Everyone knew it’d be difficult for LA Galaxy to adapt to life without legendary coach Bruce Arena. He’s now with the US National team and Curt Onalfo took over at the helm. Things have started badly for the new boss and the Galaxy find themselves second bottom of the Western Conference. It was worrying how poor they were in the first half against Seattle last week, going down 0-3 before the interval and that was how things stayed. I will cut the Galaxy some slack though because most of their losses have been against good teams this year, plus most of their performances have been ok at least.
Their opponents this weekend are a Philadelphia side currently rock bottom of the Eastern Conference and they are the only MLS team without a win this season. Manager Jim Curtin is under severe pressure after they somehow blew a 3-0 lead against Montreal last week, ultimately having to settle for a 3-3 draw. That simply isn’t acceptable for any side and major discontent was shown from the crowd after the final whistle. You have to wonder what sort of stranglehold Curtin has on the dressing room right now. Philly seem like a really frustrated group, but this is definitely in a negative way. They are feeling the heat and it’s difficult to see where their next win will come from.
It’s not often I’ve said this since I’ve been covering MLS, but I think the Galaxy are a spot of value in this fixture. They are -0.75 Asian Handicap favourites, but I actually believe they should be around a -1 line. Many would argue that Philly are currently the worst side in MLS, even Minnesota are performing better right now. Despite a sticky start, Galaxy still have a bunch of quality players in their ranks, and in Romain Alessandrini they have one of the form players in MLS. This match will be played 22:30pm Philadelphia time and I always love opposing sides from the Eastern Seaboard in these late fixtures on the West coast. Philly could be sleepwalking by the end of this game! The Galaxy aren't what they used to be, but I fully expect them to have too much for the visitors, who look so poor at the moment.
Recommended bet 1 unit: LA Galaxy -0.75 @2.04 (minimum odds acceptable 1.75)
Player importance explanation: K =Key, X =Regular XI starter, B = Bench player