New York City FC beat Sporting Kansas City in impressive fashion during their first MLS game of the season, and will be looking to replicate that performance when they face off against LA Galaxy, this Sunday.
The Galaxy also won their opening game of the season, thanks to goals from Ola Kamara and Romain Alessandrini helping them defeat Portland two goals to one.
City finds themselves tied on points at the top of the Eastern Conference, and LA currently sit in third place of the Western Conference after the first week of MLS action.
Patrick Vieira’s side boast the better head-to-head record between the two sides when they have faced off against each other in MLS – NYCFC have faced the Galaxy three times in the clubs history, and have won two out of the three league meetings between the sides, however, LA’s 3-0 victory in pre-season will be fresh in the mind of all NYCFC and LA Galaxy players coming into this game.
The Last Time We Met
The last time both sides met in the league was August of last year, where City beat LA 2-0. Jonathan Lewis (54′) and David Villa (73′) were both on the score sheet, in what was a relatively one-sided game.
For Vieira’s side there can only be one key players when it comes to facing off against the Galaxy. ‘El Guaje’ has scored in every meeting between the two sides in the league, and if City are to beat Sigi Schmid’s side this time round then Villa will have to be in good form.
With the arrival of Jesus Medina and his impressive debut, defences will not be able to focus solely on Villa, giving him more space in and around the box.
Following LA’s game with Portland last week, Schmid confirmed that Alessandrini will miss the NYCFC clash through injury, meaning Giovani dos Santos will have to step up in his absence. The Mexican is more than capable of filling the void that Alessandrini will undoubtedly leave in the Galaxy side, and if LA want to beat NYCFC then this will have to be done.
Gio Dos Santos hasn’t exactly set the MLS alight – to many fans surprise – since his arrival in LA, but with Alessandrini out of the side this is the perfect opportunity for him to do so.
The status of new NYCFC signing Jo Inge Berget – who was carrying a quad injury is uncertain, though he was training with the club this week. Maxime Chanot will also be serving his red card suspension after last week’s DOGSO dismissal.
LA Galaxy will be without Romain Alessandrini who has a hamstring injury. Schmid has also indicated midfielder Chris Pontius will be a game-time decision.
NYCFC (4-2-3-1): Johnson; Tinnerholm, Ibeagha, Callens, Sweat; Ring, Herrera; Medina, Moralez, Wallace; Villa.
LA Galaxy (4-3-3): Bingham; Feltscher, Ciani, Skjelvik, Cole; Jonathan Dos Santos, Kitchen, Pontius; Giovani Dos Santos, Kamara, Boateng.