Philadelphia Union vs. Los Angeles Galaxy
June 20th, 2015 - 10:30 PM EST
Stub Hub Center - Carson, CA
Comcast Sports Network, MLS Live
Since the inaugural season, the Philadelphia Union have not had the best of luck against the LA Galaxy. The Union have faced the Galaxy seven times, losing five of those games and winning only once. The most common score has been Galaxy 4, Union 1. The positive to this is that the Union have not been shut out by the Galaxy since 2011, so they can score against the Galaxy regardless of where they play. The last time these clubs played, the LA Galaxy came out on top 4-1 with 2 goals from Landon Donovan and a goal for both Robbie Keane and Leonardo to top Maurice Edu's penalty kick.
Both teams are coming off of wins in the US Open Cup, The Union winning their game against the Rochester Rhinos on penalty kicks and the Galaxy cruising at an easy 6-1 win against PSA Elite. While both are coming off wins, the Union will be handicapped as long time member and key contributor Sebastien Le Toux has been ruled out with an MCL sprain after the US Open Cup match on Tuesday. Another key player that will be missing will be Fernando Aristeguieta, as he will still be out with a left fibula contusion. Along with those players, the Union also will be without Conor Casey, Steven Vitoria, and Michael Lahoud. The Galaxy have been pretty good with injuries this year, as the only player that is listed as out is goalkeeper Brian Perk who is out for the season with a fractured ankle.
Keys to the Game
1. Be patient. The Union will have a thin roster as many players are still injured. Our offense will be weak, but the Union have proven they can score against the Galaxy in recent years. It's just a matter of picking the right place and time to shoot. If they try to force something, the Galaxy can easily counter attack with forwards like Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes.
2. Play smart. This simple cliche has escaped the Union this season and it has cost them. Whether it is going after balls they have no hope of getting, taking shots that have no chance of going in or going through players to get obvious fouls, the Union have not been playing smart soccer this year. When you have as little offensive depth as we have this year, you have to play smart and not give up anything.
3. Unleash Wenger. The only way I see the Union getting three points out of this game is if Andrew Wenger finds his form from last season again,. Fans have been saying this for weeks, but it has to happen against LA. Fans are irritated with how he has played, Jim Curtin is irritated with how he has played, and even Andrew Wenger is irritated with how he has played. He knows he can do better, but something just isn't working. With Le Toux out he will likely start against the Galaxy and he needs, NEEDS to figure out what is going wrong - and fix it as soon as possible.
With the injury toll to the Union, I'm giving this one to the Galaxy with a 3-1 win with two goals from Robbie Keane and a goal from some random midfielder who is getting his first or second start. I won't rule out a Union goal as CJ Sapong has been playing well lately, but with such little depth the Galaxy will add another win to their column and the Union will drop points once again.
GK: Brian Sylvestre
DEF: Raymon Gaddis, Maurice Edu, Richie Marquez, Fabio Alves
MID: Andrew Wenger, Brian Carroll, Cristian Maidana, Vincent Noguiera, Eric Ayuk
FWD: CJ Sapong