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Philadelphia Union vs LA Galaxy, 2016 MLS: Match Preview

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Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

After 10 weeks, the Galaxy have looked to be far and away one of the best teams in this season so far, and on Wednesday, Bruce Arena's side have the chance to climb all the way to the top of the Supporters' Shield standings.

When the Galaxy visit the Philadelphia Union, they will be doing it with a league-best seven games unbeaten. On the past three occasions these sides have met, the Galaxy has outscored the Union 13-2.

Indeed, confidence is high, and their first-half performance against the New England Revolution last weekend is what you would imagine manager Bruce Arena sees as the perfect example of this team's potential.The Galaxy were brilliantly cohesive and quick in moving the ball around through their forward-line attackers. The return of Robbie Keane was also a welcomed boost, and the captain scored twice in his team's 4-2 win over the Revs.

The Philadelphia Union, however, have been abnormally difficult to stop at home, where they remain unbeaten in their first four games of the season. Their performances so far have been a large improvement  from last season when the Union finished in the penultimate position of the Eastern Conference Standings.

The Union have only been able to beat the Galaxy once since joining MLS, but the potential wild factor here is that this is their third consecutive game at home. They have also enjoyed a whole 10 days of rest, last buckling a 1-0 lead to a ten-man San Jose Earthquakes team on April 30. In contrast, the Galaxy are travelling to Philadelphia to play their second game in four days.

If the Galaxy can find the right balance again, this visit, like many in the past, can be a positive one. Union manager, Jim Curtin, called the Galaxy MLS's New England Patriots. A statement that will no doubt have brought a laugh or two from supporters, but should the outcome be anything like Super Bowl XXXIX, then the Galaxy can't complain.

LAST MEETING

LA Galaxy 5-1 Philadelphia Union - June 20, 2015 - MLS

The LA Galaxy thumped the Union 5-1 with goals from Baggio Husidic, Juninho, Gyasi Zardes, Stefan Ishizaki, and Sebastian Lletget. C.J. Sapong scored the Union's lone goal.

LIKELY LINE-UPS

LA Galaxy (4-4-2): Rowe; DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; Larentowicz, Boateng, Lletget, Dos Santos; Zardes, Keane

Philadelphia Union (4-2-3-1): Blake; Rosenberry, Yaro, Marquez, Fabinho; Nogueira, Creavalle; Le Toux, Barnetta, Pontius; Sapong