LA Galaxy have made a strong start to their MLS campaign and they can make it three wins out of three when they take on Seattle this weekend.
Who do Bettors Favor?
MLS fans checking out the odds ahead of this game at the best online sportsbook will find that Seattle Sounders are widely tipped as strong favorites, at around -110. LA Galaxy are rated as significant outsiders at +310 and the draw can be backed at +240.
|Seattle Sounders v LA Galaxy|
How Does the Head to Head Record Look?
The head-to-head record between these two MLS big guns looks pretty even. Seattle has won 14, with Galaxy winning 15 and 12 draws.
That doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as Seattle have had the better of this rivalry in recent seasons. Galaxy have not beaten the Sounders in their last seven matches, in fact you have to go back to 2018 to find the last LA success in this fixture, a 3-0 win in September of that year.
Last year, they met three times, with the Sounders winning twice and Galaxy earning a draw in their final encounter, although it is worth mentioning that Seattle had the advantage of playing two of those games at home.
Slow Start for Seattle
Two-time winners and four-time finalists, the Sounders are MLS royalty and can usually be relied on to perform strongly in the regular season. Last year a poor finish, in which they didn’t win any of their last six games saw the Sounders slip into second in the West, but they were strongly fancied to go deep into the playoffs. So their loss to Real Salt Lake in the First Round was a big shock.
More concerning for Sounders fans is the poor start their team has made to the 2022 domestic campaign. Another defeat to Real Salt Lake and an opening day loss against Nashville was not the beginning that Seattle were hoping for and although their list of significant injury absentees can be offered as an excuse, they were still expected to win both of those matches.
LA Galaxy are Two from Two
The most successful team in MLS history, LA Galaxy have won the MLS Cup nine times, but the last of those successes came in 2014 and going into 2021, they’d missed the playoffs in two of the previous three seasons. Under a new coach in Greg Vanney, they struggled for consistency all season long, eventually missing out on the playoffs by one point.
Galaxy have made a brighter start to 2022. Two games in, they have a perfect record, courtesy of 1-0 wins over the reigning MLS Cup champions NYCFC and newcomers Charlotte. They left it relatively late in both of those games, but having the points on the board is all that matters in what will be a long campaign, and Vanney will be pleased with such a strong start.
MLS Big Game Team News
Josh Atencio, Will Bruin, Jimmy Medranda and Raul Ruidiaz have missed both of Seattle’s games so far this season and it isn’t clear whether any of the quartet will be available for this one. More will be expected from new signing Albert Rusnak, whose switch to Seattle from Real Salt Lake was one of the big stories of the off-season, but who has not made a big impact in two outings so far.
For LA Galaxy, midfielder Adam Saldana is the only player on the injured list. Both of Galaxy’s big off-season signings, Douglas Costa and Marky Delgado should again take the field.
Betting on Galaxy against Seattle
Last season’s playoff loss to Real Salt Lake was widely, and probably correctly, attributed to the randomness of soccer. On the balance of play, Seattle deserved the win, but they didn’t get it, and that happens in this game sometimes.
But their latest defeat was more worrying, particularly as it followed a similarly poor effort against Nashville. Yes, they have players missing, but Seattle are often lauded for the depth and balance of their squad and are better placed than most teams to cope. Defensively, they remain strong, but upfront, the Sounders are offering very little. A total of six shots on target from two games tells its own story, and they looked notably sluggish and lacking in ideas in Utah.
The season could hardly have started any better for LA. While their off-season trading has not done anything to make them more defensively secure, they have plenty of depth when it comes to dynamic forward play and that will make them dangerous opponents throughout the season.
Unlike their opponents, Galaxy aren’t having to cope with the rigors of continental football and at full strength, I am counting on them to get the better of Seattle.
Given the Sounders’ lack of attacking edge and resolute defense, I am also expecting this game to turn out to be a bit of a grind, and given that all four games involving these teams so far this season have ended in 1-0 scorelines, Under seems the best play in the Over/Under 2.5 goals market.
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