XIxxx

STARTING XI: LA Galaxy at D.C. United | June 3, 2017

Starting XI (4-2-3-1)

Jon Kempin; Bradley Diallo, Dave Romney, Jelle Van Damme ©, Ashley Cole; João Pedro, Rafael Garcia; Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng; Gyasi Zardes.

Bench: Eric Lopez, Nathan Smith, Jaime Villarreal, Raul Mendiola, Jack McInerney, Ariel Lassiter, Jack McBean.

Lineup notes

  • The LA Galaxy will play their fourth-straight road contest on Saturday afternoon against Eastern Conference side D.C. United in the capital of the good ole’ United States of America.
  • Head Coach Curt Onalfo will play again play a 4-2-3-1 formation on Saturday, making two changes to the Starting XI from last weekend’s match as goalkeeper Jon Kempin makes his debut in net for Brian Rowe and Dave Romney slides into central defense for Daniel Steres.
  • In net, the young and handsome Jon Kempin makes his LA Galaxy debut in place of the injured Brian Rowe, who will miss 6-8 weeks with a groin injury. Kempin is 24 years old but has experience in MLS, appearing in eight total games with Sporting Kansas City before joining the Galaxy this offseason.
  • On the right, defender the French Bradley Diallo will make the start, marking the sixth of his career. The former LA Galaxy II standout had his best performance yet in MLS last weekend vs. San Jose, forcing an own goal and drawing a PENALTY (!!!!) in the Galaxy’s 4-2 win over San Jose. 
  • In the center of the defense, Dave Romney will make the start, marking his fourth of the season and the 14th of his MLS career. Romney has appeared in eight games this season and looked solid (and very handsome) in all of them. He is young, versatile and ready when called upon.
  • He’s big, he’s bald, he’s beautiful, he’s Belgian. He’s jacked, he’s jovial, he’s juicy. He’s Jelle Van Damme, one of the best defenders in MLS, and he’s coming off three of his best performances in the previous three games (all LA Galaxy victories). He has established himself as one of MLS’ best since joining the league in 2016.
  • On the left, the ageless competitor Ashley Cole makes his 10th start of the year and the 35th of his MLS career. Cole has proved the doubters wrong by remaining one of the top left backs in MLS.
  • In the center of the midfield, the always-reliable Rafael Garcia again starts in central midfield in place. Garcia has been with the Galaxy since 2012 and made 11 previous starts. He has quietly been a top performer in the previous two weeks for LA.
  • The young and talented Portuguese midfielder João Pedro makes the start alongside Garcia, marking his 13th of the season. In recent weeks, he has flashed his skill that made him one of the top young midfielders in Portugal’s top division. Last week, it came to fruition with his first goal of the season and a selection to the MLS Team of the Week. He’s just one of two Galaxy players to start every game this year.
  • On the left, yes, it’s everyone’s favorite Frenchman Romain Alessandrini. There is no other player in MLS that is playing so well on the road. He has five goals and four assists in road contests this year. He has two goals and four assists in his last four matches overall. He has impeccable hair and facial features. These are all very good stats.
  • Pulling the strings on offense, Giovani dos Santos occupies the #10 role in the center of the field. Gio has scored in four-straight games for the Galaxy and is in his top form. In his last four games, Gio has five goals and an assist. In his 28 years of existence, Gio has played several hundred good games of soccer. These, also, are all very good stats.
  • On the left, the how-can-he-be-so-short-and-how-is-he-so-fast Emmanuel Boateng is set for his 10th start of the year. Boateng has tallied three goals and seven assists and ran faster than a bunch of other players since joining LA last year.
  • Up top, the Hawthorne, California hero Gyasi Zardes makes his eighth start of the season. Including the Galaxy’s preseason games this year, Zardes has played among the fewest minutes of any Galaxy player this year. He’ll look to get going Saturday.

Game notes

  • The LA Galaxy have the best road record in MLS, going 4-2-0 on the season, scoring 14 goals and allowing 10 for a +4 road goal differential.
  • No team in MLS history has ever won four-straight road games in consecutive weeks.
  • All-time, the Galaxy are 11-5-5 against D.C., going 9-9-4 in away matches against United.
  • The last time they met, LA Galaxy issued a 4-1 defeat to the Eastern Conference side in the team’s 2016 home opener at StubHub Center.
  • The Galaxy fell in their most recent trip to RFK, a 1-0 loss to the home side on March 28, 2015.
  • Romain Alessandrini has tallied five goals and four assists in six road matches this season, scoring or assisting in each road game so far this season.
  • In the previous four matches, Alessandrini and Dos Santos have combined for a goal.
  • Alessandrini and Pedro are the only players to have started each game of the 2017 season.

Storylines

  • Can the Galaxy make history with a fourth-straight road win?
  • Will Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos continue their red-hot form?
  • Can Gyasi Zardes find the net Saturday?
  • How will Jon Kempin fare in his LA Galaxy debut?
  • How will the LA Galaxy defense cope with the loss of Dan Steres and Brian Rowe?
  • Did Nicolas Cage put forth the single-greatest acting role in Hollywood history in National Treasure?

Quick Hits

Queen Lyrics – Don’t Stop Us LA Now

Tonight we’re gonna have ourselves a real good time

We feel ali-i-i-iiiiiive

And MLS, it's turning inside out. Yeah!

We’re floating around in ecstasy

So don't stop LA now

Don't stop LA

'Cause we’re having a good time

Having a good time

We’re a shooting star leaping through the standings

Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity

We’re a racing car passing by like Lady Godiva

We’re gonna go, go, go

There's no stopping us

We’re burning through the league, yeah!

Two hundred degrees

That's why they call us The First to Fiii---ive

We’re trav'ling at the speed of light

We wanna make a supersonic team out of you

Don't stop us now

We’re having such a good time

We’re kicking a ball

Don't stop us now

If you wanna have a good time

Just give us a call!

Don't stop us now ('cause we’re having a good time)

Don't stop us now (yes we’re having a good time)

We don't want to stop at all... yeah!

-Queen (1978)