Greg Vanney is anticipating another draining week for his LA Galaxy players as they head to Texas to tackle FC Dallas.

The Galaxy played two home games in quick succession, losing to rivals Los Angeles FC and beating Minnesota United, before a break ahead of this match.

But the July heat means Vanney sees this next task being little easier for his side, with another home double-header quickly following as the Colorado Rapids and the Portland Timbers visit LA.

"We have a couple of days from a busy and emotional week, just to reset physically and mentally, and then you start to prepare for what's going to be another busy week after," he said.

"We start off in Dallas. Dallas is always tough, especially this time of year. It's a special kind of tough with the weather.

"Then we come back for two more at home. We'll road map out how we want to approach next week and prepare the group."

After the setback of the LAFC defeat, a win over Minnesota at least lifted spirits ahead of this stretch.

Vanney continued: "It's nice doing that coming off a win. It feels a lot better as you go into this week and everybody can kind of relax and enjoy a couple of days, and then we get right back to work."

The Galaxy have also had time to get back on the training pitch before playing Dallas, with Vanney acknowledging he was focusing solely on the result against Minnesota given the quick turnaround.

"I think sometimes in the third games you put away some of the stuff that you normally are really, really picky on," he said.

"You've just got to suffer through it a little bit, and we did enough to get the three points [against Minnesota].

"We'll take it, and we'll talk about how we want to keep improving and get better and attack the next week, so just I'm glad we managed to get the three points."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

FC Dallas – Petar Musa

Musa missed out on Croatia's squad for Euro 2024, but while his international team-mates were exiting at the group stage, he has been tearing it up in MLS.

The forward has scored in four of his past five matches for six total goals across that span.

He is only the eighth Dallas player to score six or more goals across a run of five matches in MLS history.

LA Galaxy – Gabriel Pec

The Galaxy have their own in-form star in Pec, who scored both goals in the 2-1 win over Minnesota.

He is not just a goalscorer, however, adding seven assists to his nine MLS goals this season.

Indeed, Pec has either scored, assisted or provided a secondary assist in six straight games, the longest such streak from a Galaxy player since Javier Hernandez's eight across 2021 and 2022.

MATCH PREDICTION: DALLAS WIN

It is little wonder Vanney was not exactly relishing this trip, as Dallas have won seven in a row at home against the Galaxy. An eighth would make this the outright longest winning run for any team at home to the Galaxy in the MLS regular season.

And Dallas' home form is imperious right now, too. They have won six of their past eight at home.

The Galaxy are at least themselves in good shape, winning seven of nine for the first time in a single regular season since 2019, but only league leaders FC Cincinnati have won at Dallas since the start of April.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

FC Dallas – 38.8%

LA Galaxy – 34.7%

Draw – 26.5%

Minnesota United head coach Eric Ramsay believes they will bounce back from their recent disappointing run against LA Galaxy on Sunday.

The Loons have not won any of their last six matches in MLS, losing each of the last five on the bounce, and dropped to eighth in the Western Conference.

Minnesota have been without players due to injury and international duty, but with some of those starting to return, Ramsay is hopeful it will be the spark they need to snap their losing streak.

"In the grand scheme of this difficult run that we're on and the circumstances that surround it, there were elements of the last performance where we looked back at our best," Ramsay said.

"I think it's as simple as welcoming players back from injuries and internationals to get us back to the feeling before all of this took place.

"That's a very realistic take on the situation, though we will look back at this period with some real regret and disappointment that we haven't picked up the points we could and should've done."

Meanwhile, the Galaxy's four-game winning streak was ended by Los Angeles FC in Thursday’s El Trafico derby.

Now three points off top spot, having slipped to third, head coach Greg Vanney was left to bemoan LA's failure to create chances at the Rose Bowl.

"I'm not interested in being a possession team for the sake of passing the ball around," Vanney said.

"We need to use possession to put the opposition on their heels to score goals, to bury them and make them feel like we're relentlessly coming at them, not so they can set up and be comfortable and turn us over and go the other way."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – Gabriel Pec

Gabriel Pec scored against Los Angeles FC and has now been involved in a goal in five straight appearances, tied for the second-longest active streak in MLS.

The Brazilian is the second Galaxy player this season to record a streak of five games with a goal contribution, after Dejan Joveljic in February-March.

Minnesota United – Bongokuhle Hlongwane

Bongokuhle Hlongwane has recorded a goal and an assist in two consecutive away matches, one of two players (Lionel Messi) to do so in consecutive road games this season.

Only two players in MLS history have a goal and an assist in three straight road games – Junior Agogo in 2000 and Ante Razov in 1999.

MATCH PREDICTION: LA GALAXY WIN

The Galaxy won six of their first eight matches against Minnesota United (drawing two) from the Loons' MLS entry in 2017 through August 2021. Since then, LA have won just one of seven meetings with Minnesota (drawn three, lost three).

The Galaxy's 2-1 defeat to LAFC on Thursday was their fourth loss of the season, and the second against their derby rivals. They have not lost two straight matches since last October, with the second of those defeats coming against Minnesota.

However, Minnesota have lost five straight regular-season matches for the first time in club history.  The Loons had suffered only three defeats in 16 league matches this season prior to this run (won eight, drew five).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LA Galaxy – 49.9%

Draw – 25.3%

Minnesota United – 24.8%

Los Angeles FC head coach Steve Cherundolo is anticipating an "exciting" battle against derby rivals LA Galaxy on Thursday.

The two teams are locked in at the top of the Western Conference, both on 40 points, though LAFC have the slight advantage of a game in hand.

Cherundolo's side are unbeaten in nine MLS matches, winning eight of those, and have won their last two outings by an aggregate score of 9-2.

Asked how LAFC would cope with the threat the Galaxy pose, Cherundolo praised the improvement of their neighbours.

"It's our rivals. They're a team that scores a lot of goals," Cherundolo said.

"They have weapons, and they've added to the transitions and got some defensive stability, so they're really a complete team this year.

"They're top of the table with us, so they're a team that has found a way to get results while playing well, so it should be an exciting match."

Meanwhile, the Galaxy are on a four-match winning run of their own and have only lost one of their last 11 matches in MLS.

Head coach Greg Vanney is pleased with his side's defensive stability, and was quick to pick out goalkeeper, John McCarthy.

"His maturity back there and his capacity to come up because he did come up with a couple big saves [against San Jose], but his capacity to come up with a save when we need it has been really strong for us," Vanney said.

"You can't say too much about that, especially when you're on the road. The opposition is going to get something. There's going to be a moment here or there and when there has been, John has been there. Three shutouts is big for us."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – John McCarthy

The Galaxy have won four straight matches, keeping clean sheets in each of the last three.

It marks the first time LA has posted three straight shutout wins in all competitions since a four-match run in 2016, and McCarthy will be keen to equal that record in the derby.

LAFC – Mateusz Boguesz

Mateusz Bogusz has contributed to three goals in each of his last two matches (two goals and one assist versus San Jose Earthquakes on June 21 and a hat-trick against Colorado Rapids on Saturday).

The Pole is one of five players to do so this year after no more than three players had done so in any previous MLS season.

MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC WIN

Los Angeles FC have won five of their last six MLS matches against the Galaxy (L1, incl. playoffs), including a 2-1 victory on April 6. The Galaxy lost only three of the first 14 editions of El Trafico from LAFC's debut in MLS in 2018 through April 2022.

LAFC have won 10 of their last 11 matches in all competitions (D1), including a 3-0 win over Colorado on Saturday. They are the first MLS team since Sporting Kansas City in 2011-12 to win 10 times in the span of 11 matches in all competitions.

Meanwhile, this will be the Galaxy's 28th home match on the Fourth of July in 29 MLS seasons, only not doing so in 2020 (no game). LA have scored at least twice in nine of their last 10 Independence Day games dating back to 2013, only failing to do so in a 2-0 loss to Kansas City in 2021.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LA Galaxy – 34%

Draw – 25.8%

LAFC – 40.2%

Real Salt Lake head coach Pablo Mastroeni says his team are aiming to be champions and are looking to continue their impressive form against LA Galaxy on Saturday.

RSL sit top of the Western Conference on 37 points, having lost just two matches so far this season while putting together an astounding 15-game unbeaten run in the league.

Mastroeni knows exactly where his side are in the table, and he has embraced the challenge that comes with being the leader.

"It's about connecting to the big picture - we want to be champs," said Mastroeni. "There's all these sayings in sport for a reason, the one I go by is offence will win you games, but defence will win you championships.

"It always goes back to what we want to achieve as a team. It's about fine-tuning some things and having a real understanding that we're now the hunted and need to get everyone's best game."

The Galaxy are one of those chasing Salt Lake down, sitting just three points below them in third, having lost just one of their last nine matches.

Having won their last two games, head coach Greg Vanney was particularly pleased with how his side defended in those two victories.

"When we're following through on our responsibilities and making the games as predictable as we possibly can, then it helps the group to deal with situations a lot easier and cleaner," Vanney said.

"We've done a nice job of that in the last two games, and it helps us to defend better. It gives the group a lot of confidence in understanding that if we stick to what we want to do, we can be a lot more efficient, especially in defence."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Real Salt Lake – Cristian Arango

Arango has scored six goals in six career MLS matches against the Galaxy (incl. playoffs), tied for his most against any opponent in MLS play (Austin, Dallas).

No player has scored more goals against the Galaxy since Arango joined MLS in August 2021.

LA Galaxy – Dejan Joveljic

Joveljic had both a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's win over New York City FC on Wednesday, his second straight game with one of each.

The only other Galaxy player to have three straight regular-season games with both a goal and an assist is Zlatan Ibrahimovic (September 2019).

MATCH PREDICTION: REAL SALT LAKE WIN

Salt Lake have lost only one of their last six regular-season matches against the Galaxy (W2 D3), though that defeat came in their last home league match against them in May 2023.

The Galaxy have won consecutive regular-season road games against RSL just once, doing so in 2012-13.

RSL are unbeaten in 15 straight regular-season matches (W9 D6), equaling the longest single-season streak since the Portland Timbers went 15 straight without defeat in 2018. There have only been three longer single-season streaks in MLS history, most recently a 16-match run by New York Red Bulls in 2016.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy have won four of their last five games (L1) with the last three of those wins coming by at least two goals. It is the first time the team have had three victories by multiple goals in a four-game span since doing so in September-October 2018.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Real Salt Lake – 53.7%

Draw – 23.8%

LA Galaxy – 22.6%

LA Galaxy captain Maya Yoshida says the team are not satisfied with their position at the halfway stage of the MLS season, with Sporting Kansas City next up on Saturday.

The Galaxy's six-match unbeaten streak ended before the mid-season break, with the Chicago Fire coming from behind to beat them 2-1.

They sit fourth in the Western Conference, five points behind leaders Real Salt Lake, but Yoshida believes they should be challenging for the top spot.

"It's a big improvement on last season, but I'm still not satisfied. I'm still not happy enough," Yoshida said.

"Maybe, generally, people say the Galaxy are doing well, but I feel like we could play better and get more points. We should be top of the league. I'll always stay hungry and greedy, and I want to do more and more and more."

Head coach Greg Vanney echoed his thoughts, saying: "I'm pretty happy with the point total that we have from the first half of the season.

"We let a couple of opportunities to be a little higher go. I think we learned a lot about ourselves that we need to clean up or keep using as we understand ourselves better."

Sporting snapped a 10-match winless run last weekend with a 2-1 victory over the Seattle Sounders, leaving them in 12th.

Peter Vermes is confident his team can use that victory as a platform to push them forward for the second half of the season.

He said: "This is a good team. The issue last year, which was different, was for the longest time, I had to be the one to tell them that. Our win over [Colorado] should reinforce that message that they're good. When they want to play, they can play."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig

Puig has found the net in three consecutive appearances for the Galaxy for the first time in his MLS career. The Spaniard has been involved in seven goals since the beginning of May with only four players in MLS involved in more in that time.

Sporting Kansas City – Johnny Russell

Russell scored his seventh career regular-season goal against Seattle Sounders in the win on Saturday, his most against any opponent, breaking a tie with three other teams against whom he has scored six times, including the Galaxy.

MATCH PREDICTION: LA GALAXY WIN

The Galaxy ended a six-match winless run against Kansas City (D3 L3) with a 3-2 road win on March 24. The win was just the Galaxy's third in their last 17 matches against Sporting dating back to October 2015 (D7 L7).

LA have lost only one of their last 17 regular-season home matches (W8 D8), including winning four of their last five in Carson (D1). The 17 matches in that run have seen a total of 67 goals for an average of 3.9 per match.

Meanwhile, Kansas City ended a seven-match losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Seattle on Saturday. Sporting came from 1-0 down in the match as they have gone behind in 10 straight league matches dating back to mid-April.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LA Galaxy – 53.5%

Draw – 23.8%

Sporting Kansas City – 22.7%

Dejan Joveljic has his eyes on the Western Conference summit as LA Galaxy bid to make it a nine-point week on Saturday, when they face the Chicago Fire at Soldier Field.

The Galaxy have won back-to-back games against Houston Dynamo (2-1) and FC Dallas (3-1) and sit second in the West, just two points behind Real Salt Lake.

Greg Vanney's team have now lost just one of their last nine matches (four wins, four draws), but Joveljic wants even more, starting in Chicago. 

"We would like to win four or five games in a row," the forward said. "But first, we have to win three and then we will see. We are in second place, so it's good, but it could be better. 

"In the playoffs, I would like to start with the first game at home. So, that means we have to be in the top four teams but, of course, our top goal is to be first."

Chicago, meanwhile, are winless in nine MLS matches (four draws, five defeats) following their 1-1 draw with Orlando City on Wednesday. 

Only the New England Revolution, with seven points, sit below them in the Eastern Conference standings. However, boss Frank Klopas has seen signs of improvement.

"I think in these last two games, we've changed how we wanted to play. We haven't got the wins, but I feel we're improving as a team," he said.

"There's a big belief in the group, but there's also frustration, for sure. There are a lot of emotions because of where we are.

"We have to keep going. It's great that we're playing on Saturday again, it's going to be a great crowd, and we have to come out with the same attitude against Galaxy."

PLAYERS TO WATCH 

Chicago Fire – Hugo Cuypers 

Cuypers scored the Fire's goal in their draw with Orlando on Wednesday.

The Belgian forward has now either scored (four) or assisted (one) five of Chicago's last nine MLS goals.

LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig

While Gabriel Pec assisted Joveljic for Galaxy's first goal on Wednesday, Puig scored the third (Joveljic netted the second from the penalty spot). 

At least one of Pec or Puig have been involved in 12 of the Galaxy's last 13 non-penalty goals in MLS, including the last nine in a row.

MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY

Galaxy are unbeaten in six straight MLS matches (two wins, four draws), including winning their last two in a row. 

This is LA's 18th two-match winning streak since the start of the 2021 season, but Galaxy have not won three straight matches in all competitions since a four-match streak between August and September 2020.

Galaxy have a great chance to achieve that feat this week, though, with Chicago winless in nine league games. They have gone 10 or more consecutive matches without a victory in a single regular season three times before, most recently between April and May 2022.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Chicago Fire – 32.9%

LA Galaxy – 41.5%

Draw – 25.6%

Greg Vanney is aiming to build some momentum for the LA Galaxy as they look to end a run of four draws against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

The Galaxy are on a five-match winless run in MLS, with another goalless draw against Charlotte last weekend seeing them drop to fourth in the Western Conference.

After a run of four away games in their previous five outings, LA are now due to play four of their next five at Dignity Health Sports Park, which is also where they got their last win.

"This is a big phase for us to really build some momentum in all ways, being in front of our fans and being at home for this next stretch," said Vanney, as quoted in The Galactic Tribune.

"Obviously, we've got to go on the road once more, but hopefully build on the momentum and get some points."

Houston Dynamo have won just one of their last six MLS matches and dropped more points in a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas last Saturday as they sit eighth in the West.

Ben Olsen is upbeat about the Dynamo’s recent performances, though he admits they need to learn lessons from their recent results.

"The reality is the performances aren't necessarily resembling the points that we're getting," he said.

"We're actually in a nice rhythm of consistency. I know it's hard to say that when we're not maximising points, but the way we're going about the games is pretty good, and it's pretty consistent.

"We'll keep working at it. That's all you can do. What else are you going to do, quit?"

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – Joseph Paintsil

Paintsil has contributed to at least one goal in four straight home matches (two goals, three assists), including recording an assist in the last three.

Only one Galaxy player in the last decade has recorded an assist in four straight home matches: Douglas Costa between June and August 2023.

Houston Dynamo – Ibrahim Aliyu

Amine Bassi scored his first goal of the season in Houston’s 1-1 draw with Dallas last weekend, becoming the ninth different Dynamo player to find the back of the net.

However, only one player has netted more than a single goal for them this campaign, with Aliyu netting four.

MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY WIN

The Galaxy’s 0-0 draw with Charlotte on Saturday was their fourth consecutive draw and they’ve shared the points a joint-league high seven times this year. LA have drawn five consecutive regular-season matches only once before, doing so in May 2009.

The Dynamo have lost only one of their last six away matches against the Galaxy dating back to 2017 (two wins, three draws). Houston have kept clean sheets in each of their last two visits, and the only team to keep three straight clean sheets at the Galaxy in MLS play is the Columbus Crew, who did so between 2004 and 2006.

However, the Dynamo have alternated between wins and losses on the road this season, including a 1-0 defeat to Austin in their last away match. Houston have won four away matches in a single regular season just once since 2014, winning four times away from home in 2022, including at the Galaxy.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LA Galaxy – 42.4%

Draw – 25.6%

Houston Dynamo – 32%

Dean Smith is looking for his Charlotte FC side to build upon their 1-0 win over the Chicago Fire when they host the LA Galaxy this weekend.

Charlotte made it three wins in a row as they narrowly beat the Fire during midweek thanks to Ashley Westwood's 60th-minute winner.

The three-match win streak has taken Charlotte all the way up to fifth in the Eastern Conference, and though Smith was not enthralled by the manner of the victory over Chicago, he appreciated his side's mindset.

"I saw the mentality, but I didn’t see a game of football that I liked. It certainly won’t make the highlight reel," Smith told reporters.

"It wasn't a thriller of any sort. It was an untidy game from both teams but we showed real good mentality to limit them to few chances, and we took the one we had from a set piece."

The Galaxy, meanwhile, drew 2-2 at Minnesota United on Wednesday, leaving them fifth in the Western Conference and four points off leaders Real Salt Lake.

Minnesota equalised with just 10 minutes to play, but Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney still thought it was a solid point for his side.

"We've got to try to take this point and start to heal and start to recover and move on to the next one," Vanney said.

"[It is a] good, hard-earned point at the end of the day even though there was a chance for us to get three there at the tail end."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Charlotte FC – Ashley Westwood

Westwood scored the lone goal in Charlotte’s win over Chicago on Wednesday at the hour mark. Nine of Charlotte's 11 goals since March 23 have been scored after half-time, and Westwood will be hoping to spur his side on once more this Saturday by finding the net again.

LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig

Puig assisted both of the Galaxy's goals against Minnesota on Wednesday after also recording assists on both Galaxy goals on Saturday against Salt Lake. Puig is the first Galaxy player to record multiple assists in consecutive matches since Romain Alessandrini in 2018, and he will hope to make it three such games in a row this weekend.

MATCH PREDICTION – CHARLOTTE WIN

Charlotte and the Galaxy have each recorded a 1-0 away win against the other. Both goals were scored after the 70th minute.

The Galaxy have drawn each of their last three matches with the last two ending 2-2. In their last 22 matches, the Galaxy have scored two or more goals 15 times and allowed two or more goals 17 times.

Charlotte have won three straight matches, keeping clean sheets in all three. This is the first time Charlotte have kept clean sheets in three straight matches in club history, and with home advantage this weekend, they look the favourites to pick up the three points on Saturday.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Charlotte: 47.3%

Galaxy: 25.8%

Draw: 26.9%

Greg Vanney believes the LA Galaxy are in a good spot both physically and mentally ahead of Saturday's clash with fellow Western Conference high-fliers Real Salt Lake.

The Galaxy sit third in the West through 11 matches of the season, though they have failed to win back-to-back road games against Austin FC (0-2) and the Seattle Sounders (0-0).

They are, however, unbeaten in all four of their home league games this term (two wins, two draws), and Vanney is looking forward to returning to Dignity Health Sports Park next time out.

"Physically, first and foremost, we're in a pretty good spot. We have a few guys coming back from issues that were pretty minor," Vanney said.

"It's good. We've been able to stay in that space for a while and now we're going into a busy part of the schedule we can make some choices about how we want to attack the week.

"Where are we mentally? We're good. It's nice to be home, it's a challenge to play a lot of games on the road early doors.

"We like the spot we're in and we want to keep building, but we've got to get through this tough stretch of games."

Real Salt Lake are top of the Western standings with 21 points, only losing twice in 11 league games this year.

However, they were dumped out of the U.S. Open Cup by New Mexico United on Wednesday, Pablo Mastroeni shuffling his pack for a 4-2 road loss.

"We completely tuned out," Mastroeni said after watching his team go 2-0 down within 20 minutes.

"The emotion is like, 'poor me,' and when you operate from that space, you can never think reasonably."

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – Gabriel Pec

The Galaxy (12 shots) and Seattle (19) combined for 31 shots in their scoreless draw last time out.

Pec – who has two goals in 10 league appearances since joining the Galaxy in the offseason – recorded six of his team's attempts, but only hit the target once. He will be targeting an improvement here.

Real Salt Lake – Cristian Arango 

Arango is the first Real Salt Lake player to contribute to at least one goal in five straight regular-season away matches, recording four goals and five assists during his streak.

He is just the second player since the start of last season to record a goal contribution in five straight MLS away matches, after the Columbus Crew's Cucho Hernandez.

MATCH PREDICTION – LA GALAXY WIN

The Galaxy have lost only one of their last 13 home matches against Real Salt Lake (nine wins, three draws) including going unbeaten through the last seven in a row. 

The last two meetings in Carson have both ended level, though, after the Galaxy won nine of the previous 11 (one draw, one defeat).

However, Vanney's team have only lost one of their last 14 regular-season home matches dating back to last June, winning six and drawing six while averaging 2.2 goals per game throughout this run.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LA Galaxy – 44.8%

Real Salt Lake – 27.8%

Draw – 27.4%

LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney has urged his team to start sharply when they take on the Seattle Sounders on Sunday.

The Galaxy went down 2-0 to Austin FC last time out, and will look to get back to winning ways when they head up the West Coast to face the Sounders, who they beat 1-0 in March.

Vanney’s side found themselves 2-0 down after just 19 minutes against Austin, though, and the Galaxy coach is growing increasingly frustrated with his team’s sloppy starts.

In quotes reported by The Galactic Tribune, Vanney said: “We've got to do a better job of not starting slow and getting ourselves behind the game one and two goals because then it certainly incentivises the opposition to sit a little bit lower and really kind of protect the face of the goal.”

Vanney also pointed out that sluggishness in the final third is proving equally as costly.

He added: “The speed of our final actions when we are in possession and we do find those moments that we need to break, with the timing of things, needs to be sharper. I feel like we weren't so sharp on that side of things so that we can get to the necessary spots.”

For experienced defender Maya Yoshida, there were few excuses after the Austin loss.

“We were not enough. I don't deserve anything for my performance,” he said. “We deserved to lose. We are very disappointed. We have to learn from this defeat.”

The Galaxy went into the weekend second in the Western Conference, 10 places and nine points above the Sounders.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Seattle Sounders – Raul Ruidiaz

Ruidiaz and team-mate Jordan Morris have each scored nine goals against the Galaxy in their MLS careers. Since 2016, the only players with more goals against a single opponent are Carlos Vela (10 vs. Galaxy), Jeremy Ebobisse (10 vs. Galaxy) and Kei Kamara (10 vs. Montreal).

LA Galaxy – Riqui Puig

Puig had a fine campaign last year and the former Barcelona midfielder has picked up where he left off, scoring three goals and creating two more so far this season.

MATCH PREDICTION: SEATTLE SOUNDERS WIN

The Galaxy’s loss to Austin ended a run of 18 straight matches with at least one goal in all competitions, scoring 41 total times during that run (2.3 goals per match). It was the Galaxy’s longest run of games with a goal in all competitions since a 21-match run in 2014.

The Sounders won their second match of the season on Tuesday, a 3-2 victory in Philadelphia. Seattle have scored eight goals in their two wins this year (5-0 vs. CF Montreal in April) and six goals in their other eight matches (D3 L5).

The Galaxy beat Seattle at home on March 30, ending an 11-match MLS winless run against the Sounders (D4 L7). The Galaxy last won consecutive MLS matches against Seattle in April-August 2015.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Seattle Sounders – 53.9%

LA Galaxy – 20.1%

Draw – 26%

LA Galaxy coach Greg Vanney is satisfied with where his team are at in their development, with the next step for him being better game management.

The Galaxy beat the San Jose Earthquakes 4-3 last time out, and they are top of the Western Conference with 18 points from nine games.

Next up is a trip to Austin FC, who have won three of their last four MLS fixtures.

“We want to build some momentum and keep looking at things we can keep improving,” said Vanney.

“Austin are a team that are improving, they’ve figured out a few things with their group.

“All these games on the road are difficult, we’ve got to keep taking steps forward, learning from each of these games, things we can carry on into the next game and be a little better. I’m happy with where we’re at, for sure, and the process continues.”

The Galaxy raced into a 3-0 lead against the ‘Quakes, though Vanney was disappointed with how his side failed to maintain control.

He said: “At 3-0 with an opportunity to see it off into half-time, they score a goal that helps them get back into it, so I think game management is an important piece of that.

“Again, I think inside of that, is choosing our moments when we can really force the opposition to defend in numbers in their half of the field, burn their spirit a bit or really force them to work to get the ball back so they don’t really see a great way back into the game. Sometimes we rush attacks and the game starts to open up – we need to make sure the game stays controlled because we have everything to gain from that scenario.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Austin FC – Emiliano Rigoni

Rigoni scored his first goal of the season last time out, netting in Austin’s 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Fourteen different Austin FC players have been involved in at least one goal this year, tied with Sporting Kansas City for most in MLS in 2024.

LA Galaxy – Joseph Paintsil

Paintsil has a goal and an assist in each of the Galaxy’s last two matches. The last player to do so in three straight MLS matches was Zlatan Ibrahimovic, also for the Galaxy, in September 2019.

MATCH PREDICTION: AUSTIN FC WIN

The Galaxy have won four of their last five matches, including the last two in a row, following a 4—3 win over San Jose on Sunday. However, they have not won three in a row in all competitions since a four-match run in August-September 2020.

Austin, on the other hand, have won three of its last four matches, including their last two at home. Austin’s only three-match home winning streak since the start of the 2022 season came in June-July 2023.

The Galaxy have lost only one of their six matches against Austin FC (W4 D1 L1), but just one of their four wins over the Verde has come in Austin (W1 D1 L1).

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Austin FC – 51.2%

LA Galaxy – 23.3%

Draw – 25.5%

LA Galaxy have appointed former Toronto boss Greg Vanney as their head coach.

Vanney, who resigned from his position at Toronto in December, takes over after a difficult 2020 season for Galaxy.

The former Galaxy defender said he was looking forward to the opportunity as he replaces Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy," Vanney said.

"The LA Galaxy are an iconic club with a rich history in Los Angeles, MLS and North American soccer over the last 25 years.

"I am committed to working tirelessly for this club, our fans and Los Angeles to win a championship. I look forward to this new challenge in my career and am eager to get started."

Galaxy have missed the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons, winning just six games in 2020.

Vanney led Toronto to a treble in 2017, winning the MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship.

"Greg is a part of the history of the LA Galaxy and we are confident that he is the right person to lead our team moving forward," Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said.

"He has deep knowledge of this club and Major League Soccer as a player and a coach and has proven to be a consistent winner with a championship pedigree. His accolades as Toronto FC's manager are evidence of his ability to create and sustain success in our league.

"We look forward to working with Greg to continue to build a team that will compete for trophies."

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