Los Angeles FC-Real Salt Lake Preview
While the Los Angeles Galaxy are finally off their latest schneid, the Seattle Sounders find themselves amid another rough stretch.
The Galaxy look to win back-to-back games for the first time in almost three months Saturday night, when they'll also try to extend the visiting Sounders' winless rut to four consecutive contests
Zlatan Ibrahimović (18 goals) recorded a second-half brace as Los Angeles (13-11-1) snapped a three-game losing streak with its 2-0 home victory over FC Dallas on Wednesday. It was a relief for the Galaxy, who totaled one goal in their previous three games but managed to move back into the top four of the Western Conference table.
"It's very important, but the next game will be important, also," coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto told the Galaxy's official website. "We need to think game-by-game, and we need to know that every game that we are playing now, until (the end of the regular season), will be very important."
L.A. hasn't won consecutive matches since May 24 and 29, but will try for a third straight home victory in its first 2019 meeting with the rival Sounders (11-8-6).
It's been a rough August for Seattle, which is 0-2-1 during the month and currently sitting fifth in the West. The Sounders need to bounce back from an ugly 3-0 loss at Real Salt Lake on Wednesday night.
Seattle was not credited with a single shot on goal for the match while tinkering with its lineup during this busy stretch. Perhaps most concerning, though, is that the Sounders allowed three goals for a third straight game following a 1-0 victory at Houston on July 27.
"We just need to improve a bit on the urgency, awareness, all the way around when it comes to defense, just being a little bit more smart," Sounders keeper Stefan Frei told the official website of MLS.
Despite its current rut, Seattle players won't make excuses or fold up the tent.
"We're going for it," Sounders midfielder Cristian Roldan said. "We know that it's a tough stretch and it's going to be a tough rest of the season. So we just have to embrace the challenge."
L.A. and Seattle split the 2018 season series with each team winning at home. Ibrahimović converted a penalty kick in the ninth minute of the Galaxy's 3-0 home victory over the Sounders in September. Meanwhile, Raul Ruidiaz (eight goals) and Roldan scored in Seattle's 5-0 home rout of the Galaxy last August.
Updated August 16, 2019