CoG Studios, CA – The LA Galaxy start the summer season by traveling from the City of Angels to the City of Saints to take on the Montreal Impact this Saturday, May 28, at 5:00 p.m. PDT, at Saputo Stadium. The Galaxy are staring down the barrel of two cross-country away games during the month of June. After flying to play Saturday’s game in Montreal, the team will return to Los Angeles for a home game against Sporting Kansas City on June 2, and then log a second trip to Canada in order to play Toronto FC on June 18.
It is perhaps fortunate that the injuries and suspensions nagging the Galaxy for the past couple months are in the rear view window – Bruce Arena may now lean on the Galaxy’s much-vaunted depth. Given how heavily Arena has rotated players this season, it would not be surprising to see some players make one, but not both, trips east. On the other hand, like many teams in MLS, the Galaxy will be short-handed this month in light of the UEFA Euro 2016 and Copa América Centenario. Robbie Keane is traveling to Europe to join the Republic of Ireland before its first game against Sweden on June 13. Gyasi Zardes will be joining the USMNT for its friendlies against Ecuador (on May 25) and Bolivia (on May 28), which are serving as the preamble to the USMNT’s first match in the Copa América Centenario against Colombia on June 3.
Of course, if Sunday’s 1-1 draw at home against the San Jose Earthquakes illustrated anything, it is that the Galaxy have ample talent from which to deploy a Starting XI – the biggest challenge is in deploying the right Starting XI. Those perplexed by Arena’s decision to start a three-man midfield against San Jose’s five-man midfield on Sunday will be hoping to see the coaching staff tweak their strategy before this Saturday’s game. However, preparing to play Montreal largely turns on the status of its biggest attacking threat, Didier Drogba, and Drogba’s status for Saturday remains in doubt. The Ivoirian striker did not play in Montreal’s May 21 away game against Orlando City and the Impact reported that Drogba did not train on May 24. However, Drogba always seems to recuperate just in time to take the field for home games, so the fact that he missed the game against Orlando, which plays on turf, does not necessarily mean he’s injured.
The Impact have a few more injuries of note. Andrés Romero has been sidelined with a torn ACL, Cameron Porter and Donny Toia have hamstring strains and Victor Cabrera is out with an undisclosed injury. Montreal may also be deprived of Laurent Ciman, who has been called up to play for Belgium at the UEFA Euro 2016. If Drogba is fit, Montreal will likely play a 4-2-3-1, with Drogba as the front-line striker and Ignacio Piatti, Lucas Ontivero, and Dominic Oduro behind him.
LA has actually never lost to the Montreal Impact, but don’t get too excited – the two teams have only ever played each other on four occasions. LA currently sit third in the Western Conference table behind FC Dallas (26 points) and Colorado Rapids (27 points). LA are unbeaten in their last nine games and are the only one-loss team in MLS.
The game against Montreal will be broadcast on TWCSN and TWCD. Also, fans will be able to join fellow Galaxy supporters to watch LA Galaxy take on the Montreal Impact at the StubHub Center at 5:00 p.m. PDT via a custom Build-A-Bar with TV screens and BBQ provided by My Father’s BBQ. Tickets to the tailgate are just $10 and include a ticket to the Los Dos game which is also being played this Saturday against Arizona United SC at 7:30 p.m.