LA Galaxy vs. LAFC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

LA Galaxy vs. Los Angeles Football Club
2018 MLS Regular Season – Week 5
StubHub Center — Carson
3:00 pm ET – March 31, 2018
WATCH: FOX | MLS LIVE on DAZN and TVAS2 in Canada

Here we go!

The anticipated first-ever meeting between the LA Galaxy and expansion side LAFC will be a high noon (Pacific time) kickoff in Carson and the stars are expected to be out for both sides for this sold-out showdown at the StubHub Center.

Gio and Jona dos Santos should be back healthy and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could make his MLS debut for the LA Galaxy, while Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi hope to continue LAFC’s red-hot start to their first season.

LA Galaxy

The combination of injuries, international duty and suspension limited the LA Galaxy to just 17 players — including three goalkeepers — for a match against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Saturday. Considering that, a gutty 0-0 draw at BC Place was about the best possible result for Sigi Schmid’s squad.

Now Schmid has a mostly healthy squad and Ashley Cole back from suspension. Also, Ola Kamara struck for a hat trick in a 4-1 win over Australia and Schmid hinted at partnering Kamara with Ibrahimovic in the LA Galaxy’s star-studded lineup.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: M – Romain Alessandrini (hamstring), F – Bradford Jamieson IV (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: F – Giovani dos Santos (hamstring), M – Jonathan dos Santos (hamstring), D – Michael Ciani (groin)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2–3-1, right to left)
GK: David Bingham — Rolf Feltscher, Tomas Hilliard-Arce, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole — Perry Kitchen, Jonathan dos Santos — Sebastian Lletget, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng — Ola Kamara

  • Notes: The Galaxy had three players finish with 10+ clearances last weekend (Steres – 11, Jorgen Skjelvik and Tomas Hilliard-Arce – 10). It was the first time a Galaxy trio had done so since Aug. 24, 2013 (also against Vancouver). … The Galaxy are unbeaten in their last three home matches (2W-1D), conceding 0.7 goals per game in that time. They had lost six of the prior eight home games (1W-1D), allowing 2.3 goals per game.

LAFC   

Will the bye cool off LAFC, who opened the season with back-to-back wins, including a 5-1 thrashing of Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium? Bob Bradley’s squad will be 21 days removed from that stunning result when they face the LA Galaxy for the first time.

During the break, defender Dejan Jakovic had the assist on Tosaint Ricketts’ winner in Canada’s 1-0 victory over New Zealand to usher in the John Herdman era and Marcos Ureña netted the winner for Costa Rica in a 1-0 victory over Scotland.

The biggest news came Monday when LAFC finally landed Benfica’s Andre Horta as the club’s third Designated Player. However, the Portuguese youth international is on loan with SC Braga and will likely not be able to join LAFC until the secondary transfer window opens on July 10.

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK – Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture), D – Walker Zimmerman (right hamstring strain); QUESTIONABLE: D/M – Omar Gaber (left adductor strain), M – Calum Mallace (right MCL sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Dejan Jakovic, Laurent Ciman, Joao Moutinho — Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye — Latif Blessing, Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi — Marcos Ureña

  • Notes: This rivalry will feature the only two active managers to have won multiple Coach of the Year awards in the Galaxy’s Sigi Schmid and LAFC’s Bob Bradley. They are also the two oldest managers in MLS. … Tyler Miller has saved 92.3% of shots this season. Only Philadelphia’s Andre Blake (100%) has a higher save percentage.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first meeting between the two teams

Referees

Referee: Mark Geiger
Assistant Referees: Frank Anderson, Jeffrey Hosking
4th Official: Daniel Radford
VAR: Kevin Stott