Major League Soccer returns to action this weekend. For the Los Angeles Galaxy, they will fly north of the border to take on Toronto FC at BMO Field.
Following the Copa America Centenario break, the United States-based clubs took part in US Open Cup action during the middle of the week. The Galaxy faced off against amature side La Maquina this past Tuesday, a game in which the Galaxy won 4-1 in extra time.
Overall, Los Angeles has been performing about as well as people expected at the start of the season. They sit in fifth in the table on 21 points, level with the Vancouver Whitecaps. One thing that is working to their advantage is the fact they have only played 13 matches, tied for fewest in the conference.
The Galaxy had the longest unbeaten streaks in the league until their last foray into the Great White North. Their last trip was to Montreal where a Didier Drogba free kick won the Impact all three points, winning 3-2. Los Angeles got on the front foot, scoring in the eighth minute through their star, Giovani dos Santos and looked to cruise the rest of the night. However, Montreal had other plans as they took the lead with two straight goals. The visitors would score once more to tie things back up at two.
Toronto has improved from last season but things could still be better. The men in red are in a playoff spot despite dropping points in four of their last five matches. Their two defeats came at home and on the road - losing 3-4 to the Vancouver Whitecaps at home and lost 3-0 to the New York Red Bulls away from their cozy confines. However, Toronto has found success in the Canadian Championship as they knocked off the Impact 4-2 on aggregate over two legs.
In their most recent league match against the New York Red Bulls, Toronto looked sluggish in the opening 45 minutes. Bradley Wright-Phillips made them pay because of it. Before the 30th minute had even occurred, BWP had netted three times. That would be all the Red Bulls would need as they would cruise for the remainder of the 60 minutes.
Mike Magee is going to be the main focal point in attack. While he does not hold the ball up as well as his teammates, Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, Magee makes intelligent runs in and around the 18 yard box. This is what the Toronto backline is going to have to focus on throughout the night. If they can stop Magee from getting the service he desires, the Galaxy attack will be at a minimum.
Without the likes of Michael Bradley and Jozy Altidore, Sebastian Giovinco is going to be the man in the middle for Toronto FC. He is a creative genius who can make something out of nothing more times than not. If the Galaxy lose focus for one second, the diminutive Italian will make them pay.
With most of the stars missing due to international action, this match will be decided by who has the better role players. That is without a doubt the Galaxy. Although the Galaxy are going to have to overcome their road woes, their abilities on and off the ball should see them through.
Toronto FC 1-2 Los Angeles Galaxy