The Seattle Sounders will look to get their season up and running on Saturday (3.30pm ET), but an in-form LA Galaxy side stand between them and a first three points of the campaign. Will the hosts get what they desire at Lumen Field? Or will it be another successful outing for the visitors?
This Sounders vs Galaxy preview plans to answer those questions and many more with our in-depth matchup preview, predictions and ultimate betting picks.
It’s early days, though there’s cause for concern for Seattle Sounders fans, who’ve yet to see their team come out on top. Not only are Saturday’s hosts without a win after two games, they are without a win. Not only are they without a point, they are without a goal, losing by a goal to nil against both Nashville and Real Salt Lake. They could be forgiven for coming unstuck against a sturdy and hard-to-face Nashville side first time out. That was a game that could’ve gone either way, but their rather lacklustre effort against RSL last time out was displeasing. Brian Schmetzer won’t have been happy with the way his team were both outfought and outshot.
In contrast, the Los Angeles Galaxy have enjoyed themselves during the early weeks, beating last season’s MLS Cup winners New York City FC on the opening day, before collecting another three points last weekend, emerging victorious from their away game in Charlotte. On what was an historic night in North Carolina, what with the all-time MLS attendance record being broken at Bank of America Stadium, the Galaxy boys made sure that they were not overawed by the occasion, getting the job done in convincing style. In truth, Greg Vanney’s men were probably good value for more than their one-goal victory.
Not creating enough
As mentioned in this preview above, it is of course very early on, so there’s no need to rush to conclusions, but Seattle’s lack of creativity in each of their opening two matches is slightly worrying. Against Nashville, Saturday’s hosts created just 0.6 expected goals, and registered just two shots on target. Yes, Nashville is a tough opponent, but at home, a franchise of Seattle’s standing really ought to be doing better.
Last time out, Schmetzer’s men were once again lacking in the final third. They again forged few scoring opportunities, posting another meagre 0.6 expected goals, conceding 2.4 at the other end. They were fortunate not to lose by a greater margin. Offensive improvement is certainly called for.
This pair faced each other three times in Major League Soccer last season. At Lumen Field, they tied 1-1, with their respective marksmen getting in on the action. An early Chicharito goal was cancelled out by Raul Ruidiaz’s leveller in the 52nd minute, and on balance the tie was fair. They also fought against each other twice at Dignity Health Sports Park, where the Sounders emerged victorious not once, but twice, winning by three goals to nil in early May, following up with a 1-2 victory in June. On both of those occasions, the Galaxy deserved to lose, as they struggled to match their visitors in terms of creativity and end-product.
The Los Angeles Galaxy are now without a win against Seattle in eight attempts. They have lost four of the last eight renewals of this fixture, while they have not won away at Lumen Field since 2016. So recent history is very much in favor of Saturday’s hosts, who’ve not conceded more than once in any of the last six renewals of this fixture. Interestingly, though, both teams have scored in five of those six.
Goals for Galaxy
In the betting lines with the American-facing bookies, ‘Los Angeles Galaxy to Score Over 1.5 Goals’ appeals at attractive odds of +255. Sure, they’ve not scored more than once against the Sounders since 2019, but what’s more important is what’s happening now, as opposed to in previous seasons.
The visitors are yet to find the net twice in the same game this season, but both of their attacking efforts have been promising, so much so that it really is only matter of time before Vanney’s threatening forward-line really shifts through the gears. After all, they created 1.8 xG against NYCFC and 2.1 against Charlotte last time out, registering a combined total of 37 shots.
Such form bodes well, especially since the Seattle Sounders conceded 2.4 expected goals against a Real Salt Lake side that is highly unlikely to become known for being one of the most offensively dangerous sides in Major League Soccer this season.
Add this player prop
Javier Hernandez failed to score last weekend, which was something of a surprise given the manner of his opening-day effort, but don’t give up on the Mexican just yet. Galaxy’s biggest individual goal threat, Chicharito is already averaging an eye-catching 0.64 expected goals for per 90 minutes. As one of the hottest forwards in the whole of Major League Soccer, we know that he is unlikely go much longer without a second goal of the season.
There won’t be many occasions where the forward is available at odds of +175 to get on the scoresheet, so get in while the going’s good and support the man who so far is averaging 4.5 shots per 90 minutes to bag on Saturday.
These are the betting picks and concluding predictions, at best odds, for this preview: