Woooooo, what a win it was last weekend! The LA Galaxy earned 3 points against a very good Sporting Kansas City team last Saturday at StubHub Center, and now have a new task at hand this Sunday. The Galaxy are traveling to the East coast to have a crack at the New York Red Bulls, who have been one of the surprises of the 2015 MLS season. The Galaxy enter the game with a record of 3-2-2, 3rd in the Western Conference, and are looking to move up the standings with a positive result against the Red Bulls.
With a record of 3-0-2, the Red Bulls sit atop the Eastern Conference standings. Yes, these are the Red Bulls who lost Thierry Henry to retirement and Tim Cahill to Shanghai in the offseason. Yes, this is a team many thought were going through a rebuilding year and wouldn’t fair so well. But with a coaching change over the offseason that brought in former Chivas USA player Jesse Marsch to lead the team, and new acquisition Sacha Kljestan, who was also a target of the Galaxy’s over the winter break, the Red Bulls have found early success in 2015.
The Red Bulls are a talented side, featuring the 2014 MLS Golden Boot winner Bradley Wright-Phillips, a good midfield tandem of Kljestan, Lloyd Sam and captain Dax McCarty. They’ll definitely pose a threat to the Galaxy, especially at Red Bull Arena where the Red Bulls are tied with LA for the best home record since 2012.
Another weekend and, as usual, we don’t really know what lineup to expect from the Galaxy. With the status of Robbie Keane still unknown, the Galaxy will be welcoming back Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes, surely into the starting lineup. Bruce is also not spilling any beans as reported in an interview with LA Galaxy Insider, Adam Serrano: “He has been in full training on and off this week,” Bruce Arena said. “We’ll see how he’s feeling today and make those decisions [on his availability for Sunday].” The Galaxy will likely be missing Jose Villarreal due to a hamstring injury, which took him out of the U-23 friendly on Wednesday. Jose after the game said to reporters “(I) just felt it tighten up and, you know, I just prevented it from getting worse…”.
“We’ll see how he’s feeling today and make those decisions [on his availability for Sunday].”
So, what will the Galaxy starting 11 look like? Here is my prediction if Robbie Keane is available:
You’re probably wondering why Zardes is on the wing, and the reason why is because when Zardes was brought in against SKC, he had such a great tandem with BJ IV that it just made sense. Jamieson has previously stated that these two have chemistry together on and off the field so that can really help the Galaxy and in this day and age, SPEED KILLS. With captain Robbie Keane hopefully back, look to see Keano start right back up where he left off and do what Keano does. But, it’s a big if that Robbie will be back in the lineup, so here’s another possibility and the most likely of the two, to happen on Sunday.
Here’s my prediction without Robbie Keane available:
With Robbie out of the lineup, you will for sure see Alan Gordon back up top for the Galaxy as he has played very good in the past 2 games that Keane has been out. He has been battling and hustling very hard, so look to see him doing Alan Gordon things.
As MLS Cup Champions, every team gives the Galaxy their best shot, so the Galaxy have to be well prepared for a New York Red Bulls team ready and hungry to defeat the Galaxy. The forecast at Red Bull Arena predicts a 64 degree cloudy afternoon for the Sunday 2 PM PT, 5 PM ET kickoff. All in all, I expect a great game of soccer and a good performance from the Galaxy especially on the “Sunday Soccer” game of the week on ESPN. Two wins in a row, its time to make it three!
Catch the game live on Sunday at 2 PM PT on ESPN 2 and ESPN Deportes as well as on the air on the LA Galaxy’s radio home, The Beast 980.