MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

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

Venue: StubHub Center – Friday, May 22nd – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/6 – Draw 11/4 – Houston Dynamo 4/1

Match Preview

LA Galaxy welcome Houston Dynamo to StubHub Center on Friday night in a game which is a must win for Bruce Arena’s side.

The Galaxy haven’t won in their last five games and have lost their last two on the bounce. Last weekend’s 4-0 defeat to Orlando City was an awful result and they need a positive reaction here.

Arena has an injury crisis with eight players who could miss out. They have a chance to turn their problems around with two home games on the bounce now. Galaxy need to turn their fortunes around as they cannot afford to go into the game against New England Revolution without picking up any points.

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LA are missing Robbie Keane, not just for his goals, but his leadership qualities. His absence is affecting the performances of Gyasi Zardes, who has just two goals this season.

Houston Dynamo have just started to hit form, winning their last two in a row. Owen Coyle will feel his side have a good chance of getting something from this game given Galaxy’s recent form, but the hosts haven’t been beaten in their last 24 games at StubHub.

This is the first of two away games in a row for the Dynamo, who have only lost once on the road this season. The game has added incentive for these two sides as they are separated by just two points in the Western Conference.

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Will Bruin has three goals in his last two games, including two in last weekends 3-1 win over Portland Timbers, and he will want to prove his form is not just a purple patch and he can send out message if he can help his side win this tie against the reigning champions.

Team News

LA Galaxy have eight injury concerns to Brian Perk, Robbie Keane, Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant, Jose Villarreal, Kenney Walker, Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez, leaving Arena scratching his head at fielding a side. Keane has been a big miss and has played just four games. The sooner he returns the better for Galaxy.

By stark contrast, Houston Dynamo have just one injury to deal with Nathan Sturgis set to miss out for Coyle’s side. Ricardo Clark and Kofi Sarkodie are just one yellow card away from a suspension so will need to be weary of their approach.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/D/D/W/W

Houston Dynamo last five: D/L/L/W/W

Key Stat: Galaxy haven’t beaten Dynamo in their last three attempts and every passing game without a win now for Arena’s side becomes a bigger problem.

Key Player: Giles Barnes – The forward has six goals in 11 appearances so far this season and his partnership with Bruin is what Dynamo have to thank for being in a playoff spot at this stage.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-1 Houston Dynamo – A cagey affair in this one is expected with a rusty Galaxy side desperate for a win as they cannot afford to lose. Dynamo need to take points from their upcoming two away games and a point would be respectable here.

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MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Colorado Rapids

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

Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, May 2nd – 22:00 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – Colorado 11/2

Match Preview

The late night game on Saturday night sees the LA Galaxy host the Colorado Rapids in a Western Conference clash that isn’t necessarily the formality the odds suggest.

LA are undefeated in their last 23 home matches in MLS. Their frightening form has seen StubHub Center become a fortress and Colorado will need to do a lot to break that streak.

With 10 points from a possible 12 at home this season, the Galaxy are rightly the favourites, and supporters will be expecting a win.

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And with the insurgence of youngster Bradford Jamieson IV playing upfront they still have a strikeforce that can hurt the Rapids, even without the injured Robbie Keane.

LA Galaxy’s 2015 MLS record: P8 – W3 – D3 – L2

Colorado had a poor start to 2015 after opening with three 0-0 draws. They have, however managed to break their winless run recently, having thumped FC Dallas 4-0 to earn their first win of the season last month and have only lost one of their last four now.

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Better away from home, the Rapids are not a team to bet against when on the road. Especially because they have only conceded once away all season, in the 1-1 draw with the New York Red Bulls on Wednesday night.

Colorado Rapids’ 2015 MLS record: P8 – W1 – D5 – L2

All of this just hides the fact that this is a side that will struggle to have success if they fail pick up points more often. Colorado are sitting bottom of the Western Conference and need to start climbing the table soon so this could be seen as a must win for the Rapids.

Team News

LA Galaxy: Brian Perk is out. Robbie Keane and Jose Villarreal are major doubts and Leonardo is a doubt but is expected to play. Bradford Jamieson IV could make another start in the absence of Keane, alongside Alan Gordon who is set to continue up front with Gyasi Zardes on the wing.

Colorado Rapids: Marcelo Sarvas is out so Sam Cronin could fill in. Marc Burch is out and Drew Moor is a doubt. Gabriel Torres is expected to lead the attack in place of Dominique Badji.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five in MLS: L/L/W/W/D

Colorado Rapids’ last five in MLS: L/W/L/D/D

Key Stat: LA Galaxy scored ten goals in three matches against the Rapids last season, including a 6-0 win at StubHub Center in their most recent meeting.

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – In the absence of Robbie Keane, Zardes may be needed to step up and deliver the goals and chances to help Galaxy win this one.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-0 Colorado Rapids – The Galaxy to win their third straight home game to keep that unbeaten run at StubHub Center going. The Rapids have been good on the road but could be fatigued by their game in New York on Wednesday night.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Vancouver Whitecaps vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Vancouver Whitecaps vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: BC Place – Saturday, April 4th – 22:00 ET (03:00 BST)

Match Odds: Vancouver Whitecaps 19/10 – Draw 9/4 – LA Galaxy 7/5

Match Preview

Vancouver Whitecaps take on LA Galaxy on Saturday evening as they look to continue their three-game winning streak against last season’s MLS Cup winners.

Vancouver, who lost their first game of the season, have found good form and beaten some tough opponents, including the likes of Orlando City and Chicago Fire away from home.

They come into this game of an important victory against Cascadia rivals, Portland Timbers, and will hope the home support can help them edge this one too.

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By contrast, the Galaxy haven’t won since their season opener, drawing twice and losing last time out at DC United and Bruce Arena needs to turn these results around and get back to winning ways quickly.

The Whitecaps haven’t beaten Galaxy in their last five attempts, losing four, but will hope they can catch their opponents out based on both sides’ form.

This will tie will see Octavio Rivero compared to Robbie Keane as the two forwards have started the season well, scoring five goals between them.

Rivero earned the MLS Player of the Month award for March after hitting the ground running and he will cause problems for the Galaxy backline on Saturday night.

Four of Galaxy’s forwards have already netted this season, showing the versatility in the squad to find important goals like Alan Gordon’s late equaliser against the Timbers.

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The Whitecaps will have to be aware of this and ensure they aren’t tiring late on in the game as Arena has depth in his squad to change a game from the bench.

Vancouver have only beaten their Western Conference rivals once in 12 matches in all competitions since entering the league, but the Galaxy haven’t won away from home in their last eight games, including the playoffs, so things look to be in the Whitecaps’ favour.

Team News

Vancouver Whitecaps are set to be without Andre Lewis (knee) and Mauro Rosales (ankle) for this tie. Defender, Diego Rodriguez will serve the second of his two-match ban for violent conduct and is also out. Carl Robinson will be urging his side to feed Rivero once again and will hope they can take advantage of a slightly unsteady Galaxy side at this early stage of the season.

La Galaxy have three injury concerns to Brian Perk (ankle), Kenney Walker (groin) and Leonardo (thigh) to deal with. The Galaxy are looking strong and will welcome the returns of Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane from international duty. Once they click into gear they look like they’ll be a force to be reckoned with and will hope to get back to winning ways in Vancouver.

Key Points

Vancouver Whitecaps’ form: L/W/W/W

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/L

Key Stat: The Vancouver Whitecaps have never won their fifth game of the season in MLS (P4 W0 D1 L3). They lost 2-1 to the Colorado Rapids in last year’s fifth game after starting the season unbeaten.

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Key Player: Octavio Rivero – The Whitecaps forward has been in impressive form and has the chance to continue to show what he is made of against one of the league’s top sides. He could really shine in a huge game for both sides.

Score Prediction

Vancouver Whitecaps 2-2 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy’s winless run could well continue here as they face some really tough opposition who are in great form and full of confidence. An away draw would be a good result and this should be an entertaining one.

MLS Preview and Prediction: DC United vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – DC United vs LA Galaxy 

Venue: RFK Stadium – Saturday, March 28 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 5)

Match Odds: DC United 9/5 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 7/5

Match Preview

DC United host an unbeaten LA Galaxy side at RFK Stadium tomorrow evening in one of the standout fixtures of the weekend.

United, who finished top of the Eastern Conference in 2014, have started slowly this campaign and need to start reproducing the form we saw from them last season if they are to be a force again.

Galaxy have won once and drawn twice in their opening three and they will hope to continue that unbeaten run with a positive away result in DC.

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Bruce Arena needs to put an end to the Galaxy’s winless seven-game away streak, but this will be a tough ask at RFK Stadium.

DC have a tough run of fixtures coming up so need to make their home advantage count against the reigning MLS Cup champions. They will take consideration to Galaxy’s winless run on the road but they haven’t beaten their opponents since 2008.

Head coach Ben Olsen will be delighted that his side are not weakened by any international call-ups this week and the fact that LA are without Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes will be a worry for their supporters.

Team News

DC have four main injury concerns, Markus Halsti and Michael Seaton (knee), Luis Silva (hamstring) and Eddie Johnson (heart condition) will all be absent for the tie. Fabian Espindola is still suspended and without him, they have only netted once so far. Chris Pontius is likely to start alongside Jairo Arrieta once again in attack.

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LA have two injuries to deal with, Kenney Walker (groin) and Brian Perk (leg). But international games have decimated the Galaxy squad as Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Oscar Sorto, Bradford Jamieson IV and Jaime Penedo will all miss out. We can expect both Stefan Ishizaki and Jose Villarreal to continue to impress while Edson Buddle will need to score the goals in the absence of Keane and Zardes.

Key Points

DC United’s form: W/L

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D

Key Stat: Unbeaten – As mentioned, Galaxy haven’t lost to DC since 2008 – a streak of ten games, and they will be hoping to continue that run this weekend.

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Key Player: Jose Villarreal – The young winger has made a great start to the season and has reportedly turned down a US U23 call-up to play this game. He has assisted goals in the past two games, and picked up a goal in the first. Expect him to be involved if the Galaxy are to find their first away win in seven.

Score Prediction

DC United 1-2 LA Galaxy – Bruce Arena’s men have started the season well and the squad is looking good. They can take advantage of DC’s slow start but will be worked hard for a win, especially with so many players out on international duty.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, March 21 – 22:30 ET (02:30 GMT – Sunday, March 22)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/9 – Draw 16/5 – Houston Dynamo 13/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center late on Saturday night in what could be an entertaining MLS game.

LA approach this game after earning a last gasp equaliser in Portland last weekend to deny the Timbers of two points and they will be hoping to get back to winning ways in front of their own fans.

The Galaxy have all the assets to challenge for the MLS Cup again this season and have had to deal with the huge loss of Landon Donovan.

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However, with starting berths being given to Jose Villarreal and goalkeeper Brian Rowe, the Galaxy have managed to go two games unbeaten.

Bruce Arena will be hoping for a less dramatic result this time out, as they are clear favourites to win this one.

Houston have started slower than most in MLS this season yet remain mid-table and have struggled to get out of first gear under new boss Owen Coyle.

The 1-0 loss to Orlando at home last weekend was yet another disappointment for the Dynamo as an own goal from Tyler Deric settled the game.

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Houston seemed to lack a bit of creativity and the 4-4-2 system Owen Coyle is deploying makes the Dynamo a little flat, especially when you consider he played Oscar Boniek Garcia and Giles Barnes up front against Orlando, who are both not recognised strikers.

Like all changes in manager, success will take time. However, if the Dynamo perform well at the StubHub Center, they have the players to produce a result.

Team News

LA Galaxy have no injury concerns ahead of this weekend. We’re expecting the same team that took to the field in Portland. Baggio Husidic will continue in midfield with Juninho and Brian Rowe should start his third successive game in MLS.

Houston Dynamo’s Raul Rodriguez is a doubt after missing the Orlando game with a hamstring injury. Will Bruin is likely to come in, with Oscar Boniek Garcia moving back out to the right wing.

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Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D

Houston Dynamo’s form: W/L

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are undefeated in their last 20 home matches in MLS.

Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The USMNT star is set to partner captain Robbie Keane once again. Zardes is a star player for this Galaxy side now and he is always a threat to goal.

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Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-0 Houston Dynamo – This should be a routine win for the Galaxy against a Houston side still adapting to life under Owen Coyle.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Portland Timbers vs LA Galaxy

Venue: Providence Park – Sunday, March 15 – 19:00 ET (23:00 GMT – Live on Sky Sports 1)

Match Odds: Portland Timbers 13/8 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 6/4

Match Preview

Portland Timbers host MLS Cup holders LA Galaxy at Providence Park this Sunday night in the final game of the second gameweek of the new season.

The Timbers began their MLS 2015 season with a 0-0 draw against Real Salt Lake last weekend, getting their first point on the board with their fourth straight MLS clean sheet a major plus for the team.

LA Galaxy picked up where they left off last campaign, winning 2-0 at home to Chicago Fire to open the 2015 season on Friday night and will be looking to make it two from two as they travel to Portland.

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The Timbers are unbeaten in their last five home games and will hope they can make home advantage count to avoid this run coming to an end against the reigning champions.

Galaxy haven’t won on the road in their last six attempts and this is a trend Bruce Arena will hope they can halt this weekend, but they haven’t beaten the Timbers away from home in their last three meetings, and face a real tough task against their Western Conference rivals.

Portland head coach Caleb Porter will be hoping his side can up their game and ensure nothing is made easy for the Galaxy this weekend as they will want to show that they’re capable of upsetting any challengers who make the trip to Providence Park.

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The Western Conference already has four teams on three points and the Timbers cannot afford to fall behind the early pace-setters if they are to push for a playoff spot this season.

LA Galaxy will want to ensure they maintain their winning start and they will also want to win more away games this season to send out a message to those looking to challenge them for their MLS Cup title.

Team News

Portland Timbers have three major injury concerns out for a large proportion of the season as Will Johnson (broken leg), Diego Valeri and Ben Zemanski (both torn ACL) are all set to miss the opening months of the new season. They could also be without Diego Chara (bruised calf).

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LA Galaxy look set to be blessed with a fully fit squad and as we know squad depth is majorly important for success. Jose Villarreal, who opened Galaxy’s account for 2015, will be under the spotlight after his impressive first performance of the season and will hope to retain his starting place on the left side of midfield. Jaime Penedo did not play in last week’s opener but he could step back in between the sticks as Brian Rowe had a couple of shaky moments in that 2-0 win.

Key Points

Portland Timber’s form: D

LA Galaxy’s form: W

Key Stat: Goalfest – These two sides have scored ten between them in their last three meetings and we could be in for a treat if we are to see a similar game to previous ties.

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Key Player: Gyasi Zardes – The pacy forward has added pressure to provide this season following the retirement of Landon Donovan and he will be looking to get off the mark on Sunday night.

Score Prediction

Portland Timbers 1-2 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy’s squad depth and lack of injuries compared to their opponents will surely be a factor this weekend and their firepower up top should see them make it two wins from two.