Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Philadelphia Union: 10 Bold Predictions
With its three-game win streak now history, Bruce Arena's Los Angeles Galaxy will aim to stop the bleeding on July 4 when they take on the Philadelphia Union at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif.
The Galaxy are 6-9-2 (20 points) and need more points to stay alive in the race for a postseason spot. As for John Hackworth's Union, a 3-9-2 (11 points) record was the price they had to pay for Peter Nowak's decision to go with young players to steer the ship.
Kickoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. PT and will be televised locally by KDOC and KWHY.
Here are 10 bold predictions for this Independence Day showdown.
1. Los Angeles Will Score First
2. Robbie Keane Steps Up for LA
With David Beckham suspended for this Wednesday's contest, it will be up to Robbie Keane to shake off a horrible night on the road and deliver some home-cooking against the Union.
Keane has four goals this season but is looking to add more to his total.
3. LA Dominates the Statsheet
With home-field advantage playing a key part, Los Angeles need to dominate on possession, be more accurate with their passing and have more shots on goal.
I expect the Galaxy to win the possession battle 60 to 40 percent, while earning just over 18 attempts on goal with at least half on target.
4. A Full House
This is a no-brainer. It's Independence Day.
There will be a fireworks show after this game, which means...Lalas Hill will be open once again.
Print it, baby!
5. Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho Spice Things Up
With Beckham out of the lineup, Marcelo Sarvas is expected to team up with Juninho to help generate some offensive sequences and win possession.
In addition, some of that South American flair will be on display. This could be the game where the chemistry between Sarvas and Juninho is all put together.
6. Ahoy Pajoy: Lionard on Scoresheet for Union
Lionard Pajoy leads the Philadelphia Union in goals with four this year. He also leads the team in shots with 26.
I expect Pajoy to get on the scoresheet and keep the visitors in this game.
7. Zac MacMath Faces the Firing Squad
Union goalkeeper Zac MacMath has made 31 saves this season for Philadelphia. He will need to make a bevy of stops against a Los Angeles attack desperate for production.
Look for at least five saves from MacMath
8. An Improved Defensive Performance from the Galaxy
San Jose was able to exploit the holes in LA's defense.
Philadelphia's 4-0 win over Sporting Kansas City earlier this year makes them a problem when they are on their game. However, that shouldn't be the case on Independence Day.
Look for a more consistent effort from the back line of Todd Dunivant, A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin and David Junior Lopes.
9. Under 20 Fouls and over Four Yellow Cards Issued
The fouls won't be called as much this Wednesday, but the cards will be. I am calling for under 20 fouls called and over four yellow cards issued in this contest.
Both teams are desperate for points. It's a glorified pillow fight for all concerned.
10. Los Angeles Takes This One
The Galaxy are in need of a rebound from Saturday's shootout. Look for them to get right against a team that hasn't been getting it done for the majority of the year in the Philadelphia Union.
Los Angeles Galaxy 4, Philadelphia Union 1