LA Galaxy set for First of Three Consecutive Away Matches

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Zlatan Ibrahimovic of LA Galaxy questions a call by the referee as Romain Alessandrini looks on against the New York Red Bulls in their MLS match in Carson, California, on April 28, 2018, where New York defeated Los Angeles 3-2. (Photo by FREDERIC J. BROWN / AFP) (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

HOUSTON, TX. —The LA Galaxy begin the first leg of three consecutive away matches on Saturday as they travel south to play the Houston Dynamo. Coming off the heels of their 3-2 defeat against the New York Red Bulls, the Galaxy will be looking to blast off in the “Space City.”

LA Galaxy Houston Dynamo Preview: Galaxy Take on Houston in the First of Three Consecutive Away Matches

Houston Dynamo vs LA Galaxy
2018 MLS Regular Season
BBVA Compass Stadium
May 5, 2018 – 5:30 pm PT
Watch: Spectrum SportsNet & Spectrum Deportes
Stream: ESPN+

As the LA Galaxy continue to flounder in the pool of mediocrity, they embark on a journey that will decide the fate of the Galaxy. Despite occupying the fifth seed in the Western Conference, the Galaxy has played below expectations in 2018. This is due in large to the disconnection between the defense and attack. Will the Galaxy be able to pick themselves up by their bootstraps?

That Answer is Most Likely “Yes”

After Sigi Schmid’s tactical switch to a 4-3-3 last week, the Galaxy attack actually looked like they were playing professional soccer. They had plenty of chances on goal, and Giovani dos Santos even got off the mark.

The Missing Midfielder

The one concern in this lineup is currently the absence of Jonathan dos Santos.

With Romain Alessandrini and Ola Kamara acting as inverted wingers, the Galaxy were able to link up with fluidity in the final third. However, what the Galaxy lack right now is the ability to transition phases.

Perry Kitchen has proven to be a below average distributor. Kamara, who drops back more than Alessandrini, isn’t the best distributor. Alessandrini, who has the vision and touch to be the key playmaker, routinely refuses to track back. The LA Galaxy need him to work back and link with the midfielders. If he refuses to do that, Sigi may need to consider resting him for a match or two.

Commitment to Attack

Much to the chagrin of Sigi Schmid, his team is set up to score goals. Like Zlatan Ibrahimovic once said about Pep Guardiola, “you bought
a Ferrari but drove it like a Fiat.”

Now, in no way am I trying to insinuate that Sigi and Pep are equals. However, Sigi has so many great attacking pieces at his disposal. If he would let them rev the engine a bit, maybe the Galaxy could get out of second gear.

Yes, the Galaxy might concede goals on the break if they push the game forward. But how is that any different than what is happening now? At least if they commit to a more aggressive approach, being countered will be the expectation. And goal-scoring of their own will be the Galaxy’s return.

Prediction: LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 1

The LA Galaxy are bound to catch a break sooner or later. For their sake, the former is preferential to the latter. The attack looked strong against a New York Red Bulls side that doesn’t concede often. To say the Galaxy could have had tallied more is accurate.

The Galaxy will need to contain the goal-scoring duo of Alberth Elis and Mauro Manotas who have each scored four goals this season. Elis has added four assists, and he is clearly the most dangerous forward in the Houston attack. It will be a big ask of Michael Ciani and Jorgen Skjelvik to contain him.

Ultimately, the LA Galaxy have the pieces to win in MLS. They were able to go on a strong run of away games around this time last season, as well, so perhaps a stint away from the StubHub Center is just what the Galaxy need to rocket up the table.

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