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LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew SC | 2018 MLS Match Preview

LA Galaxy vs. Columbus Crew SC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 19

StubHub Center — Carson
July 7 - 10:30 pm ET


Gyasi Zardes makes his return to the StubHub Center as Columbus Crew SC, fresh off a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake, meets the LA Galaxy, who are unbeaten in their last four despite blowing early two-goal leads in their last two games.

Crew SC have won two of their last four games against the Galaxy (1L-1D). LA were unbeaten in the previous six meetings (5W-1D), per Opta.

LA Galaxy

It was deja vu all over again on Wednesday night as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Chris Pontius scored inside the opening 25 minutes to stake the Galaxy (6-7-4) to an early two-goal lead. But just one minute later Zoltan Stieber pulled D.C. United back a goal and Darren Mattocks struck for the dramatic equalizer five minutes from full time in a 2-2 draw at StubHub Center.

A similar scenario played out at Stanford Stadium last Saturday when Ibra and Romain Alessandrini opened up a 3-1 lead in the first 25 minutes, but the Galaxy had to settle for a 3-3 draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.

“We weren’t good enough in the second half, but more than anything [it was] the same thing in San Jose,” Sigi Schmid said. “We had a 2-0 lead and we give a goal to the opponent that allows them to resuscitate themselves and breathe life into their game, and that’s something that we can’t do.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Perry Kitchen
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Rolf Feltscher (shoulder surgery); QUESTIONABLE: M - Sebastian Lletget (ankle injury), F - Ola Kamara (calf injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: David Bingham — Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Jorgen Skjelvik, Ashley Cole — Perry Kitchen, Joao Pedro — Chris Pontius, Romain Alessandrini, Bradford Jamieson — Zlatan Ibrahimovic

  • Notes: Ibrahimovic already has two games with 8+ shots this season. Since 2010, Robbie Keane is the only Galaxy player with multiple such games … The Galaxy have lost just once in their last seven MLS matches (3W-3D). However, they have allowed five goals in their last two league games after allowing four in the prior five.

Columbus Crew SC

After back-to-back shutout losses, Columbus (8-5-6) bounced back to beat Real Salt Lake, 2-1, Saturday at MAPFRE Stadium.

Zardes opened the scoring from the penalty spot, his 11th goal of the season, and Eduardo Sosa, who was making his first MLS start, scored his first MLS goal, to double Crew SC’s lead in the 23rd minute.

Albert Rusnak pulled RSL within a goal in the 74th minute, but Columbus held on for the win, their first since May 19.

“Those games are important: the ones that you have to work for, the ones that the guys have to come together and battle; those are the important ones because they leave a lasting impression,” head coach Gregg Berhalter said. “I think this game will go a long way, and moving forward it’s very simple for us. If we keep getting better, we’ll be a very good team by the end of the year.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: M - Federico Higuain
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Zack Steffen (left knee injury), M - Mohammed Abu (left thigh injury), F - Adam Jahn (right knee injury); QUESTIONABLE: D - Josh Williams (concussion), M - Federico Higuain (left hip injury)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Jon Kempin — Harrison Afful, Jonathan Mensah, Milton Valenzuela, Hector Jimenez — Wil Trapp, Artur — Pedro Santos, Eduardo Sosa, Luis Argudo — Gyasi Zardes

  • Notes: This will be Zardes’ first games against his former club. He has scored 11 goals in 19 appearances for Crew SC this season. He had 12 goals in 72 games for the Galaxy between 2015 and 2017. … Crew SC have won just one of their last six MLS matches (2L-3D). They have conceded in five straight games after keeping a clean sheet in five straight.

All-Time Series

  • Overall: LA Galaxy 15 wins, 52 goals … Columbus Crew 17 wins 58 goals … 10 draws
  • At LA: Galaxy 11 win, 31 goals … Crew SC 7 wins, 25 goals … 4 draws
  • Last meeting at LA: LA Galaxy 2, Columbus Crew SC 1 (Sept. 4, 2016)


Referee: Hilario Grajeda
Assistant Referees: Jonathan Johnson, Eduard Mariscal
4th Official: Ismir Pekmic
VAR: Ramy Touchan