Los Angeles Galaxy vs NYCFC preview: How to watch, team news, predicted lineups, kickoff time and ones to watch
Photo: Shaun Clark/Getty Images

NYCFC begin defense of their 2021 MLS titles as they face the Los Angeles Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park.

The Boys In Blue went on a magical playoff run, defeating Atlanta, New England, Philadelphia and Portland to capture the club's first championship.

Los Angeles failed to make the playoffs as they were one of the league's most disappointing teams in 2021.

Team news

Los Angeles Galaxy

The hosts could be without a pair of midfielders as Victor Vazquez is questionable with a leg injury while Adam Saldana is confirmed out with an ankle issue. 

Jonathan dos Santos departed the club to sign in his home of country of Mexico with Club America. Sebastian Lletget was traded to defending Supporters Shield winners New England.

Douglas Costa was Los Angeles' key acquisition as the 31-year old will bring a wealth of talent and experience to the club. Mark Delgado was acquired in a trade with Toronto.

NYCFC

Anton Tinnerholm is the only injury absentee for the reigning champions as he is out with an Achilles issue.

James Sands has been loaned to Scottish giants Rangers while Jesus Medina signed with Russian club CSKA Moscow. Ismael Tajouri-Shradi was traded to LAFC after being selected in the expansion draft by Charlotte.

Thiago Martins is the club's lone arrival as he comes in as a Designated Player from Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan this month.

Predicted lineups

Los Angeles Galaxy: Bond; Villafana, Williams, Coulibaly, Araujo; Delgado, Raveloson; Cabral, Vazquez, Costa; Chicharito

NYCFC: Johnson; Amundsen, Callens, Martins, Gray; Parks, Morales; Moralez; Magno, Castellanos, Rodriguez

Ones to watch

Douglas Costa (Los Angeles Galaxy)

Despite his disappointing stint with Gremio, the 31-year old is exactly the type of player that will compliment Chicharito well with his dribbling ability, style of play and quality. 

His track record at places such as Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayern Munich and Juventus also gives Los Angeles another star with pedigree.

Valentin Castellanos (NYCFC)

The Golden Boot winner was the subject of transfer rumors in the offseason, but the club managed to hold onto him and while there's talk he may be sold in the summer, the Argentine will continue to be the heart of the Boys In Blue attack.

Previous meetings

This is the sixth regular-season meeting between the two teams with NYCFC holding a 4-1 edge, having won the last four matchups, a 2-0 victory in 2019 for the Boys In Blue their most recent encounter.

How to watch

The match will be nationally televised with ESPN carrying the broadcast in English while ESPN Deportes has a Spanish-language version. 

Kickoff is set for 5pm Eastern.

VAVEL Logo