Welcome to your match thread for a Sunday evening match-up between Orlando City (7-13-1, 22 points) and the LA Galaxy (9-7-5, 32 points). This is the only scheduled meeting between the two clubs from opposite conferences this season.
The Lions will be looking to snap both their own seven-game road losing streak in league play and the Galaxy’s eight-match unbeaten run (4-0-4). Both teams played Thursday night, but LA only had to go across town while the Lions played at home and then flew across the country via commercial jet on Friday.
The Lions are 2-1-0 in MLS play against LA, winning 4-0 at home in 2015 in the first meeting against the then-defending champions. It was Orlando City’s first-ever home win in MLS. Eric Avila, Cyle Larin, Kaká and Darwin Ceren found the net for the Lions and Tally Hall got a shutout in his first Orlando City appearance.
The Galaxy captured the lone 2016 contest, 4-2 — the only meeting so far in LA. Giovani Dos Santos scored twice as LA put together four straight goals to erase a 1-0 deficit provided by Kevin Molino. Alan Gordon and Robbie Keane scored the other two Galaxy goals. Brek Shea tacked on a cosmetic goal late for Orlando. Last year, the Galaxy came to Orlando City Stadium but the Lions prevailed, 2-1. Will Johnson and Larin provided the offense to offset a goal by Romain Alessandrini.
Orlando City may have lost 11 of 12 MLS games and seven straight on the road, but here’s another opportunity to stop the bleeding. Look, we all know the Lions are reeling. Despite playing better under James O’Connor, the results haven’t been there. Simple mistakes still end up in the back of the net, attacking players are hitting all parts of the goal except the inside, and there just doesn’t seem to be any good fortune available for the taking. Still, Orlando must push through all of this, because that’s the job. Why not do it in this game?
The Galaxy’s star man is Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and you can’t only worry about him scoring from nearly every conceivable position on the field. The Lions must be wary of his vision and ability to set up other attacking players, like Chris Pontius, dos Santos, and Ola Kamara. Orlando’s ever-changing back line must cope with all of them, plus the wing players and central midfielders providing them service, otherwise it’ll be another long, sad flight home from California. Orlando City has two draws in San Jose but has never won in the state, going 0-for-LA so far.
We may see an old friend as ex-Lion Servando Carrasco now plays for the Galaxy.
Jonathan Spector (hamstring) and Lamine Sané (quad) are out for Orlando. Shane O’Neill is suspended after his red card on Thursday. Justin Meram continues to be a ghost, training on his own. It’s odd the way no one at the club even seems willing to discuss his existence. I’ve been around professional sports a long time and I haven’t really seen a comparable situation. Presumably, there’s some sort of plan in place to move the talented veteran winger, but the Lions sure could use a rejuvenated Meram — in search of a fresh start under a new head coach — on the pitch. Alas.
LA’s injury list shows defender Rolf Feltscher (shoulder surgery) as out. Midfielder Sebastian Lletget (ankle) is on the injury list but he was in the 18 on Thursday. Bradford Jamieson IV has an undisclosed injury and his availability is uncertain. Alessandrini is suspended due to yellow card accumulation.
Mandatory Match #Content
- Our Intelligence Report provides background on LA from Mike Gray, managing editor of the Galaxy’s SB Nation site, LAG Confidential,
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for the Lions at the LA Galaxy.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Earl Edwards Jr.
Defenders: PC, Amro Tarek, Chris Schuler, Scott Sutter.
Defensive Midfielders: Tony Rocha, Cristian Higuita.
Attacking Midfielders: Mohamed El-Munir, Sacha Kljestan, Yoshimar Yotún.
Forward: Dom Dwyer.
Bench: Joe Bendik, Donny Toia, Cam Lindley, Stefano Pinho, Josué Colmán, Will Johnson, Chris Mueller.
LA Galaxy (3-4-1-2)
Goalkeeper: David Bingham.
Defenders: Jørgen Skjelvik, Michael Ciani, Dave Romney.
Midfielders: Ashley Cole, Jonathan dos Santos, Perry Kitchen, Chris Pontius.
Attacking Midfielder: Giovani dos Santos.
Forwards: Ola Kamara, Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Bench: Justin vom Steeg, Sheanon Williams, Daniel Steres, Sebastian Lletget, Servando Carrasco, Ariel Lassiter, Emmanuel Boateng.
Ref: Armando Villarreal.
AR1: Corey Rockwell.
AR2: Frank Anderson.
4th: Chris Penso.
VAR: Alex Chilowicz.
How to Watch
Match Time: 9:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: StubHub Center — Carson, CA.
TV: FOX Sports 1.
Radio: Real Radio 104.1 FM (English), La Nueva 990 (Spanish).
Streaming: FOX Sports GO.
Match Thread Rules
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Enjoy the match! Go City!