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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LA Galaxy would welcome LAFC but won’t change their approach

LA Galaxy‘s club president, Chris Klein, is ‘happy for them and happy for the league’ after Los Angeles Football Club unveiled on Monday but their arrival will not chance Galaxy’s approach nor what he is working on.

Klein reveals Galaxy will not be distracted by a potential rivalry with another LA franchise.

“We don’t change.” Klein told LAGalaxy.com “The things that we do as we build our team and we build our club in this city and community, we’ve had a specific goal. We want to win first, and win a certain way, with a certain group of players, and we’re going to continue to do that.”

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Klein added: “We’re as aggressive as we’ve ever been in LA. The ideals that we hold are ones that we’ve built over a long period of time, and those aren’t changing… We’re going full steam ahead.”

LAFC are due to start playing in 2018 and it will be interesting to see if a rivalry can develop between the two sides.

Will there be an MLS rivalry in Los Angeles?

Bruce Arena slates ‘awful’ LA Galaxy after 4-0 drubbing by Orlando

Bruce Arena has slated his LA Galaxy sides ‘awful’ performance after their 4-0 thumping by Orlando City on Sunday.

This was the Galaxy’s worst defeat since 2013 when they lost 5-0 to New England Revolution and Arena is far from happy with his squad’s performance.

“We were awful on the day. Out of 14 players that played, I thought about three of them played in an acceptable manner. We were outplayed all over the field, and, really, there’s not much you can say.

“You go into a game and most players lose their battles on the field, you don’t have a chance to win,” Arena was quoted as saying by MLSsoccer.com.

LA fielded a lacklustre side without any Designated Players as Robbie Keane remains injured and Omar Gonzalez was on the bench. When those two are back in the side we can expect to see a more forceful Galaxy.

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The loss has left Galaxy in seventh in the Western Conference, one place outside the playoffs and their performances have been below par. They have won just three, drawn five and lost four games so far this season. Arena needs a reaction from his players.

Galaxy have the chance to redeem themselves on May 22 when they face Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Centre.

How bad were LA Galaxy against Orlando and can they bounce back?

LA Galaxy ‘weren’t very good’ says head coach Bruce Arena

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t defended his team’s performance in the 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center on Saturday night and says they still aren’t “sharp enough” or “fit enough” yet.

“I didn’t like a whole lot on the night, we weren’t very good to be honest with you, we lost too many battles,” said Bruce Arena in his post match press conference.

He was very frank in his description of how his team performed and admitted that Houston “played harder” than the Galaxy and that “made the difference” in the game.

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The LA boss was also extremely disappointed with the defending for the Dynamo goal, especially considering the equaliser came just minutes after the Galaxy had taken the lead.

“We had a mental breakdown on a corner-kick, Robbie Rogers loses his man and it’s a goal.

“In a game like this where your opponent is sitting back and defending with numbers looking to get at you on the break, we’ve got to be better than that. To concede a goal shortly after we scored, that’s not good on our part.”

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LA Galaxy’s lacklustre passing was another concern to Bruce Arena, but he did credit the Houston Dynamo’s efforts in defence.

“Our passing on the night wasn’t good. Our backline didn’t pass the ball very well and I think that impacted the ability for the midfielders to have a better impact on the game.

“Overall I think on the night they [Houston Dynamo] defended pretty well.”

LA Galaxy are still undefeated after three games of the new MLS season having won one and drawn two.

They’re currently third in the Western Conference and their next game is a tough trip to DC United on Saturday, March 28.

Was Bruce Arena right to publicly criticise his LA Galaxy team?

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 2015 Season Preview: LA Galaxy

As the new season draws ever closer we’ll have a new MLS 2015 Season Preview up everyday. Today we take a look at what the LA Galaxy will be looking to achieve this year.

LA Galaxy head into the 2015 season off the back of one of the most memorable campaigns in the history of the club. They won a record fifth MLS Cup title and said goodbye to the legendary Landon Donovan following his retirement. The Galaxy must ensure that Donovan’s retirement doesn’t have a negative impact on their performances on the pitch. Deciding how they will set-up in order to get the best out of the team once new signing Steven Gerrard joins in July will be crucial. The aim for 2015 will be to achieve at least the same again in terms of honours.

Last season’s finish: Western Conference position: 2nd – P34 – W17 – D10 – L7

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What needs to change this year?

It’s not so much a case of what needs to change for LA Galaxy, but more how they can set about continuing from where they left off.  The 2014 season saw them lose just seven regular season games – the least out of any MLS team. Three of those defeats came in the opening eight fixtures, so a better start this time around will ensure they can be the early pacesetters.  The only disappointment from last year will be that they failed to win the Supporters’ Shield, so that will be one of their targets for 2015.

Key changes to the squad:

Ins: Steven Gerrard – Midfielder (Designated Player)

Outs: Landon Donovan – Midfielder/Forward, Marcelo Sarvas – Midfielder, Rob Friend – Forward

Key player: Robbie KeaneForward

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Robbie Keane‘s contribution throughout the 2014 season was astonishing. He is the captain, a leader of men and possesses bags of experience. He will have achieved hero status after his performance last year, including the famous MLS Cup Final winning goal. He will need to continue to take responsibility and guide his team along the way.

One to watch: Gyasi ZardesForward

The 23-year-old is an exciting prospect. Gyasi Zardes was very much the unsung hero last season, due to the attention given to Landon Donovan’s farewell season and Robbie Keane’s superb efforts. He scored 16 goals in the regular season campaign and is growing in quality with every second he spends on the pitch. The recent inclusion in the USMNT will only give him further confidence to act as a springboard for 2015.

Predicted finish: Western Conference – 1st

Competition is going to be even higher in the Western Conference this season, but LA Galaxy still boast one of the strongest squads in Major League Soccer. They’re certainly one of the strong favourites for the Supporters’ Shield and will also expect to retain their MLS Cup title.

How will LA Galaxy fare in 2015?

USMNT end five game winless streak with 2-0 victory over Panama

The rot has been stopped. Jurgen Klinsmann and the US Men’s National Team ended a five-game winless streak with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Panama on Sunday.

First-half goals from Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey saw the USA record their first win since a 1-0 friendly victory against the Czech Republic back in September.

Panama were far from threatening but it’s important that the USMNT got a win under their belt and the second clean-sheet in seven since the World Cup will also please Klinsmann.

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The 3-5-2 system we saw deployed in the first-half against Chile last time out was not tried again as the German coach opted to start with a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Jermaine Jones played in defence again but he looked a lot better than he did against the Chileans and that is a project that is certain to continue through 2015.

Michael Bradley started in a deeper midfield role and controlled the game well. He opened the scoring with a ridiculously good corner that looped over LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and into the net.

Michael Bradley’s goal against Panama (via US Soccer on YouTube):

Gyasi Zardes made his first start for the USMNT and impressed throughout as the Galaxy forward thrived at StubHub Center in the USA shirt.

Zardes played a key role in the second goal of the game as he burst into the middle of the field before threading a perfect ball to Clint Dempsey. The Seattle Sounders forward then rounded Penedo before slotting the ball into an empty net.

Clint Dempsey’s goal against Panama (via US Soccer on YouTube):

Players will now return to their clubs as the new Major League Soccer season gets underway in less than a month.

One concern to take from the game is that DeAndre Yedlin limped off and headed straight down the tunnel. Spurs fans will hope that it is nothing serious as the pacey fullback has yet to make his debut for the Premier League club since completing his move in January.

The next time we see the USMNT in action will be at the end of March as Klinsmann’s side take on Denmark and Switzerland in a pair of tricky fixtures.

What did you make of the USMNT’s performance against Panama on Sunday?

One for the diary: Sunday August 23 – Gerrard vs. Lampard in MLS

The 2015 Major League Soccer schedule was released yesterday and fans will now be putting key dates in their calendars for what should be the greatest MLS season ever.

One key date that cannot be missed is Sunday August 23 as LA Galaxy will host New York City FC in the only regular season meeting between the two, meaning that we should see two of England’s finest midfielders going head-to-head as Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard should both be on the field.

Don’t miss: Major League Soccer reveals full 2015 schedule with couple of key changes

Gerrard’s move to LA Galaxy was confirmed yesterday and the Liverpool legend will join up with the Galaxy in July.

Lampard should team up with his New York City teammates at the same time now, after it was confirmed last week that he will stay in England with Manchester City until the end of the Premier League season.

But that will mean that we’ll get to see Gerrard and Lampard face off against one another again, but for the first time outside of England.

The clash between LA Galaxy and New York City could have come before July, meaning we wouldn’t have seen such a clash, but the schedule has fallen kindly in the sense that the meeting between the two sides should be one to savour.

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The game is set to kick off late in the evening at around 9:00PM (UK Time) on Sunday August 23, which will mean UK fans can tune in without distraction.

The new Premier League season gets underway in the middle of August but with the game kicking off late in the UK, all eyes will be on StubHub Center as Steven Gerrard and the LA Galaxy go up against Frank Lampard and his New York City FC side.

Who will do better this season – LA Galaxy or New York City FC?

5 reasons why you have to watch the 2014 MLS Cup Final

It’s almost here. The 2014 MLS Cup Final between LA Galaxy and New England Revolution is set to kickoff on Sunday night at 20:00pm in the UK and you don’t want to miss it.

Don’t miss: MLS Cup Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution

Avid followers of Major League Soccer won’t need persuading as this is going to be big. But for those less familiar with MLS, here are five reasons why you have to watch this one:

1. Landon Donovan is looking to end his career by lifting his sixth MLS Cup

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This is the finale for LA Galaxy’s Landon Donovan. The US Soccer legend has enjoyed an incredible career and could end it by lifting his sixth MLS Cup and fourth with the Galaxy in his final game before retirement. All eyes will be on Donovan and he will need to handle the pressure to help LA across the line in front of their own fans.

2. Lee Nguyen is looking to end a sensational year on a high

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Without Lee Nguyen, New England Revolution would not be preparing to play in this game. The playmaker has been incredible all year, scoring 20 goals in 36 appearances so far and will want to end a memorable campaign by lifting the Revolution’s first ever MLS Cup trophy.

3. LA Galaxy have not lost at home since the opening day of the season in March

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The Galaxy’s last home loss was nine months ago on March 9 in a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake. They have been incredible at StubHub Center and have kept a clean sheet in five of their last seven games there. The fact that the final will be played on home soil gives the Galaxy a major advantage but the Revs aren’t afraid of expressing themselves on the road. New England have netted 13 goals in their last five away from home and have won four of those games.

4. There have been at least three goals in eight of New England’s last nine games

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The Revs like scoring – a lot. But they are also vulnerable at the back and that’s why their games usually deliver plenty of entertainment. There have been 17 goals in their four playoff games so far and they should go to Los Angeles looking to play their usual free-flowing football. There were six goals in the regular season meeting between these two at StubHub Center as the Galaxy won 5-1 and we could be set for a goalscoring feast on Sunday night too.

5. Major League Soccer is only getting better

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This has been the best MLS season to date in terms of playing quality across the league and every team that made the playoffs had a genuine case for a place in this season’s MLS Cup Final. But it’s LA Galaxy and New England Revolution who have earned the chance to lift the 2014 title. The league is improving year on year and the next campaign will see 20 teams playing, as New York City FC and Orlando City SC are the latest expansion franchises to get involved. If you don’t follow MLS already, you should be, and Sunday’s final will show you why.

Be sure to check out the MLSGB TV Show as the team preview the big game:

MLS Cup Preview and Prediction: LA Galaxy vs New England Revolution

MLSGB TV Show: MLS Cup Preview

This is it. The finale. 19 clubs started the 2014 season back in March, all fighting for a place in this season’s MLS Cup final. LA Galaxy and New England Revolution will battle it out at StubHub Center for the chance to be crowned champions.

The Galaxy are fighting for a record fifth MLS Cup title and victory in this one would spell the perfect end to Landon Donovan‘s illustrious MLS career in his final game before retirement.

New England are appearing in their first title game since 2007 and will be looking to be crowned champions on the fifth time of asking.

Both sides have stars that could prove to be the difference on Sunday night. The Revs will be looking to Lee Nguyen and Jermaine Jones once more and will hope to win the midfield battle with those two in fine form.

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Robbie Keane and Donovan will once again look to provide the cutting edge for the Galaxy, while Gyasi Zardes must also be mentioned having scored twice in a 5-1 win against the Revs at home earlier in the season.

LA Galaxy’s 2014 home form: Played 19 – Won 14 – Drawn 4 – Lost 1

The Galaxy have not lost at StubHub Center since the opening day of the regular season back in March (a 1-0 loss to Real Salt Lake) and are favourites heading into this one.

Though the Revs have been in incredible form. They are unbeaten in nine and have won their last three away from home.

New England Revolution’s 2014 away form: Played 19 – Won 8 – Drawn 2 – Lost 9

Jermaine Jones has proved to be a masterstroke of a signing and the Revs have only lost once since he joined the club back in August.

With so many attacking threats on the pitch this has the potential to be an absolute cracker. Though the fact that the title is on the line could see both sides approach this more cautiously, and counter-attacking tactics could be deployed by both.

East meets west as the 2014 MLS Conference Champions are set to go at it for the 19th MLS Cup. Landon Donovan will say goodbye to soccer on Sunday and it should be a night to remember for soccer fans worldwide.

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Key player: Landon Donovan: The man everyone will be watching. Donovan will be looking to mark his final game in soccer by lifting his sixth MLS Cup trophy.

Key stat: Round three: This is the third time these two sides have met in the MLS Cup final. LA Galaxy won both of the previous games 1-0 after extra-time.

LA Galaxy’s last five: L/D/W/W/L

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

Prediction: LA Galaxy 1-1 New England Revolution* – The Revs to clinch this one on penalties after an exciting 120 minutes.