It’s East Coast versus West Coast in Sunday’s Clash of LA Galaxy and New York Red Bulls.
Fresh off a positive result on the road in Seattle, thanks to a late equalizer from Sebastian Lletget, the LA Galaxy look to continue their 9 game unbeaten streak at home to the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls also come into the matchup confidently following some late-game heroics from Bradley Wright-Phillips, who sealed a point on the road against Chicago with his 90th minute strike—his 12th of the season, which made him NYRB’s all-time leading goal scorer. But if anyone is up for the challenge against the red-hot NY striker, it’s MLS All Star Jelle Van Damme, who has received all sorts of plaudits around MLS this week and was on the shortlist for the league’s Player of the Month award (Van Damme finished with less than 7% of the vote in the fan chosen MLS Player of the Month).
LA will be the fresher of the two sides, however, as the Red Bulls come into the matchup a little weary having won 3-0 at home mid-week in the CONCACAF Champions League. Bruce Arena should have all his stars to chose from and with Lletget getting on the score sheet for the first time this season, Ema Boateng could lose his starting spot on the left side of midfield.
However, the Red Bulls also announced two new signings that may or may not be available to play in the game on Sunday. Daniel Royer is a 26 year old winger who’s spent time in the Bundesliga. He’s a Discovery signing. The second signed player is Omar Damari is an Israeli striker who joins New York as a Designated Player, but on loan from Red Bull Leipzig. He’ll be with the club until the end of the year. Of note, Damari is the first player to have played for all three Red Bull teams (New York, Leipzig, Salzburg).
But at this stage of the season, the LA Galaxy find themselves in a pretty comfortable spot—just 8 points off of the top spot in the Western Conference having played 3 fewer games than leaders FC Dallas. Bruce Arena also has his full squad to pick from with Robbie Rogers returning to training and Gyasi Zardes close to return. Add to it that the players are relaxed leading up to this one as the G.O.A.T. himself, David Beckham stopped by for training yesterday.
Sunday’s matchup leaves 3 big points on the table for both teams in their race to win their respective conferences, but with New York only winning once on the road this year, the Gs are certainly the favorites coming in to this one. Kick off is 6:30 PM PT from StubHub Center — don’t miss out!