With two of its most important players (Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane) away on international duty, a somewhat weakened LA Galaxy team travel to Washington, D.C. to face DC United at RFK Stadium, this Saturday. Bruce Arena’s side are still undefeated this season after three games (1 win and 2 draws) but they will have their work cut out for them as they face a United team that plays particularly well at home.
Last season, at home, DC United lost only two games and had the best defensive record in the league (regular season) with just 12 goals allowed.
DC United’s first loss of the campaign came last Sunday afternoon in New Jersey, at the hands of archrivals New York Red Bulls. A very poor first-half performance, combined with a passive and soft approach to the game and a missed penalty ultimately dictated the final outcome of that rivalry match-up. Now, United’s coach Ben Olsen and his players are looking at the LA Galaxy as the perfect opponent to deliver a good response after that disappointing result against the Bulls. However, with just one goal scored in the last two games, DC United will need to get creative in order to get past one of the best defensive units in this league. On the other side of the ball, considering that the Galaxy found the back of the net in 12 of their last 14 away games, a strong and consistent defensive display will be crucial to give the hosts a chance to take something positive out of this game.
The LA Galaxy are yet to taste defeat this season, but were unable to get more than just one point for the second week in a row with a frustrating 1-1 draw against the Houston Dynamo at StubHub Center, on Saturday evening. Bruce Arena won’t have Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes at his disposal for the trip to Washington, D.C., but this Galaxy team still has a handful of skilled and experienced players all around the field to make up for those important absences, with Stefan Ishizaki probably being one of the players on whom the attentions will be centered this Saturday. Their last two league results were not what most had expected, but the LA Galaxy still controlled and dominated those games in terms of goal attempts and possession of the ball, and are being viewed as favorites against DC United.
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The LA Galaxy came out on top when these two sides faced each other last August, at StubHub Center, with a comfortable 4-1 win. And at RFK Stadium, DC United haven’t been able to defeat the Galaxy since 2008, a four-game stretch that saw Washington’s team suffer one loss and earn three draws. With an interesting combination of experienced veterans and skillful youngsters, this DC United’s side will need to take a more proactive approach to the game and seize control of it from the start if they intend to make things difficult for the Galaxy. In a meeting between two powerful forces, we can expect a highly competitive and physical game, with both teams probably sharing the spoils and taking a point each at the end.
Our Prediction: Draw
BetOnline Odds: +205