FC Dallas-Galaxy Preview

National Sports

LA Galaxy head coach Greg Vanney collected his 100th MLS win in his last game, but wants his next few victories to secure his side’s playoff spot as it prepares to host FC Dallas on Saturday.

The Galaxy sit fifth in the Western Conference after following up nine winless games with back-to-back victories after crushing the Houston Dynamo 3-0.

That was Vanney’s 100th triumph as an MLS head coach, though he implored his side to earn a few more wins for him and confirm a playoff spot.

“I appreciate the players’ work and belief in what we’re trying to do and going out and executing 100 times in the regular season has been special,” Vanney said. “It’s a special thing to be able to do it back in LA, at a club that gave me my start is wonderful. If it was the one that clinched the playoffs, and got us into the next phase of things, I’d be happier.

“We’re still grinding away at that and we’re going to keep building. Hopefully 101 or 102 will be the one that seals the deal for us in the playoffs.

Dallas has struggled throughout the season and was downed 3-2 by Los Angeles FC last time out, leaving the club without a triumph in eight games.

The visitors now travel to Los Angeles and interim head coach Marco Ferruzzi is aware of the quality the hosts possess.

“They’re a team that’s hunting for a playoff position,” Ferruzzi said. “They’re hungry for results so we know that they’re going to give us a fantastic game. They’ve got good quality around the pitch. Their attacking unit is extremely effective when they execute, so we have to manage that.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LA Galaxy – Jonathan Bond

Bond registered seven saves and earned his fourth shutout of the season in an efficient performance against the Dynamo in the Galaxy’s last outing.

FC Dallas – Franco Jara

Jara had a strong outing against Los Angeles last game. The forward scored his first goal since September 5 – bringing his tally to five for the season – and almost secured a brace but was denied by the crossbar.

KEY OPTA FACTS

– FC Dallas has won six of its last eight matches against the Galaxy (L2) dating back to March 2017, including a 4-0 home win on July 24. Dallas had managed just six victories in its previous 19 meetings with the Galaxy (D3 L10, including playoffs) dating back to the start of the 2010 season.

– The Galaxy are coming off a 3-0 victory against Houston, which was the largest shutout win for the club in more than a year. The team has not had consecutive shutout victories since May 2019.

– After falling 3-2 to LAFC, FC Dallas is now winless in its last eight games, tied for the longest active winless streak in MLS with FC Cincinnati. It is the longest winless streak for the club since a 10-game drought in 2017.

– Sacha Kljestan has scored in consecutive matches with game-winning penalty kicks against Portland and Houston. It is the first time Kljestan has scored in consecutive games since July of 2016, when he played for the New York Red Bulls.

– On Wednesday, Jesus Ferreira delivered two assists in a match for the first time since the 2019 season. Ferreira leads FC Dallas with eight assists and is the only player under 21 years old with seven or more assists this season in MLS.

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