last year, posting a 7-0-3 record in that run.

The USA haven’t lost a home World Cup qualifier to Costa Rica since 1985. They have won six of their last eight home games against Los Ticos since that loss 32 years ago.

USA vs Costa Rica: Team News

USA head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t included any surprise call-ups in his squad for the upcoming qualifiers. 18 of the 26 players play in MLS and are in optimum shape at this stage of the regular season. While stars from European clubs such as Christian Pulisic, Geoff Cameron and Fabian Johnson will all expect to start. Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Matt Besler and Jozy Altidore will all pick up a suspension if they receive yellow cards on Friday night.

Costa Rica will have to cope without star winger Joel Campbell. He is recovering from knee surgery and is ruled out for some time. Los Ticos do still have top talent to call on though, with Real Madrid goalkeeper Keylor Navas the standout name in the roster. Seven MLS players are included in the Costa Rica squad, including Vancouver duo Kendall Waston and Cristian Bolanos as well as Portland’s David Guzman and NYCFC’s Rodney Wallace. San Jose Earthquakes’ Marcos Urena might start up front.

USA vs Costa Rica: Key Points

USA’s last five: W/W/W/W/W

Costa Rica’s last five: W/D/W/W/L

Key Stat: The USA are unbeaten in 14 games since Bruce Arena took over from Jurgen Klinsmann last December. They’ve gone 9-0-5 under Arena in 2017.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The USA veteran needs one more goal to become the USMNT’s all-time leading goalscorer. He is currently tied with Landon Donovan on 57 and will break the record if he finds the back of the net here. He has four in his last seven internationals and comes into Friday’s game in good form with the Sounders. He’s also the leading scorer in the Hex coming into Friday’s fixtures.

Embed from Getty Images

USA vs Costa Rica: Prediction

USA 2-0 Costa Rica – The USA have won their last two home qualifiers without conceding a goal. That shouldn’t change on Friday as they arrive in high spirits with an experienced squad of stars. Costa Rica’s qualifying campaign is almost the complete opposite of the United States’. They started well but now look vulnerable and a resurgent USMNT should get the job done at Red Bull Arena on Friday.

Advertisements

MLS Playoffs Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

Competition: MLS Cup Playoffs (Western Conference Semifinal – Second Leg) – Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Sunday, November 6 – 14:00 ET (19:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Colorado 1/1 – Draw 11/5 – LA Galaxy 11/4 

Match Preview

A place in the Western Conference Final is up for grabs on Sunday as Colorado Rapids welcome LA Galaxy to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in the biggest game of the 2016 MLS campaign for these sides.

Colorado have work to do, they fell to a 1-0 defeat in the first leg last weekend. They are still more than in the game and know they are capable of progressing.

The Rapids now haven’t beaten Galaxy in their last three attempts, but the last meeting here ended with a Colorado win.

Pablo Mastroeni’s side are under a huge amount of pressure to perform, they just need to keep a calm mentality and start well. If they can get an early goal, or most importantly, the first goal in the game, the momentum will swing their way.

Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy’s fate is in their own hands, avoid defeat and they’ve reached the Western Conference final, yet this game will be anything but straightforward.

Bruce Arena will be fully aware his side are going to be under pressure from the moment they step out to warm up. The Colorado fans are going to do everything possible to make this an uncomfortable atmosphere.

Giovani dos Santos’ strike was enough to give Galaxy a lead into the second leg, but it is a slender one, he, like many of LA’s star-players are going to have to dig deep and show what they’re made of.

Galaxy have plenty of players with big-game experience they will be relying on here. The LA defence are going to expect to face more than one shot on their goal as they did in the first leg, so it is important they’re switched on from the get-go.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Colorado Rapids are expecting to be without Dillon Serna and Marlon Hairston for the second leg. Mastroeni’s starting XI are going to have to give everything from the off to ensure they give Galaxy their hardest game of the season.

LA Galaxy will be without Gyasi Zardes, while Steven Gerrard remains a doubt as continues to struggle with a hamstring injury.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ last five: W/W/L/D/L

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/W/D/W/W

Key Stat: Fortress – Colorado are unbeaten in their last 17 games at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. They need to make their home advantage count if they’re going to progress.

Key Player: Brian Rowe – The Galaxy ‘keeper is going to need to be at his best. Colorado are going to throw everything at him in this tie, he will be relied on as the last line of defence. Rowe will be looking to slow the game down all the while the result is in Galaxy’s favour, that will break up the flow of the tie and frustrate the Rapids.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 1-1 LA Galaxy – Colorado to fall short in the semis. This has the makings of a cagey game with little to split the sides, much like the first leg. Galaxy will be looking to finish the job off, but know they could well regret not bringing a bigger advantage into the second leg if they’re not careful.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Sporting Kansas City vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Sporting Kansas City vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Children’s Mercy Park – Sunday, September 18 – 14:00 ET (19:00 BST) 

Match Odds: SKC 6/5 – Draw 9/4 – LA Galaxy 85/40

Match Preview

Sporting Kansas City welcome LA Galaxy to Children’s Mercy Park on Sunday afternoon in a tie which could have an impact in both the race for the Supporters’ Shield and the playoff places.

SKC are sitting 5th heading into this tie, five points above the red line. Another win here would put them in a very strong position.

Peter Vermes will be hoping his side can continue their unbeaten run of eight home games against Galaxy going, but he will be aware of how dangerous the away side have looked in front of goal in their last two.

Sporting Kansas City come into this one having drawn 3-3 with Houston. They have now won just one of their last five games.

Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy looked strong during their double gameweek, picking up four points and scoring seven goals along the way.

Bruce Arena will be disappointed not to have taken all six points from their two games as they would have closed the gap at the top of the Western Conference to just two points.

Galaxy do have a realistic chance of winning the Supporters’ Shield but are relying on other results, they must ensure they finish the regular season well to give themselves the best chance of picking up the silverware.

LA have lost just one of their last 15 games but have won just two of their last 11 on the road. This isn’t going to be an easy tie for them as they face an SKC side who have picked up 19 points from a possible 21 in their last seven home games.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Sporting Kansas City could be without four as Justin Mapp and Lawrence Olum are out, while Tim Melia and Chance Myers are both doubts ahead of this tie.

LA Galaxy are still expecting to be without Gyasi Zardes, while Steven Gerrard is a doubt.

Key Points

Sporting Kansas City’s last five: L/D/W/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/W/D/W

Key Stat: Sporting Kansas City are unbeaten in their last eight home games against LA Galaxy in all competitions.

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Galaxy forward was in sensational form for their double gameweek, he added another four goals to his tally, taking him to 14 for the season.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Sporting Kansas City 2-2 LA Galaxy – Sporting Kansas City to continue their unbeaten home run against LA Galaxy going. LA have been scoring freely but their away form has let them down. A draw here wouldn’t be the worst result for either side but will be more beneficial to SKC at this stage of the season.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Saturday, July 9 – 15:00 ET (20:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Seattle 11/8 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 19/10

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders welcome Western Conference rivals LA Galaxy to CenturyLink Field on Saturday in an important fixture for both of these sides.

Seattle’s season has been a difficult one for fans to take so far, they sit 9th in the West and trail the top six by seven points.

Sigi Schmid is under a huge amount of pressure to get his Sounders side playing to work up the table, finishing outside the playoff places would be disastrous but there is plenty of time to turn things around.

Sounders come into this one off the back of their 1-1 draw with Toronto, a positive result that ended a two-game losing streak. They must now build upon that point and aim to take all three this time out.

Seattle Sounders vs Philadelphia Union

LA Galaxy are sitting 4th in the West and will be far happier with how their season is currently going compared to their opponents.

There are still a lot of things that Galaxy need to improve on, especially away form, as they have only won one of their last 13 on the road.

Galaxy come into this one off the back of their 2-0 win over Vancouver, ending a seven-game winless run. Now is the time for LA to find form and really push on to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield.

Bruce Arena will be pleased to see some of his star players back in the side and on form, Robbie Keane scored on his return last time out and Steven Gerrard played a key role with both assists. He will be expecting his experienced players to step up here.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Seattle Sounders have two injury concerns as Roman Torres is expected to be out, while Brad Evans is a doubt.

LA Galaxy have one more injury concern than Seattle heading into this tie. Robbie Rogers is out, while Ariel Lassiter and Dan Kennedy are both questionable.

Key Points

Seattle Sounders’ last five: L/W/L/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/L/D/D/W

Key Stat: Homesick – LA Galaxy have failed to win in 12 of their last 13 away games in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Jordan Morris – The Seattle forward has been one of their best performers so far in a season of struggles. He has six goals and creating chances for him will give Sounders their best chance of winning this game.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes Jordan Morris

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 1-2 LA Galaxy – This is a tie Galaxy will be expecting to win despite their struggles on the road. Seattle have a lot of work to do to improve on this season and are not performing anywhere near their usual best.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Montreal Impact vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Montreal Impact vs. LA Galaxy

Stadium: Stade Saputo – Saturday, May 28 – 20:00 ET (01:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Montreal 6/5 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 11/5

Match Preview

It’s 5th versus 5th this weekend as Montreal Impact welcome LA Galaxy to Stade Saputo in a tie which has the makings of one to watch as East meets West in Canada.

Montreal had seemingly become the draw specialists up until last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Orlando. That result ended a four-game unbeaten streak of draws for the Impact.

Impact trail top spot in the Eastern Conference by three points and know how difficult this tie could be. They will have to be prepared for LA to frustrate them throughout the game but will be out to seal all three points.

Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy’s unbeaten run continues after their 1-1 draw with San Jose last time out. That was their second draw on the bounce but will have left them frustrated after creating numerous chances.

Galaxy are sitting seven points off top spot in the Western Conference, but do have two games in hand. They need to focus on turning some of their draws into wins to give themselves the best chance of challenging for the Supporters’ Shield title.

Bruce Arena’s side have the least amount of losses in MLS so far this season, with only one defeat, they are looking strong but will be tested in this tie.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Montreal Impact could be without as many as five players for this one. Andres Romero, Cameron Porter and Donny Toia are all expected to miss out. Didier Drogba and Victor Cabrera are both doubts.

LA Galaxy have no injury concerns heading into this one. Jelle Van Damme is one caution away from suspension.

Key Points

Montreal Impact’s form: D/D/D/D/L

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/W/D/D

Key Stat: LA Galaxy extended their unbeaten run to nine games with their draw last weekend.

Key Player: Ignacio Piatti – The Montreal playmaker has the qualities to end Galaxy’s unbeaten run here if he is on form. He has netted seven goals so far this season and is a player that can unlock any defence in a flash.

MLS: New York City FC vs. Montreal Impact Ignacio Piatti

Score Prediction

Montreal Impact 2-2 LA Galaxy – Galaxy to extend their unbeaten run with their third draw on the bounce. These two will be hard to separate throughout the tie as Montreal will be eager to improve on their loss last time out and Galaxy are proving very tough to beat.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, May 22 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 3/5 – Draw 3/1 – San Jose 9/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome San Jose Earthquakes to StubHub Center in the latest instalment of the California Clasico as part of MLS Rivalry Week this weekend.

Bruce Arena’s side extended their unbeaten run to eight games with their 2-2 draw away at Philadelphia last time out.

Galaxy sit 4th in the Western Conference, one point ahead of San Jose in 5th ahead of this tie and LA have some cushioning as they have played a game less than the Quakes.

LA boast the best goal difference in MLS and if they can continue their run of form they will have a real chance of winning the Supporters’ Shield. They trail top spot by five points but have two games in hand.

Embed from Getty Images

San Jose Earthquakes ended a two-game winless streak with their 3-1 home win over Houston last time out.

The Quakes haven’t won on the road in their last seven attempts, losing five and drawing two and have conceded 16 along the way.

Dominic Kinnear’s side lost their earlier meeting between the sides this season 3-1 and haven’t won any of their last five away against Galaxy.

San Jose have struggled in recent times in the Cali Clasico, winning just two out of the last ten, so a win would be a hugely celebrated result here and would move them above the Galaxy in the West.

Seattle Sounders vs San Jose Earthquakes

Team News

LA Galaxy have just the one injury concern as Alan Gordon looks set to miss out, while Jelle Van Damme is one booking away from suspension.

San Jose Earthquakes could be without up to five players as Marc Pelosi, Cordell Cato, Clarence Goodson and Mark Sherrod are all expected to miss out. Quincy Amarikwa could make the squad as he is returning to full fitness. Anibal Godoy is one caution away from suspension.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/W/D/W/D

New England Revolution’s last five: L/W/D/L/W

Key Stat: LA are unbeaten in 13 of their last 14 home games in Major League Soccer.

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The LA Galaxy forward has netted five goals this season and is their top goalscorer. He will look to provide the spark needed in the final third.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 San Jose Earthquakes – Galaxy to repeat the scoreline of the first meeting of the season between these sides and continue their unbeaten run. Goals are coming from all over the park for the Galaxy, who are the highest scorers in MLS with 24. San Jose haven’t had the best form in the Cali Clasico and it looks like this one has the makings of another disappointing night for the Quakes fans.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. New England Revolution

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, May 8 – 15:30 ET (20:30 GMT)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 7/10 – Draw 14/5 – New England  15/4

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome New England Revolution to StubHub Center on Sunday evening in a tie we expect to be hotly contested.

Galaxy are sitting 4th in the Western Conference and have been working their way up the table in recent weeks.

Bruce Arena’s side come into this one off the back of their 1-1 away draw against SKC, but he will be pleased on the most part with the performance having seen his side go a goal behind.

LA are the highest scores in Major League Soccer with 18 in their eight games, they are now unbeaten in six games, winning three and drawing three.

Embed from Getty Images

New England Revolution are sitting 7th in the Eastern Conference. They come into this tie off the back of their 2-2 draw with Orlando.

The Revs have only won once all season and are struggling to turn draws into wins. They are the only side who aren’t bottom of either conference to have only won one game.

Jay Heaps will be working on New England’s lack of wins but he could be in a far more difficult position, his side have only lost one in their last seven.

New England are yet to win away from home this season and this would be the perfect place to break that trend. They appear to be lacking a bit of confidence but have the foundation to turn things around.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

LA Galaxy have four injury concerns. Robbie Keane, Leonardo, Alan Gordon and Steven Gerrard are all doubts. Ashley Cole is suspended following his red card last time out, while Jelle Van Damme is one booking away from suspension.

New England Revolution have five injury concerns. Steve Neumann, Chris Tierney and Charlie Davis are all expected to miss out. Teal Bunbury and Je-Vaughun Watson are both doubts.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/W/W/D

New England Revolution’s last five: D/D/L/D/D

Key Stat: Fortress – Galaxy have only lost one of their last 13 home games in Major League Soccer (W10, D2)

Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – LA Galaxy’s Mexican star has scored four goals in his last three appearances.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 New England Revolution – Galaxy to brush aside New England and continue their winning streak. Their goalscoring form will give them much confidence against the Revs who will can’t find a win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Houston Dynamo vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: BBVA Compass Stadium – Friday, April 15 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Houston 13/8 – Draw 13/5 – LA Galaxy 6/4

Match Preview

Houston Dynamo welcome LA Galaxy to BBVA Compass Stadium in this week’s Friday night MLS clash in what is a key Western Conference battle at this early stage of the campaign.

Houston started the season in great form, scoring eight goals in their opening two games, but they have only picked up one win so far and are looking to snap a three-game winless run here.

Owen Coyle’s side were perhaps unlucky to draw with Seattle last weekend, with Chad Marshall’s 94th minute equaliser preventing the Dynamo from picking up all three points. They need to bounce back straight away against another strong Western opponent but will be confident of doing so.

Embed from Getty Images

Houston are unbeaten in six home games now, while the Galaxy haven’t won any of their last seven on the road. Add in the fact that Houston have won each of their last four home games against LA and it’s difficult to overlook the hosts here.

The Galaxy travel to Houston off the back of their 1-1 home draw with Portland on Sunday night. A late Nat Borchers own goal rescued a point for an injury-struck Galaxy team but they will need to put in a better performance if they are to take anything away from Friday’s clash.

LA haven’t scored away from home in two attempts so far this term. A 1-0 loss to Colorado was followed by a 0-0 draw in Vancouver and so the team’s road troubles aren’t showing any signs of improving just yet.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

Bruce Arena knows this is a big game. The Galaxy sit three points above Houston in the West coming into the match and so there is plenty at stake at this early stage.

These two met three times during the regular season last year. Houston won the only clash at BBVA Compass Stadium 3-0. The Galaxy won one home game 1-0, with the pair drawing 1-1 at StubHub Center in the first meeting of last season.

Team News

Houston will be without Colleen Warner once again, while Abdoulie Mansally is a doubt with an ongoing concussion issue.

LA Galaxy will be without Nigel De Jong after his horror tackle on Darlington Nagbe last weekend. At the time of writing a suspension has yet to be issued, although the MLS Disciplinary Committee are expected to hand out a multiple-game ban to the midfielder before Friday’s game. Robbie Keane and Dan Kennedy remain injured, while Steven Gerrard, Jeff Larentowicz, Leonardo and Robbie Rogers are all doubts.

Key Points

Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/W/L/L/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: W/L/W/D/D

Key Stat: Houston have won each of their last four home games against LA Galaxy by a combined score of 9-2.

Key Player: Will Bruin – The Dynamo forward started the season in blistering form, picking up three goals and two assists in his opening three matches. He hasn’t contributed to a goal in the last two games but he will be desperate to be back amongst the goals against the Galaxy here and could cause them real problems.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Houston Dynamo 2-0 LA Galaxy – Houston have performed better than their 1-2-2 record suggests so far and will expect to beat a Galaxy side that struggles away from home. Injuries and suspensions to key players won’t help LA’s cause and so a second defeat of the campaign looks to be in line for the Western Conference giants.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. Portland Timbers

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, April 10 – 21:30 ET (02:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 5/6 – Draw 13/5 – Portland 16/5

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Western Conference rivals Portland Timbers to StubHub Centre on Sunday in a standout MLS fixture this weekend.  

Galaxy currently sit fourth in the West after a solid start to the 2016 campaign which has seen them lose just once in their four outings. They come into the tie off the back of their 0-0 draw against Vancouver Whitecaps – a respectable away point which they will look to build upon this weekend.

Bruce Arena will be pleased with how his side are performing in the early stages of the season and his defensive signings have made a great impact, as they have conceded the joint-second fewest amount of goals across both conferences.

Galaxy will be more than up for this tie and as always should be feeling confident at home. They have won nine of their last 11 ties at StubHub Centre and despite their squad being hit by some injuries to key players, LA will fancy their chances here.

Embed from Getty Images

Portland Timbers have endured a difficult opening four games to the new season and they must now push on and start to pick up points if they are to stand a chance at retaining their MLS Cup title.

Caleb Porter’s side are sitting 9th, in the depths of the West, and that isn’t where the defending MLS Cup holders would have been expecting to be at the start of the 2016 season. There is no need for Timbers fans to panic as the season is still in its early stages.

Portland were thumped 4-1 away at Orlando last weekend, a result that not many would have predicted, and they need to bounce back into action this time out with a much stronger showing.

The Timbers haven’t travelled well against Galaxy, with last season’s win at StubHub their first in eight attempts. Worryingly for Porter, his side have conceded nine goals in their fours outings, something he will be desperately trying to improve on so Portland can work their way back up the table.

If Portland can take at least a point here it gives them a great foundation to build upon heading into their next two games, which are both at home.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

LA Galaxy could be without up to six players for this tie with some key faces missing through injury. Dan Kennedy, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are all expected to be out, while Giovani Dos Santos, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo are all doubts. There will be added pressure for those filling in, but Galaxy are fortunate to have impressive depth to the squad, so they should be able to manage without those key players.

Portland Timbers have just three injury concerns. Defensive duo Andy Thoma and Liam Ridgewell are out, along with midfielder Ben Zemanski.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: W/L/W/D

Portland Timbers’ form: W/L/D/L

Key Stat: Goals – These sides have shared an astonishing 24 goals in their last five meetings. If that is anything to go by we should be in for a cracker here. 

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The Galaxy forward will be expected to step up and provide for his side in the absence in some of their key players. He has netted twice already this season and has the ability to provide opposition defenders will problems.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-1 Portland Timbers – LA Galaxy are more than capable of winning this tie despite having some key faces missing from the squad. Arena will be expecting his side to take advantage of Portland’s recent struggles and continue a very strong run of home form against their opposition. True to recent meetings between these sides there will be plenty of action and goals are to be expected.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Colorado Rapids vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Colorado Rapids vs. LA Galaxy 

Venue: Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Saturday, March 12 – 19:00 ET (00:00 GMT) 

Match Odds: Colorado 19/10 – Draw 12/5 – Galaxy 11/8

Match Preview

Colorado Rapids welcome LA Galaxy to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park for their first home outing of the 2016 MLS regular season on Saturday night.

Colorado lost their opener 1-0 away at San Jose Earthquakes, leaving them with just one win in their last nine MLS outings.

The Rapids only won one of their first five games in 2015 and they cannot afford to have another poor run at the start of this season otherwise they will find themselves struggling early on.

Pablo Mastroeni will be hoping his side can pick up a result here to give the players and fans a real boost for their upcoming games – considering LA Galaxy’s impressive start to the 2016 season, this would be more than welcomed.

Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy got off to a flyer, winning 4-1 at home against DC United on Sunday. They now sit top of the Western Conference and have the best goal difference across both conferences heading into Week 2.

Bruce Arena’s side really impressed against DC United and came back with some force after finding themselves behind with just five minutes on the clock.

If Galaxy are to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield this campaign they are going to have to show the same determination they did last weekend throughout the season.

2015 wasn’t their best campaign and they looked limp on far too many occasions. Last weekend was a fantastic start to the season, something they must build upon here. Winning away from home proved difficult for LA in 2015 so it will be intriguing to see how they cope on Saturday evening.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Colorado Rapids are expected to be without Sean St. Ledger. Fans will also have to wait another five games before they see Jermaine Jones make his debut as he is suspended.

LA Galaxy have a few injury concerns heading into this one. Dan Kennedy and Giovani Dos Santos both had to be replaced in the opener against DC and are unlikely to feature here, while Alan Gordon, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo are all doubts.

Key Points

Colorado Rapids’ form: L

LA Galaxy’s form: W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in the last four meetings between the sides, winning three and drawing one and have scored 14 goals in those games.

Key Player: Nigel de Jong – The Galaxy holding midfielder made an impressive debut last weekend and he has the ability to keep the middle of the park calm. He can continue to make a good impression here and show why he can be the difference in keeping the Galaxy consistent this season.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Colorado Rapids 1-2 LA Galaxy – LA Galaxy should prove too much for Colorado in this one and will look to continue their unbeaten run against the Rapids. LA should be looking to take three points in games similar to this one all season and should be overpowering their opponents given the strength of Bruce Arena’s squad.