The hottest team in the league is hosting an LA Galaxy side that struggles with the very concept of defense and lost their three Designated Players to injury and their MVP quality TAM signing to cowardice. This likely means that former Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid will opt into a defensive posture and attempt to absorb Seattle’s pressure for 90 minutes.
Mike Gray from LAG Confidential answers Three Questions.
SaH: How bad will the roster be without Zlatan?
LAGC: Well, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romain Alessadrini and the dos Santos brothers are out so there goes the attack. However back in March Sigi faced a similar situation up in Vancouver and put out a defensive 5-3-2 formation with the wingbacks instructed to stay at home.
The adjustment worked; a frustrated Whitecaps failed to get on the board as LA earned a rare clean sheet. With much of the same personnel missing, we could see the 5-3-2 again on Saturday.
SaH: Is the Galaxy’s success this season more dependent on Sigi or Chris Klein?
LAGC: Sigi. If the former Sounders manager can repair a Galaxy back line that resembles Swiss cheese at times, LA are MLS Cup contenders with a bright 2019 ahead.
SaH: Is there a defensive player who should be getting more run?
LAGC: The match vs. the Caps featured a strong individual performance from Tomas Hilliard-Arce, who had several crucial clearances late to seal the road draw.
It’s been disappointing the No. 2 SuperDraft pick hasn’t seen more first team minutes. LA’s back line has been subpar and the Galaxy are sure to spend on reinforcements this offseason, leading us to wonder when the three-time NCAA Champion will see the field. That being said, center back Michael Ciani is another scratch so a Hilliard-Arce sighting wouldn’t be surprising.
Projected lineup: David Bingham; Ashley Cole, Jorgen Skjelvic, Daniel Steres, Dave Romney, Chris Pontius; Perry Kitchen, Servando Carrasco, Sebastian Lletget; Ola Kamara, Emmanuel Boateng
SaH Projected lineup: Stefan Frei; Nouhou, Chad Marshall, Kim Kee-hee, Kelvin Leerdam; Osvaldo Alonso, Gustav Svensson; Harry Shipp, Nicolas Lodeiro, Cristian Roldan; Raul Ruidiaz