The momentary high from the departure of Chris Klein was just that for the Galaxy; a high. After every high, you must come down, however. And the Galaxy did in a big way this week. They crashed out of the U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinal round after a 3-2 away loss to Real Salt Lake that dashes their hope of Champions League soccer next season. Worse, they lost Captain Javier “Chicharito” Hernández to injury. The last-place Galaxy meets conference leaders St. Louis City after this tumultuous week. LA will have to put Chicharito’s loss and their midweek defeat behind them. They’ll have to if they are to have any hope of picking points up and climbing out of the Western Conference cellar.
LA Galaxy vs. St. Louis City at City Park
LA Galaxy’s Current Run of Form
The Galaxy’s last MLS game was a thrilling 3-2 comeback win over RSL that Head Coach Greg Vanney called “special.” Before that, their form was anything but. Despite the win and a crucial three points, LA is still in last place in the Western Conference and league. Their 3-3-9 record is their worst start in club history, good for only 12 points. They’ve lost nine times in 14 games and the victory over RSL is their only road win this year.
Their last game, last game though, was the U.S. Open Cup defeat in which RSL got its revenge. Down 3-0 after 51-minutes, LA staged a late comeback that just fell short. The Galaxy was unfortunate to pick up more than just one loss that day. Chicharito went down with a potentially season-ending ACL injury to his right knee that will require surgery and perhaps spelled the end of his Galaxy career.
His loss puts an even bigger strain on a team bereft of goal options or ideas. Dejan Joveljic’s two strikes in 2023 will not be enough to power the Galaxy into the playoffs in the captain’s absence. LA’s other leaders Riqui Puig and Gaston Brugman will have their work cut out for them even more now. This would be an ideal time for Douglas Costa to step up and replicate the sumptuous goal he dropped against Real Salt Lake on the regular.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) June 8, 2023
St. Louis City’s Current Run of Form
Who could’ve called it? Many predicted St. Louis City to finish last in the table. Instead, Bradley Carnell’s boys are the talk of the league, just after Lionel Messi’s arrival of course. The expansion team is in first place in the Western Conference, with a 9-1-5 record and 28 points won. They’ve scored 10 goals in their last three home matches and only conceded once. The Lou has also won six of its first eight home games.
A high-scoring side, St. Louis City has scored at least three goals in each of its first six home wins this season. The production is coming from several players as well. João Klauss, Nicholas Giocchini, and Eduard Lowen all have five goals, while midfielder Jared Stroud has four assists.
This will be the first-ever meeting between the five-time MLS Cup Champion LA Galaxy and expansion team St. Louis City.
LA Galaxy vs. St. Louis City Prediction
On paper, this one is easy to call. The Galaxy has been abysmal on the road, and St. Louis has been a powerhouse at home. Conditions that make a Galaxy victory highly improbable. A point on the road against the league leaders might be a win in its own right. It should be the most LA can hope for when the Galaxy meets the conference leaders on Sunday morning.
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