MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo

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

Venue: StubHub Center – Friday, July 15 – 23:00 ET (04:00 BST) 

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 4/7 – Draw 3/1 – Houston 5/1

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host Houston Dynamo in this week’s Friday night MLS clash between two sides at opposite ends of the Western Conference.

The Galaxy enter Friday’s match looking for a third-straight win for the first time this season. They saw off the Seattle Sounders 1-0 on Saturday to win just their second away game of the season.

That result will have boosted confidence in Bruce Arena’s squad and the players will now have their eyes fixed on the top of the Western Conference table with 16 games to go.

Embed from Getty Images

LA are sitting eight points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders, FC Dallas, but are renowned for their late-season surges and will believe they can still catch the long-time leaders.

Houston are facing a somewhat different battle, as they are trying to stay off the bottom of the conference table after another below-par campaign has left them set for another without playoff football.

There is, of course, a long way to go and so the Dynamo are not down and out just yet. However, they have picked up just four wins all season and don’t look poised to improve dramatically enough to close the gap to the top six.

They are ten points off the playoff spots in the West and have the third-worst points-per-game ratio in Major League Soccer. Seattle’s win on Wednesday moved Houston back to the bottom of the West and they look in real trouble.

Embed from Getty Images

They drew 0-0 away at Orlando on Saturday, earning their first road clean sheet of the season. Although repeating that feat at StubHub seems highly unlikely.

LA beat Houston 4-1 in the reverse fixture at BBVA Compass Stadium back in April, despite going a goal down early on and will fancy their chances of completing a first league double over the Dynamo since the 2010 season.

Team News

LA Galaxy will be without widemen Robbie Rogers and Ashley Cole, who are both injured, while Ariel Lassiter is a doubt. Nigel De Jong will serve an extra game’s suspension for his red card picked up against Vancouver two weeks ago. Galaxy defender Daniel Steres is one booking away from suspension and needs to watch his step.

Houston’s only injury worry is DaMarcus Beasley, who is set to be out for the rest of the month following minor knee surgery. Alex is one booking away from suspension.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/D/D/W/W

Houston Dynamo’s last five: D/D/L/W/D

Key Stat: Houston have not won any of their last 18 away games in MLS. Their last away win came on July 10, 2015 at San Jose.

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Galaxy frontman has returned from Euro 2016 in great form, by scoring in back-to-back games. He now has six in eight appearances for the season and will expect to add to his tally in front of the home crowd on Friday evening.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 3-0 Houston Dynamo – The Dynamo look set for another convincing defeat at the hands of the Galaxy here. LA are a real force at home and have not lost in front of their own fans all season. The Dynamo, meanwhile, have only won one of their last seven and haven’t won away from home in over a year now. The Galaxy to find their scoring boots and put Houston to the sword.


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 Fantasy Focus: Make the most of the DGW ahead of Round 10

By Jamie Dawe and Sam Martin

The headlines from Round 9 have all been about Kei Kamara and Federico Higuain’s mid-game row. Their exchange of words over a penalty that would have secured Kamara his hat trick – but was eventually taken by Higuain – is a story that has travelled around the world. It marred an incredible eight-goal game, but in this week’s Fantasy Focus, we promise to focus on the football being played, not the spats off the ball!

Round 9 Review 

The Good:

Embed from Getty Images

The MAPFRE Stadium, home to Columbus Crew, undoubtedly provided us with the game of the weekend, where an incredible eight goals were scored in the 4-4 draw between the Crew and Montreal Impact. It had been a disappointing start to the season for Columbus, but two goals from both Kei Kamara ($11.1) and Federico Higuaín ($10.5) put Columbus 4-1 up with just over 30 minutes to play. Remarkably, the Impact came back from the dead to salvage a point thanks to Ignacio Piatti ($10.6), Didier Drogba ($11.8) and a last minute goal from Dominic Oduro ($7.6). We have once again entered the familiar territory of Piatti gaining the most points of any player this week – with an astounding 18! While Montreal may top the Eastern Conference, Colorado Rapids are the shock leaders of the Supporters’ Shield standings, following a 1-0 home victory against an equally impressive Real Salt Lake. Jermaine Jones ($8.2) netted the goal that was the difference between the two sides to earn his side three crucial points and further cement his place as one of the league’s top players even after his unceremonious exit from New England. Robbie Keane ($11.7) may have been sidelined with injuries for most of this campaign, but the Irishman netted a brace in the Galaxy’s fifth win of the campaign, picking up 13 points in his 59 minutes on the field. Furthermore, it couldn’t possibly be a good weekend without Seattle’s Jordan Morris ($8.3) getting a mention. The forward has now scored in four straight matches as Seattle won their fourth-straight home game against San Jose on Saturday.

The Bad:

Embed from Getty Images

The only red card of the weekend was collected by Orlando’s Cristian Higuita ($6.7), who was sent off late on in his side’s 1-1 draw with New York Red Bulls. OCSC are now on a run of five games without a win and with star turns Kaka ($10.8) and Cyle Larin ($9.2) in their side – it is fair to expect more from the men in purple. Meanwhile, Dallas failed to score and lost for the third consecutive outing. It has to be worrying the Texans with forward Maximiliano Urruti ($8.5) needing to regain the form that got him three goals in the opening four MLS games. Portland Timbers’ winless away run continued after defeat at Vancouver, while Sporting Kansas City also suffered a defeat away to Houston Dynamo. SKC are now winless in six after winning four of their opening five. Designated Players Benny Feilhaber ($10.9) and Graham Zusi ($10.1) will be expected to produce their finest form in the coming weeks, starting with this week’s DGW.

Round 10 Preview

Double Gameweek Must-Haves:

Jermaine Jones ($8.2):

Embed from Getty Images

The Rapids are in tremendous form and it was sparked by Jermaine Jones’ entrance to the team. Fresh from his contract dispute with the Revs and his six-match ban for making repeated physical contact with referee Mark Geiger, the fire is very much within Jones’ play. Thrust into a more attacking role, he’s playing as well as he ever has – even at the age of 34.

Andrew Wenger ($7.2):

Houston have finally returned to some sort of form with a win over SKC and Wenger was instrumental in achieving the victory. Fixtures against San Jose and Real Salt Lake aren’t easy – but they’re certainly not the most difficult cards to be dealt at this point in the season. I would be shocked if Wenger didn’t pick up 10 points across the two games this week. If you don’t fancy Wenger, teammate Alex ($6.1) is bound to pick up a solid number of points at a cheap price.

Fanendo Adi ($10.3):

Embed from Getty Images

The pinpoint in the Timbers’ MLS Cup winning attack, Adi is in fine form and with Diego Valeri ($10.5) pulling the strings behind him, he looks set to keep firing in goal after goal. He may be whisked away for international duty with Nigeria in Round 12, but he will be back in a flash – unlike other forward options like Giles Barnes ($8.5) and Chris Wondolowski ($10.7), who will exiting the league for the Copa America Centenario.

Maynor Figueroa ($6.7):

This is a risky one. Dallas may’ve lost three on the trot, but the former Wigan defender has performed solidly throughout and is still garnering plenty of bonus points. If Dallas were to keep a clean sheet in either of their two home games this week against the Sounders or the Timbers, it would be a shame to miss out on almost certain double figures. It’s also hard to ignore that Dallas are the only side to play both their games at home this week and Figueroa represents a solid pick.

Which players will you transfer in for Round 10’s DGW?

MLS Preview and Prediction: Philadelphia Union vs LA Galaxy

Competition: Major League Soccer – Philadelphia Union vs. LA Galaxy

Venue: Talen Energy Stadium – Wednesday, May 11 – 19:00 ET (00:00 BST) 

Match Odds: Philadelphia 6/4 – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 9/5

Match Preview

Philadelphia Union welcome LA Galaxy to Talen Energy Stadium on Wednesday night in an interconference battle between two sides in good shape.

Philadelphia sit third in the East, just two points behind Montreal at the top but with two games in hand. Head coach Jim Curtin will be delighted with the start his side have made to 2016 and knows they must now push on.

The Union did not play last weekend and will hope the extended rest gives them an advantage here. They drew 1-1 with San Jose in their most recent match and are now unbeaten in six at home.

Embed from Getty Images

A win on Wednesday would move the Union to the top of the Eastern Conference ahead of the weekend but the visit of an in-form Galaxy side means that three points are far from guaranteed.

The Galaxy come into this fixture off the back of their 4-2 win over New England on Sunday night, stretching their unbeaten run to seven.

Bruce Arena’s men have only lost once this term and are seemingly improving on the road, having not lost any of their last three away games.

Embed from Getty Images

This will be the club’s first trip to an Eastern Conference side since last June. They only won one of five trips to an Eastern opponent last season and face a tough task in winning this contest.

LA sit second in the West heading into the game, just two points behind Colorado and have a game in hand over the Rapids at this stage, so they look to be in a strong position.

This will be just the ninth MLS meeting between these two sides. Philadelphia have only won one of the previous eight meetings (D1 L6) and have yet to beat the Galaxy at home since joining the league six years ago.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Philadelphia Union will be without Maurice Edu once again as he continues to recover from a long-term leg injury, while Ken Tribbett is a doubt. CJ Sapong will spearhead the attack once again as the Union will hope their 11-day rest will help their cause here.

LA Galaxy will welcome back Ashley Cole from suspension here and he will hope to return to the lineup at left-back. Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard are fit again, having both played on Sunday night and it will be interesting to see if they are both ready to start here. Jeff Larentowicz made his first start in a Galaxy shirt last time out and will hope to retain his place. Alan Gordon remains a doubt with a groin injury.

Key Points

Philadelphia Union’s last five: L/W/L/W/D

LA Galaxy’s last five: D/W/W/D/W

Key Stat: Philadelphia Union have yet to beat LA Galaxy at home in MLS (D1 L2).

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The LA Galaxy talisman returned from injury in fine style at the weekend, scoring two first-half goals to help his side past New England. He now has four goals in four appearances this season and is a real threat whenever he plays.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Philadelphia Union 1-1 LA Galaxy – There is little to choose between the two sides ahead of this one. Philadelphia are tough to break down at home and should be fresh off the back of an extended rest. However, the Galaxy look to be in great shape at the moment and have nearly a full squad available. Both will fancy their chances, though a score draw looks the most likely outcome.

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: 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: LA Galaxy vs San Jose Earthquakes

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

Venue: StubHub Center – Saturday, March 19 – 22:30 ET (02:30 GMT)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 1/2 – Draw 16/5 – SJ Earthquakes 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy host San Jose Earthquakes in the first California Clasico match of 2016 on Saturday night, with the Quakes looking to continue their impressive start to the new campaign against their fierce rivals.

LA followed up their 4-1 opening day win over DC with a disappointing 1-0 defeat in Colorado last weekend. They conceded in the fifth minute of stoppage time and will have been left deflated after putting in a solid performance on the road.

Bruce Arena knows his team are much stronger at home and will be desperate to see his side pick up a second win of the campaign on Saturday.

Embed from Getty Images

With the quality and experience in the Galaxy side, they should be able to manage the occasion of a big derby and will expect to beat San Jose.

The Quakes are not to be taken lightly, however. Dominic Kinnear has watched his side beat Colorado and Portland through the first two weeks – the first time San Jose has won its first two games of an MLS season in franchise history.

They will be hoping to keep momentum building but a trip to StubHub Center is always a tricky one. San Jose haven’t won away at the Galaxy since 2012, although a victory here would really solidify their chances of success this term.

Embed from Getty Images

The home side won each of the three regular season meetings last season, with the Galaxy recording a 5-2 victory in the only game at StubHub Center – the most goals scored in a California Clasico game in the 20-year history of the rivalry.

More goals could be on the cards here as the Galaxy will be out to show they are still a team to be feared across MLS. San Jose will look to exploit that on the counter-attack in what could be an exciting contest.

Team News

LA Galaxy will continue to be without goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, so Brian Rowe will continue between the sticks. Giovani Dos Santos is still a doubt, while the same applies to Alan Gordon, Jeff Larentowicz and Leonardo. Mike Magee will hope to start for a second consecutive week alongside Robbie Keane.

San Jose are without six players for the trip to LA. Marc Pelosi, Cordell Cato, Jordan Stewart, Chad Barrett, Shaun Francis and Andres Imperiale will all miss out once again as Dominic Kinnear looks set to name an unchanged side to the one that beat Portland last weekend.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s form: W/L

San Jose Earthquakes’ form: W/W

Key Stat: LA Galaxy are unbeaten in four-straight home games against San Jose Earthquakes (W2 D2).

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irish forward scored a hat-trick in this fixture last season and will be hoping to find the net again on Saturday. He netted in the Galaxy’s opening game and always plays better at StubHub Center. He is a constant threat to opposing defences and will look to cause San Jose problems from the outset.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 San Jose Earthquakes – This should be a close contest but LA Galaxy have to be favoured at home. The Quakes will expect to hurt them but will likely come up just short in what should be an exciting game.

MLS Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs DC United

Competition: Major League Soccer – LA Galaxy vs. DC United

Venue: StubHub Center – Sunday, March 6 – 22:00 ET (03:00 GMT)

Match Odds: LA Galaxy 1/2 – Draw 100/30 – DC United 11/2

Match Preview

LA Galaxy and DC United clash at the StubHub Center on Sunday night as the opening day of the 2016 season sees the two most successful sides in MLS history going head-to-head.

The Galaxy will be desperate to put things right this year after 2015’s fifth placed Western Conference finish was their lowest since 2008.

Their competitive season is already underway as they had their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal with Mexican side Santos Laguna.

Embed from Getty Images

Despite a 0-0 draw at home in the first leg, Bruce Arena saw his side crash out of the competition after a 4-0 defeat in the second leg, but they can now focus all their attention on making sure of a good start to the MLS campaign.

Before their CCL tie, the Galaxy played five preseason fixtures, winning two, losing two and drawing one, including a 1-0 victory over MLS rivals San Jose Earthquakes.

DC United also had a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal to contend with, following a preseason which saw them win just one of five games (D2, L2).

Embed from Getty Images

Ben Olsen’s side suffered a similar fate to their opponents, losing 2-0 away from home in the first leg of their tie with Queretaro, before being held to a 1-1 draw at RFK Stadium, which saw them eliminated on aggregate.

DC’s only win in preseason was a 1-0 win over NASL side Tampa Bay Rowdies, meaning that their preparation for this campaign hasn’t exactly been ideal but now it’s time to step it up in MLS.

The only meeting between these two sides in 2015 saw DC United edge a 1-0 home victory thanks to an injury time goal by Chris Pontius, which marked first time DC had beaten LA in MLS since 2008 after 10 attempts (D5, L5).

Team News

LA Galaxy defender Leonardo (leg), new midfielder Jeff Larentowicz (groin) and striker Alan Gordon (neck) are all injury doubts and will be working hard to try and make the squad. New signings Ashley Cole and Nigel De Jong could make their debuts in MLS.

Embed from Getty Images

DC United will be without goalkeeper Bill Hamid who has a long-term knee injury, while defender Chris Korb is also out with a knee problem. Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas is set to face his old club – he had a two-year spell with the Galaxy between 2012 and 2014.

Key Points

LA Galaxy’s preseason form: W/L/D/W/L

DC United’s preseason form: L/D/W/D/L

Key Stat: DC United have only won two of their last 15 away games in MLS (D3, L10).

Key Player: Robbie Keane – The Irishman was LA Galaxy’s top goalscorer last season with an impressive 20 goals in 24 games. As club captain, he leads by example and his input will be crucial once again. He can make the difference in the blinking of an eye.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

LA Galaxy 2-1 DC United – The last meeting between these sides at StubHub Center saw the Galaxy win 4-1 in 2014. DC’s last away victory over LA was way back in 2005. This should be a tight game, but LA Galaxy will fancy their chances of continuing their strong record at home to DC United over the last 11 years.

GALLERY: Exclusive images from Seattle’s 3-2 playoff win over LA Galaxy

Seattle Sounders beat LA Galaxy in one of 2015’s most entertaining MLS games as the 2015 MLS Cup Playoffs got underway in the best way possible on Wednesday night.

A flurry of early goals set the tone for an attacking game between two of the league’s most dangerous teams.

It was Seattle who prevailed at CenturyLink Field though as they beat the reigning champions 3-2 thanks to goals from Clint Dempsey, Nelson Valdez and Erik Friberg.

LA’s ongoing struggles away from home once again let them down and they will now be left to plan for next season after exiting the playoffs at the first hurdle, despite goals from Sebastian Lletget and Gyasi Zardes.

Check out some exclusive photos from the game in Seattle on Wednesday night below, courtesy of our Sounders photographer Denise McCooey.

Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Giovani Dos Santos Seattle Sounders Fans Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Nelson Valdez Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Nelson Valdez Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy MLS Playoffs 2015 Robbie Keane

MLS Playoff Preview and Prediction: Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy

Competition: MLS Playoffs Knockout Round – Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy  

Venue: CenturyLink Field – Wednesday, 28 October – 22:00 ET (02:00 GMT)

Match Odds: Seattle Sounders 11/8  – Draw 23/10 – LA Galaxy 19/10

Match Preview

Seattle Sounders entertain LA Galaxy on Wednesday night as the Western Conference rivals go to battle in the knockout round in what is arguably the juiciest fixture of the first round of postseason games.

The Sounders come into the tie off the back of their 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake in the final game of the regular season and have earned home-field advantage as a result of finishing higher than the Galaxy.

They will see this as a good chance to progress given LA Galaxy’s poor run of form away from home, but know they cannot take anything for granted.

In the last ten meetings between the sides when the Sounders have been at home they have only lost twice, winning six, but memories of last year’s Western Conference final exit at the hands of the Galaxy will still hurt.

Seattle Sounders vs Orlando City

LA Galaxy will be looking to replicate their playoff form of last year but know this is going to be a really tough task.

The sides met three times in the regular season, with the Galaxy going unbeaten (W2 D1) but they have failed to win at CenturyLink Field in each of their last three attempts.

Galaxy have the players to lead them in this game, but they cannot afford any slack performances. This is a huge chance for the likes of Steven Gerrard and Giovani Dos Santos to really make a name for themselves in their first MLS Cup Playoff appearances.

LA cannot afford to think about their dismal form on the road this season too much otherwise they’ll be in trouble from the off. The playoffs set up completely different types of games and Galaxy need to use that to their advantage in this monumental tie.

Embed from Getty Images

Team News

Seattle Sounders are expecting to be without Roman Torres, Andres Correa and Andy Craven. Oniel Fisher, Marco Pappa and Nelson Valdez are all doubts.

LA Galaxy have four injury concerns. Brian Perk and Bradford Jamieson IV are set to miss out, while Todd Dunivant and Baggio Husidic are doubts.

Key Points

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

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

Key Stat: LA Galaxy’s road struggles saw them fail to win in 17 of their 19 regular season games away from StubHub Center. Homesick.

Key Player: Robbie Keane – LA Galaxy’s goal machine netted an impressive 20 goals in 24 regular season appearances. He knows how to deliver in big knockout games and will no doubt look to terrorise the Sounders defence here.

Embed from Getty Images

Score Prediction

Seattle Sounders 2-1 LA Galaxy – Sounders to progress in what looks set to be a really tight tie. Both sides will expect to find the net but home advantage should see Seattle advance. But don’t hold your breath as the lottery of the playoffs mean nothing is certain!