Welcome to your match thread for a Saturday afternoon match-up between Orlando City (1-1-1, 4 point points) and the LA Galaxy (2-1-0, 6 points). This is the only scheduled meeting between the two clubs from opposite conferences this season.
Here’s what you need to know ahead of the match.
The Lions are 2-3-0 against LA in MLS play, but the teams haven’t met since 2019 due to the pandemic-altered schedules of the last two seasons. Orlando is 0-2-0 against the Galaxy on the road and have yet to win in the state of California in MLS play over six prior trips to the Golden State to face LA, LAFC, and San Jose (0-4-2).
The last time these teams met, it was the Galaxy coming into Exploria Stadium and getting a smash-and-grab 1-0 win on May 24, 2019. Jonathan dos Santos provided the game’s only goal in the 19th minute, with the Lions out-shooting the Galaxy 19-4 (7-1 on target).
Prior to the Galaxy’s 2019 win in Orlando, the home team had won all four prior meetings. In Orlando’s last visit to LA back in 2018, the Lions fell 4-3 after blowing the lead three times. It was a case of too much Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who figured in every goal, notching his first MLS hat trick and adding an assist. Cristian Higuita and Dom Dwyer scored for Orlando and Sacha Kljestan forced an own goal by Michael Ciani with a pass intended for Yoshimar Yotún.
The Galaxy captured the lone 2016 contest, 4-2. 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.
The Lions won 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, Larin, Kaká and Darwin Ceren found the net for the Lions and Tally Hall got a shutout in his first Orlando City appearance.
Orlando City is 0-0-1 on the young season away from Exploria Stadium, with a 0-0 draw at Chicago making for a small sample size. Of course, the Lions would have won that match if not for a not-clear, not-obvious overturn on review for a non-apparent handball in the buildup to Junior Urso’s goal.
The Galaxy are 1-0 at home this season, having beaten New York City FC 1-0 at Dignity Health Sports Park on Chicharito’s 90th-minute goal in their opener. All of LA’s three games have been one-goal affairs, with a 1-0 win at Charlotte and a 3-2 loss at Seattle following the win over NYCFC. The most recent of those was the loss in Seattle, with Chicharito and new Designated Player Douglas Costa scoring in a tough road loss at Lumen Field last Saturday.
Between Chicharito, Costa, Efrain Alvarez, and Kevin Cabral, the Galaxy once again have a plethora of stars who can create danger and put the ball in the net. Orlando must not switch off for a single second against LA, which has already broken late ties with winning goals vs. NYCFC and at Charlotte. Chicharito can be held in check for the majority of a game and still change things in a split second. It will be a difficult challenge for Orlando City’s center backs to keep track of the Mexican international and the Lions’ midfielders and fullbacks must deny service to him while also dealing with the other attackers mentioned and any late runners into the area.
“We have good defenders, first, who know him,” Head Coach Oscar Pareja said of Chicharito. “We haven’t faced him in the years that we have been here. But they understand the characteristics of the forwards, their strikers. We have been working on how we can control them and their specialist ability that every player up front has, and that many times is very different. I think it will be part of our (chance for) success in LA is trying to control those forwards and we’re aware. It’s trying to be a team who prevents the other team from having volume in our half, first. And then secondly, if that happens, we’d like to have solidness individually and collectively in the last third. That’s important for us.”
Orlando City will be without Andres Perea (lower leg), but no other teams were on this week’s availability report by the midweek deadline after Silvester van der Water returned to training earlier this week. LA had only Adam Saldaña (left ankle), Jorge Villafaña (left knee) listed on its injury list by the midweek deadline.
Mandatory Match Content
- Our Intelligence Report this week gathered information on the Galaxy from Alicia Rodriguez of SBNation’s LAG Confidential blog.
- This week’s PawedCast includes our key match-ups and score predictions for the Lions vs. the LA Galaxy, as well as an exclusive interview with Orlando Pride Head Coach Amanda Cromwell.
- Ben Miller provided his three keys to victory for Orlando City in Saturday’s match-up.
Orlando City (4-2-3-1)
Goalkeeper: Pedro Gallese.
Defenders: Joao Moutinho, Robin Jansson, Antonio Carlos, Ruan.
Defensive Midfielders: Cesar Araujo, Junior Urso.
Attacking Midfielders: Sebas Mendez, Mauricio Pereyra, Facundo Torres.
Forward: Ercan Kara.
Bench: Mason Stajduhar, Kyle Smith, Rodrigo Schlegel, Thomas Williams, Joey DeZart, Silvester van der Water, Benji Michel, Tesho Akindele, Alexandre Pato.
LA Galaxy (4-4-2)
Goalkeeper: Jonathan Bond
Defenders: Raheem Edwards, Nick DePuy, Sega Coulibaly, Julian Araujo.
Midfielders: Kevin Cabral, Marky Delgado, Rayan Raveloson, Douglas Costa.
Forwards: Victor Vazquez, Chicharito.
Bench: Jonathan Klinsmann, Kelvin Leerdam, Eriq Zavaleta, Derrick Williams, Jonathan Perez, Sacha Kljestan, Efrain Alvarez, Samuel Grandsir, Dejan Joveljic.
Ref: Alex Chilowicz.
AR1: Micheal Barwegen.
AR2: Chris Wattam.
4th: Ricardo Fierro.
VAR: Victor Rivas.
AVAR: Fabio Tovar.
How to Watch
Match Time: 3:30 p.m. ET.
Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park — Carson, CA.
TV: Univision, TUDN.
Radio: FM 96.9 The Game (English), Acción 97.9 FM, 810 AM (Spanish).
Enjoy the match! Go City!