D.C. United vs. LA Galaxy
2017 MLS Match Preview
RFK Stadium – Washington, D.C.
Saturday, June 3 – 7 pm ET
WATCH: MLS LIVE
The LA Galaxy’s final visit RFK Stadium marks the end of an era in a fixture that – as much as any – represents the best of the early days of MLS.
D.C. United hopes it also marks the end of their home drought.
The Black-and-Red are winless and scoreless in their last three matches at their storied but weathered home, as they continue to replicate the sizzling offensive form they showed through the second half of last season.
The Galaxy aren’t exactly a great streak-stopping candidate as the only MLS side with four away victories, including three straight before closing their four-match road swing in Washington.
And historically, LA has won as often as lost in 22 previous league meetings at RFK, including a 2-1 Galaxy victory in the very first MLS match played on East Capitol Street on April 20, 1996. (Check out the multi-lingual highlights and interviews below:)
If United can take anything from that first chapter in the league’s original bi-coastal rivalry, it’s that D.C. recovered four home losses to begin their inaugural season to put together a sizzling second half. Then came a playoff run that culminated in their dramatic 3-2 victory over the Galaxy in the 1996 MLS Cup Final.
Even so, for coach Ben Olsen’s group, this year’s home turnaround needs to start soon.
The Black-and-Red will have one striking option back after Jose Guillermo Ortiz served a one-match ban for simulation/embellishment in United's 2-0 loss in Orlando on Wednesday. However, Ortiz (1 goal) has not produced the offense Olsen would've hoped for so far and D.C.'s already goal-starved frontline just got thinner with the news that Patrick Mullins could potentially be out either six weeks or four to six moths.
When United's attack was at its best last year, it was predicated on Mullins' work up front, Luciano Acosta's midfield creativity and some excellent wing play. While Mullins will be missed, there is some hope on that front for D.C., with Patrick Nyarko returning to the field Wednesday as a sub after a hamstring injury that has kept him out since early April, and Lloyd Sam overcoming a more minor groin injury to get the starting spot in Orlando.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: NONE
- Injury Report: OUT: M - Rob Vincent (deep vein thrombosis), GK - Eric Klenofsky (left knee meniscus surgery), M/D - Nick DeLeon (lower abdominal surgery), D - Sean Franklin (hamstring), F - Patrick Mullins (knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Bobby Boswell (groin), M - Lloyd Sam (groin), M - Patrick Nyarko (hamstring)
Projected Starting XI (4-1-4-1): GK: Bill Hamid – Chris Korb, Steve Birnbaum, Kofi Opare, Taylor Kemp – Jared Jeffrey – Sebastien Le Toux, Ian Harkes, Luciano Acosta, Lamar Neagle – Jose Guillermo Ortiz
Notes: United's three-match home losing skid is its worst since losing four in a row in 2013, and its three-match home scoreless streak is its worst since 2010. Both those seasons ended with D.C. finishing last in the Eastern Conference table.
Giovani dos Santos continues to be in the best form of his MLS career, scoring five goals over LA's last four games and helping the Galaxy go perfect through their first three matches of a season-long four-match road swing. Another goal (or more) before he departs for Mexican national team duty could inflict even more damage on D.C.'s bid to stay relevant in the East
But coach Curt Onalfo's men have shown they are more than just the former Barcelona academy product. The Galaxy got goals from Dave Romney and Emmanuel Boateng to defeat Real Salt Lake 2-1 on March 18 in their lone game this season without dos Santos' services. Romain Alessandrini still remains the team's most versatile attacker with six goals and six assists.
- Suspended: NONE
- Int’l Duty: GK - Clement Diop (Senegal)
- Injury Report: OUT: D - Robbie Rogers (ankle), M - Sebastian Lletget (foot surgery), M - Baggio Husidic (fractured fibula), D - Daniel Steres (hamstring injury), GK - Brian Rowe (groin injury); QUESTIONABLE: M - Jermaine Jones (MCL sprain) READ
Projected Starting XI (4-4-2): GK: Jon Kempin — Bradley Diallo, Dave Romney, Jelle Van Damme, Ashley Cole — Romain Alessandrini, Joao Pedro, Jaime Villarreal, Ema Boateng — Bradford Jamieson, Gyasi Zardes
Notes: With four away victories, the Galaxy have already matched their 2016 away wins total. Another victory would mark the most for LA away from the StubHub Center since the 2014 campaign.
- Overall (43 meetings): Galaxy 20 wins (0 shootout), 71 goals … United 14 wins (1 shootout), 54 goals … Ties 9
- In Washington (22 meetings): Galaxy 9 wins (0 shootout), 36 goals … United 9 wins (1 shootout), 34 goals … Ties 4
Referee: Drew Fischer
Assistant Referees: Kyle Atkins, Brian Poeschel
Fourth Official: Jose Carlos Rivero