In pictures: NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy – Cole sent off as Villa scores decisive goal in 100th appearance

NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy – All eyes were on Yankee Stadium on Sunday evening as New York City FC welcomed LA Galaxy for their home opener. Both sides came into the contest following Week 1 victories but it was NYCFC who made it two wins from two, beating LA 2-1 in David Villa’s 100th match for the club.

New York City started brightly and were rewarded when winter signing Anton Tinnerhom rifled a shot in off the crossbar following good work from Jesus Medina and Villa. The Spaniard’s cross was blocked by Michael Ciani but only into the path of Tinnerholm, who volleyed in off the bar after 22 minutes.

NYCFC then doubled their lead in the 33rd minute, as Villa celebrated his 100th NYCFC appearance with a goal. The hosts raced away on a counter-attack led by Jesus Medina. He played in Ben Sweat, who saw his effort saved by David Bingham straight into the path of Villa who simply tapped home.

LA Galaxy improved after halftime and got a goal back on the hour-mark through Jonathan Dos Santos. But they couldn’t get the equaliser despite pressing for most of the second-half.

Their chances took a major blow in the late stages as captain Ashley Cole was sent off for a second yellow card offence for seemingly tripping David Villa. The game ended NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy as New York City FC keep their perfect start to the season on track.

Check out exclusive photos from Sunday’s game below, courtesy of MLSGB photographer Ashley Marshall.

NYCFC 2-1 LA Galaxy: In Pictures

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LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers | 2018 MLS Match Preview and Prediction

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers

StubHub Center – Sunday, March 4th 2018 – 22:00 ET (03:00 GMT)

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers: Preview

Major League Soccer is back and what a way for LA Galaxy and Portland Timbers to start their campaigns. Sunday’s clash pits top versus bottom from last years Western Conference final standings. LA will want to turn their fortunes around after a terrible season and Sigi Schmid has been busy reshaping the squad after his appointment last July so they will expect to be challenging for silverware again as soon as possible.

LA Galaxy have recycled their attacking options for want of a better phrase. The headline trade saw Ola Kamara make his way south to LA and homegrown talent Gyasi Zardes going the opposite way to Columbus. Chris Pontius has also joined, coming in from Philadelphia Union to support Kamara.

A playoff spot is the bare minimum expected this year for LA, as they look to return to winning ways. As the most successful franchise in league history, it is only a matter of time before they are back chasing the big prize, but questions remain over the depth of their squad in the build up to kickoff.

Portland have added young quality to a side that was in need of reinjection after a disappointing playoff campaign. Andy Polo is a versatile winger who will add pace to the Portland attack and Christhian Parades is a Paraguayan striker who will look to add support to the prolific Fanendo Adi.

The biggest talking point of the offseason for both Portland and MLS as a whole was the Darlington Nagbe move to Atlanta United. USMNT international, Nagbe was the marquee man and fan favorite in Portland and losing him is bound to have a effect on the Timbers.

Portland will want to maintain last years position but ultimately they will be hoping to replicate their MLS Cup winning campaign from 2015. There may be some teething problems however, with new manager Giovanni Savarese taking over from Caleb Porter following his surprise departure.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers: Team News

LA Galaxy

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: None

(Take a look at all LA Galaxy’s key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

Portland Timbers

❌ Suspensions: None

❓ Doubts: None

🚑 Out: None

(Take a look at all Portland Timbers’ key transfer business this winter by clicking the image above)

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers: Key Stats

LA Galaxy’s MLS form: N/A

Portland Timber’s MLS form: N/A

Key stat: LA Galaxy have won only two of their last 19 MLS regular season matches. One of those did come in their final home game of 2017 however.

LA Galaxy vs Portland Timbers: Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-2 Portland Timbers: LA Galaxy have had a complete restructure following the dismal campaign of last season and Portland should bring confidence going into the new season following last year’s success. It would be unjust to suggest a goalless affair seeing as both teams have made attacking additions who will be out to impress. Portland just edge it for us in wha should be an entertaining clash.

2018 Key Transfers: LA Galaxy

With the 2018 MLS season drawing ever closer, we will be running through the main ins and outs for all 23 teams over the course of the winter transfer window. There have been a number of key signings and significant trades which should ensure the new season is as exciting as ever before. Today we take a look at LA Galaxy  and their key signings ahead of their MLS campaign in 2018…

LA Galaxy endured a season to forget in 2017. They finished bottom of the Western Conference and had very little to shout about. They won the least amount of games across MLS and they need to improve both offensively and defensively so they can push themselves back to familiar territory in the coming season. The Galaxy faithful have seen plenty of business during the window with some key faces coming in and departing.

Key Signings

Perry Kitchen: Solidity in defensive positions has been a must for Galaxy in the offseason and this is a signal of their intent. Perry Kitchen spent five good seasons with DC and had been a key member of the squad, starting 155 of his 158 games. He has returned to MLS following a spell in Europe. His experience and versatility is what Galaxy need and they will be hoping he can make an impact for them from the off.

David Bingham: Bingham is expected to be the new number one. LA Galaxy have decided to opt for the former Quakes ‘keeper as their new last line of defence. With three goalkeepers departing, including Brian Rowe, Bingham will be making his 100th MLS appearance in gameweek four providing he is the first choice. With that in mind he has plenty of experience and at 28 he has plenty of years ahead of him, so this looks a good signing.

Chris Pontius: Signed as a free agent after being released from Philadelphia, Chris Pontius looks to be a very good pickup for the Galaxy. An MLS veteran, Pontius is heading into his tenth campaign, having scored 45 goals in 215 games. He can be deployed in an attacking midfield role or as a forward, so he gives LA Galaxy options.

Ola Kamara: Galaxy needed to improve from front to back and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Off the back of two very impressive seasons, Ola Kamara has been picked up after scoring 34 goals in 59 games for Columbus Crew. There is going to be a lot of expectation on his shoulders with stats like that. Galaxy are also being linked with the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Javier Hernandez, so it wouldn’t be a surprise to see more attacking signings come in to support Kamara before the start of the season.

Notable Departures

Robbie Rogers: The 30-year-old defender has called time on his playing days, Robbie Rogers made 184 appearances over a 10 year MLS career. His ability to be utilised on both the right and left of the field means he is going to be an option the Galaxy will miss.

Jermaine Jones: LA Galaxy have decided to allow the experienced 36-year-old midfielder to move on. 2017 was the most appearances he’s made in one season since his move over to MLS from European football. Now may be a good time for both the player and club to seek new adventures with Galaxy needing to freshen up a side that underdelivered in 2017.

Gyasi Zardes: The last two seasons haven’t been too enjoyable for Gyasi Zardes, through injury in 2016 and Galaxy’s worst ever campaign last time out. Making 131 appearances and scoring 34 goals over five years at the club, he’s one the Galaxy fans will miss. A fresh start for him at Columbus is now in store, which he will be looking forward to.

Brian Rowe: The Galaxy have parted ways with Brian Rowe after six years. He made 45 appearances over the course of the last two seasons, although he isn’t being tipped as a number one choice for his new club Vancouver.

Jose Villarreal: LA Galaxy have decided to allow their second-ever homegrown signing to move on. At just 24, Jose Villarreal has 68 MLS appearances to his name, all with LA. There is more expected from him with plenty of time to continue to improve. A squad player who has the ability to make an impact and someone that will certainly need replacing if Galaxy want to keep good depth to their numbers.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy

Major League Soccer: Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy

Mercedes-Benz Stadium – Wednesday, September 20 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST)

Match Odds: Atlanta 4/9 – Draw 15/4 – LA Galaxy 5/1

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Preview

Atlanta United take on LA Galaxy for the first time ever on Wednesday night, in a game that could essentially end the Galaxy’s 2017 season.

The Five Stripes are in good form and have enjoyed a stellar debut season in Major League Soccer. They can move a step closer to confirming their playoff spot with a win here, while probably ending the Galaxy’s hopes in the process.

Atlanta have gone unbeaten through four games, scoring 15 goals in the process. Their move to the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium has proved seamless too. They’ve not lost at their new home and Wednesday’s match will be the fourth of six consecutive home games.

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Victory on Wednesday would see Atlanta move ahead of Columbus Crew and into fourth place in the East. That would leave them on course to secure homefield advantage in the playoffs – something Tata Martino will be hoping to confirm.

The LA Galaxy team held a behind-closed-doors meeting after Saturday’s heavy defeat. That only happens when a team is in crisis. And make no mistake about it, the Galaxy are in a crisis. Jobs are on the line and players will be axed at the end of the campaign if they don’t improve.

Sigi Schmid’s job was to turn their fortunes around and get them into a playoff position come the end of the regular season. But he has not been able to do that, even with the expensive DP addition of Jonathan Dos Santos.

LA have gone 1-5-2 since Schmid took over the reigns. They are nine points outside the playoff spots in the West and don’t look like a team on the up.

Defeat to Atlanta on Wednesday night would essentially end the Galaxy’s season. It would leave them with a nine-point gap to make up over their final five games. But they still have to travel to Sporting KC, Houston and FC Dallas on the final day.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Atlanta United will welcome back centre-back Leandro Gonzalez Pirez after he served his one-game suspension. Zach Loyd is out for the season. Greg Garza is listed as questionable after missing Saturday’s match with a hamstring problem.

LA Galaxy will once again be able to call on Jermaine Jones after he served his suspension. He will expect to come into a side that could be drastically changed after Saturday’s crushing loss to Toronto. Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Pele Van Aanholt are all out for the season. Bradley Diallo left Sunday’s game in the first half with a hamstring injury and won’t feature here. Daniel Steres is also expected to miss out.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Key Points

Atlanta United’s last five: L/D/W/W/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/W/D/L

Key Stat: Atlanta have scored 13 goals in three games since moving to Mercedes-Benz Stadium. That’s the same amount as LA Galaxy have scored in their last 12 MLS outings in total.

Key Player: Josef Martinez – The Venezuelan striker is hot right now. He has scored back-to-back hat-tricks for Atlanta and has seven in his last three games. His treble against Orlando on Saturday took his season total to 16 in 14 matches. He’s only three goals off David Villa in the race for the Golden Boot and will hope to close that gap further with another strong display here.

Atlanta United vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Atlanta United 3-1 LA Galaxy – The Galaxy need to respond from Saturday’s humiliating 4-0 home loss. However, they couldn’t have really picked a worse place to have to go than Atlanta. The Five Stripes have been scoring for fun and should pick apart a Galaxy defence that can’t stop conceding. You would assume LA will show some spirit as they aim to impress Sigi Schmid enough to keep their jobs into next season. But this one looks like it should end in a home win, with Atlanta set to move up to fourth in the East.

MLS Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

Major League Soccer: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

CenturyLink Field – Sunday, September 10 – 21:00 ET (02:00 BST)

Match Odds: Seattle 4/9 – Draw 100/30 – LA Galaxy 5/1

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy: Preview

The Seattle Sounders welcome LA Galaxy to CenturyLink Field on Sunday night as Sigi Schmid returns to his former club with a struggling LA side.

The Sounders come into the weekend at the top of the West. However, they could be down in third by the time they kick off on Sunday, depending on other results.

Seattle drew 1-1 in back-to-back Cascadia Cup clashes against rivals Vancouver and Portland. They are unbeaten in ten home games in MLS, having last lost in front of their own fans back in May.

LA Galaxy are 11 points outside the playoffs heading into the weekend. That margin could be even greater by the time this game kicks off. Another defeat would surely end their hopes of making the postseason.

The Galaxy picked up their first MLS win in two months last time out. That 3-0 win against Colorado snapped a nine-game winless run. If they can make it two wins on the spin, they will believe they can make a dramatic late charge for the playoffs.

But LA have lost five consecutive away games in all competitions. Sigi Schmid might be returning to his old stomping ground, but he’s unlikely to find any joy with his new team.

This will be the last of three meetings between the two this season. Seattle won 3-0 at StubHub Center back in April, before they played out a 0-0 draw in Schmid’s first game in charge of the Galaxy in July.

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy: Team News

Seattle Sounders head coach Brian Schmetzer will be without Nouhou Tolo after his red card last time out. Brad Evans is injured, while Harry Shipp is listed as ‘questionable’.

LA Galaxy are still without four players through injury. Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Pele van Anholt and Baggio Husidic are all out for the season. Romain Alessandrini and Jermaine Jones are one booking away from suspension.

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy: Key Points

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

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/L/L/L/W

Key Stat: Seattle Sounders are unbeaten at home in ten MLS games.

Key Player: Clint Dempsey – The Sounders star has seven goals in his last eight MLS outings. He will be looking to keep his form going as Seattle look to stay atop the West.

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy: Prediction

Seattle Sounders 3-1 LA Galaxy – Goals are to be expected on Sunday night. The Galaxy have to go for it, given their position in the West. Anything other than a win for the visitors would likely spell the end of their playoff hopes. Seattle are a force at home though and will be wanting to stay at the top of the West for the rest of the season. The hosts should prove too strong.

Is it time for Zlatan Ibrahimovic to move to MLS?

Zlatan Ibrahimovic may be 35 years old and recovering from a serious knee injury but that doesn’t stop the Swede from being linked with some of the biggest clubs on the planet. Such is the pedigree of the striker who left Manchester United at the end of last season. The man who calls himself Zlatan has long been linked with a move to MLS and with the list of likely European destinations apparently growing shorter, is it now the right time for Zlatan to move to the States? LA Galaxy have been interested in the past but after the signing of Jonathan dos Santos, their new city neighbours LAFC could be the right destination for Ibrahimovic.

Career

There haven’t been many more successful players in Europe in the last few decades. He’s won trophies with six clubs, league titles with five and despite his age, Zlatan Ibrahimovic isn’t done yet. After spells in Sweden and the Netherlands, Ibrahimovic moved to Serie A in 2004 where his career really took off. He spent two years at Juventus before the Swede moved to Inter Milan where he won three consecutive league titles. After a less-than successful year at Barcelona, he returned to Italy with city rivals AC, helping the Milan side win the double in 2011.

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The forward then spent four incredibly successful seasons with PSG before moving to Manchester United for a single year just last summer. His move to Manchester United was something of a surprise. Ibrahimovic has long been linked with a move to the MLS, according to Bleacher Report and those links have returned now his time in England is seemingly over. His spell at Manchester United was cut short following a nasty knee injury picked up in April.

Links to MLS and injuries

LA Galaxy have long been admirers of Sweden’s all-time leading goalscorer, with reports earlier this year suggesting he had signed a pre-contract agreement with the club. It was believed at the time that Galaxy had ‘blown United out of the water’ with the deal offered to the Swede but that was back in March. The situation has changed immensely since then and the player’s injury a month later probably had a lot to do with that. The Galaxy looked elsewhere and completed the signing of Villarreal midfielder and brother of Giovani, Jonathan dos Santos in late July. That takes them to three Designated Players and effectively rules them out of a big-money move for Ibrahimovic unless they sell one of their current stars.

Galaxy were undoubtedly put off by Ibrahimovic’s injury but is it as bad as feared? Players far younger than Ibrahimovic had their careers ruined by similar injuries but the Swede’s agent gave these incredible quotes about the problem a few months ago.

“His knee is so strong that the doctors said they had never seen anything like it,” Mino Raiola said back in May.

“He has a knee that it is almost impossible for a football player with a 20-year career to have. It was quite clean, there was no harm in it.

“Zlatan is so strong that the doctor wants him back after his career to research on him.”

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It remains to be seen whether that’s true or an agent just trying to squeeze one last big money move from his client. Still, Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an incredible athlete. At 35 years old and after four seasons in France, the Swede came into the Premier League and controlled Manchester United at times last season. He scored a bucket load of goals and looked just as fit and strong as he did a decade ago. He would be a coup for almost any club on the planet but how many could actually sign him?

The Next Move

As of August 1, Manchester United are 31/50 favourites to re-sign the Swede, with any MLS club at 5/4 according to Betway. Italian sides AC Milan and Juventus are out at 6/1 and 8/1 respectively before a big jump out to 20/1 for Russian side Zenit St. Petersburg. Manchester United have, of course, signed Romelu Lukaku which makes a move for Ibrahimovic appear unlikely so the States now looks like the best bet.

Few sides could afford the Swede whose signing would carry many pros and cons. He’s a worldwide name and is the player MLS fans would like to see join the league most, according to a recent poll. Despite that, he won’t be able to play for a while and would require a huge contract which limits the number of realistic options. The best one out there is Los Angeles FC. The LA side will join MLS next season and they are in need of a star player after the appointment of head coach Bob Bradley. Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be perfect and could spend the next few months helping the club grow while recuperating from his injury ahead of the side’s MLS debut next season.

It’s unclear how likely a move is but Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be an ideal signing for LAFC. He’s one of the most successful players of the last twenty years and carries with him a global recognition. He may be recuperating from a nasty knee injury but LAFC won’t be playing until next March so he won’t be missing much for now. Ibrahimovic is just the sort of name that LAFC – and MLS – needs and would be a fantastic coup for both the club and the league.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Major League Soccer: LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps

StubHub Center – Wednesday, July 19 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 5/6 – Draw 5/2 – Vancouver 3/1

LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Preview

LA Galaxy take on Vancouver Whitecaps at StubHub Center on Wednesday night. Major League Soccer returns after a short break for the Gold Cup, although several players remain absent as they take part in the knockout rounds of the international competition.

The Galaxy were thrashed 5-2 by Manchester United in a friendly on Saturday night. They were ripped apart after making plenty of errors before scoring two late consolation goals. However, they will hope to have learnt something from that game ahead of the visit of the Whitecaps.

Head coach Curt Onalfo knows his side must pick up their form over the second half of the season if they are to make the playoffs. They come into Wednesday’s game two points behind Vancouver, who sit in sixth heading into Week 20.

That makes this a real six pointer. It’s still only July, but head-to-head clashes like this can really change the shape of the standings. LA know that need to capitalise on the home advantage to move back into the top six.

The Whitecaps might sit sixth in the West but they do boast the fourth-best points-per-game ratio. They have 24 points from 17 games and are on track for a top six finish.

Vancouver have only lost one of their last five games. That came in a 4-0 drubbing at Chicago at the start of the month, but they did bounce back by beating NYCFC 3-2 before the Gold Cup break.

Related: Exclusive photos from Vancouver’s 3-2 win over NYCFC

The worry for Vancouver on Wednesday is that they have struggled away from home this term. They have picked up seven points from a possible 24 on the road, and haven’t won any of their last three away games in MLS.

This will be the 18th MLS clash between the two sides and the second of two this season. LA hold the advantage based on past meetings, having won nine of the previous 17. Vancouver have only won once at LA. That came in a 1-0 win at StubHub in June 2015.Embed from Getty Images

LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Team News

LA Galaxy welcomed back Daniel Steres and Jermaine Jones in their 5-2 friendly defeat to Manchester United on Saturday night, so both will be in contention to start here. Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget and Baggio Husidic are all still out. Curt Onalfo used 21 players in Saturday’s friendly, so he will hope fatigue is not an issue here. Gyasi Zardes is still away with the USMNT at the ongoing Gold Cup.

Vancouver Whitecaps are set to remain without Brett Levis and David Edgar, while Kendall Waston has been called up to the Costa Rican squad at the Gold Cup. Russell Teibert, Marcel De Jong and Alphonso Davies are with the Canada squad. Matias Laba will be available again after serving a suspension.

LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/L/L/L
Vancouver Whitecaps’ last five: W/D/D/L/W
Key Stat: LA Galaxy haven’t won at home in MLS for more than three months. Their last win at StubHub came on April 8 against Montreal Impact. They’ve drawn three and lost three since.
Key Player: Giovani Dos Santos – The Mexican attacker has only played 12 time this season but remains crucial to the Galaxy. He has been away with Mexico at the Confederations Cup over the past month but is now ready to see his first MLS minutes for six weeks. He scored twice late on against Man Utd on Saturday and will look to prove the difference against Vancouver here.

LA Galaxy vs Vancouver Whitecaps: Prediction

LA Galaxy 1-1 Vancouver Whitecaps – Both sides might be a little rusty on Wednesday night, having not played an MLS game for two weeks. But that won’t change the fact that both sides will be out to win. There are still some key absences for both to contend with, however, and ultimately we see this one ending all square.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake

Venue: StubHub Center – Tuesday, July 4 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/5 – Draw 11/4 – RSL 3/1

Preview

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake. It’s been a fixture between two of the league’s top sides battling for Western Conference superiority over the years. But not anymore.

Both sides come into Week 19 in poor form. They both need to really improve over the second half of the season to have any chance of securing a top six finish, let alone a playoff run.

The Galaxy suffered a crushing late defeat to San Jose on Saturday night. Two late goals stunned LA at Stanford Stadium, with Jelle Van Damme’s red card in the dying seconds doing little to help their chances in this one.

Curt Onalfo has a big job on his hands to get LA back to where they belong. Yes, they’ve had a lot of injuries to deal with. Yes, this was always going to be a transitional season. But LA Galaxy have high expectations and they’re not being met.

They are clinging onto a playoff spot at the midway point. But they are four points closer to the bottom of the West than the top.

One win in five MLS outings sums up the Galaxy’s problems. They were unbeaten in eight league games before a 2-1 home defeat to SKC two weeks ago. This will be their first game at StubHub since, and they have to take three points.

Real Salt Lake’s season has been even more worrying than the Galaxy’s. A change of manager hasn’t helped. Mike Petke has come in and struggled to improve results.

Their 1-0 home loss to Orlando on Friday was their fifth defeat in six in all competitions. They are bottom of the West and look to be in real trouble.

RSL are five points behind LA Galaxy in sixth coming into Tuesday night, but have played two games more than their opponents. So they don’t even have the luxury of games in hand.

Seattle proved last year that making the right roster moves in the summer can prove to be a masterstroke. But Real Salt Lake are unlikely to pull of a similar miracle. A first away win at LA in three years would be a major boost. But it looks a long shot.

Team News

LA Galaxy will be without Jelle Van Damme after the powerful defender picked up a 95th minute red card in Saturday’s California Clasico defeat. Gyasi Zardes is away with the USMNT in preparation for the Gold Cup. The Galaxy will soon be able to welcome Giovani Dos Santos back to the side, following his involvement with the Mexican national team. But he is unlikely to feature here. Robbie Rogers remains out for the season, while Sebastian Lletget and Baggio Husidic are also sidelined. Brian Rowe, Daniel Steres, Jermaine Jones and Bradley Diallo are all listed as ‘questionable’.

Real Salt Lake midfielder Sunny is suspended as a result of picking up five yellow cards. Nick Rimando is away on international duty with the USMNT. Chad Barrett, Jordan Allen and Omar Holness are all injured, while Demar Phillips and Tony Beltran are doubts.

LA Galaxy vs Real Salt Lake: Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: D/D/W/L/L

Real Salt Lake’s form: L/L/W/L/L

Key Stat: Real Salt Lake have lost their last seven away games in a row in all competitions, conceding 25 goals in that run.

Key Player: Romain Alessandrini – The Frenchman has been the Galaxy’s best player this season. Eight goals and seven assists in 16 games shows how important he is. LA need him if they are to outgun RSL on Tuesday.

Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 Real Salt Lake – Neither side can come into the game with any real confidence but the Galaxy are in a better position than RSL, even with a couple of key absentees for the game. Real Salt Lake are in poor form. They can’t stop losing away. And that’s unlikely to change here. Home win.

MLS Preview and Prediction: San Jose Earthquakes vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – San Jose Earthquakes vs. LA Galaxy
Venue: Stanford Stadium – Saturday, July 1 – 22:30 ET (03:30 BST)
Match Odds: SJ Earthquakes 5/6 – Draw 12/5 – LA Galaxy 3/1

Match Preview

San Jose Earthquakes do battle with local rivals LA Galaxy at Stanford Stadium for the second Californian Clasico of the season on Saturday night, with the two rivals separated by just a point coming into Week 18.

San Jose are one point ahead of LA, having played one game more, and know they need to get revenge for their 4-2 home defeat to their West-coast rivals just over a month ago.

The Earthquakes are now preparing for their first MLS game since sacking Dominic Kinnear earlier this week in a move that took many people by surprise, particularly off the back of last Saturday’s 2-1 win over RSL.

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The Quakes advanced past Seattle 2-1 on Wednesday night in the US Open Cup in Chris Leitch’s first outing as head coach. But he knows that Saturday’s Clasico will offer a much tougher test. The home fans will expect a win, but they’ve only managed one in their last seven clashes against the Galaxy.

The visitors arrive having eased past Sacramento Republic in Wednesday’s Open Cup clash, but they will still feel disappointed at losing their first MLS outing in nine last weekend, as Sporting KC emerged victorious from StubHub Center last Saturday.

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Curt Onalfo has got his side looking more solid than they did through the first six weeks of the season but they still have a big job at hand if they are to seal a place in the playoffs, let alone challenge for a sixth MLS Cup title.

The boost for LA is that they’ve already beaten San Jose this season in that 4-2 win a few weeks back. That was one of the Galaxy’s four away wins from their last five road games, with the only other result in that stretch a 0-0 draw at DC United, so they should arrive at Stanford Stadium in high spirits.

Team News

San Jose will be without Nick Lima after he was sent off in last weekend’s clash with Real Salt Lake. The Quakes also have six players sidelined through injury, with Quincy Amarikwa, Marvell Wynne, Marc Pelosi, Harold Cummings, Florian Jungwirth and Fatai Alashe all out.

LA Galaxy are definitely without four players as Robbie Rogers, Sebastian Lletget, Baggio Husidic and Brian Rowe are injured, while doubts are hanging over Daniel Steres, Jermaine Jones, Raul Mendiola and Bradley Diallo. Gyasi Zardes won’t be available as he is part of the USA’s Gold Cup squad that play Ghana on Saturday. Giovani Dos Santos will also miss out as a result of his participation at the Confederations Cup with Mexico.

Key Points

SJ Earthquakes’ form: W/L/L/D/W

LA Galaxy’s form: W/D/D/W/L

Key Stat: San Jose Earthquakes have only lost one of their last 11 home games in MLS, but that was to LA Galaxy back in May.

Key Player: Chris Wondolowski – The San Jose veteran knows what it takes to win a Californian Clasico, given the fact this will be his 17th derby clash against LA. He has scored five in his last seven games against the Galaxy and will look to hurt them again here.

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Score Prediction

SJ Earthquakes 1-1 LA Galaxy – It’s tough to separate the rivals coming into this weekend’s clash. Both had midweek cup successes and that might take its toll on a few members of each squad but a game of this magnitude requires full concentration from start to finish. Both will expect to score but ultimately, we see this one ending all square.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.