After a long road-trip to Cascadia, the LA Galaxy return to Southern California to host the New York Red Bulls at StubHub Center on Sunday. Perhaps its too early to make any sweeping conclusions, but after more than half of the season gone, it is looking increasingly likely these two clubs will be in the fight for a chance at lifting the MLS Cup trophy come playoff-time.
The Galaxy arrive to this game on the back of an unbeaten run that stretches to seven league games now, while the Red Bulls are not far behind with a steady run of five league games unbeaten of their own. The Galaxy and Red Bulls are the second highest scoring teams in their conference respectively, and they are arguably the most in-form teams in the league heading into the weekend.
From a Galaxy perspective, it almost feels like an opportunity they can’t let pass. The Galaxy have made it clear they are a tough team to beat at home, and with their next two games to be played at StubHub Center, Bruce Arena’s side will be eager to continue marching down to a playoff spot. What’s more, the Galaxy are finally clicking. These last two months were always going to be indicative of the real potential behind this team, and as Bruce Arena covets, the Galaxy are finding ways to score and get points.
The Red Bulls, though, are in something of a similar path. Jesse Marsch’s men started slow after the Copa America break, but they have recently picked up steam with wins over Orlando City and rivals NYCFC. Make no mistake, the Red Bulls are a good team. As ever, Bradley Wright-Phillips is a guarantee for goals, and Sacha Klejstan is the current leader of assists in the league with 10.
At the end, the key point here is that these are two of the best teams in the league. Both have made a case as to why that’s the case, and why this game will be one of the marquee match-ups of the MLS weekend.
New York Red Bulls 1-1 LA Galaxy - April 16, 2015 - MLS
The Red Bulls came from a goal down to earn a point at home
LA Galaxy (4-2-3-1): Rowe; DeLaGarza, Steres, Van Damme, Cole; De Jong, Larentowicz; Zardes, Gerrard, dos Santos; Keane
New York Red Bulls (4-2-3-1): Robles; Zizzo, Zubar, Collin, Lade; Felipe, McCarty; Muyl, Klejstan, Grella; Wright-Phillips