Starting XI: LA Galaxy vs. Atlanta United FC | September 20, 2017


Jon Kempin; Rafael Garcia, Dave Romney, Michael Ciani, Ashley Cole; Jermaine Jones © Jonathan dos Santos; Romain Alessandrini, Giovani dos Santos, Emmanuel Boateng, Gyasi Zardes.

Substitutions: Clement Diop, Hugo Arellano, João Pedro, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean, Jack McInerney, Ariel Lassiter

Lineup notes

  • The Galaxy will take their first-ever trip to Mercedes-Benz Stadium when they face Atlanta United FC Wednesday on the road, live on ESPN, the worldwide leader in sports.
  • Head Coach Sigi Schmid, the winningest coach in MLS history, will coach his ninth contest since taking over as head coach. He will make four changes to the starting XI from last Saturday’s match vs. Seattle as Jermaine Jones, Romain Alessandrini, Rafael Garcia and Emmanuel Boateng start in place of Bradley Diallo, Hugo Arellano, Bradford Jamieson IV and Joao Pedro.
  • In net, Jon Kempin will make his seventh start in net for the LA Galaxy as Schmid continues with the 24-year-old keeper. Despite a 4-0 loss to Toronto FC Saturday, Kempin made a number of top-notch saves and has looked solid during his time in net thus far.
  • On the right side of the backline, the veteran Rafael Garcia, one of the Galaxy’s most tenured players, will get the nod. Garcia fills in for Bradley Diallo, who suffered a hamstring strain last match. Garcia has played both right back and central midfield this season when needed.
  • In defense, Dave Romney will continue along the backline after being called upon heavily this season. Romney has been one of the Galaxy’s most important defenders in 2017, filling in whatever position needed and playing well.
  • In the center of defense, he’s big, bald, beautiful and French: Michael Ciani will make his second-ever start in a Galaxy uniform. After a career spanning across France and Spain, among others, Ciani joined the Galaxy three weeks ago and is still looking to become fully match fit after making his debut Saturday.
  • On the left side of the field, Ashley Cole will captain the side against Toronto FC in what will be his 24th start of the season. Cole has once again been among the best for any left back in MLS.
  • In the center of the field is Jonathan dos Santos, who has been impressive for LA since his time joining MLS. Dos Santos has looked the part as one of MLS’ top midfielders in the last few matches.
  • Rounding out the central midfield pairing is Jermaine Jones, who returns after serving a one-game suspension vs. Toronto. Jones has been in his best form of the year since Schmid has taken over in LA, playing a disciplined role just above the backline.
  • The Frenchman Romain Alessandrini will start the match out wide after missing the previous content due to yellow card suspension. Alessandrini has been one of the best newcomers in MLS this year, tallying nine goals and nine assists.
  • There will be dos Dos Santos brothers on the field Wednesday, as Giovani dos Santos will occupy the #10 role once again and look to control the Galaxy’s offense vs. Atlanta. Fun little-known fact: if you weren’t aware, Giovani also has a brother on the team playing in central midfield named Jonathan. The two also represent the Mexican National Team.
  • Out wide on the left, he’s small, he’s fast, he’s quick, and he’s also very, very fast, and also quite fast: Emmanuel Boateng returns to the Starting XI after not being 100% in LA’s last contest. Boateng has had a solid year and will be the fastest player at Mercedes-Benz Stadium Wednesday.
  • Up top is striker Gyasi Zardes, who has tallied two goals and an assist in his previous three games. He will look to get back on the scoresheet against Atlanta on Wednesday.

Game notes

  • The Galaxy are 5-6-2 on the road this season and 2-4-3 against Eastern Conference sides.
  • Atlanta are 2-0-1 at the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and 8-2-2 in front of homes crowds this season.
  • The Galaxy are 5-1-1 when scoring the first goal this season and 5-2-1 when leading the game at halftime.
    • Conversely, LA have gone 2-14-2 when conceding first and are 1-10-1 in matches when trailing at the half.


  • Can the Galaxy respond after a difficult defeat to Toronto FC Saturday?
  • Will the Galaxy defense be able to slow down a strong Atlanta attack?
  • How will the return of Jermaine Jones and Romain Alessandrini affect the Galaxy performance?
  • Will Gyasi Zardes get back on the score sheet?
  • Can Giovani dos Santos get the Galaxy offense going?
  • Will the central midfield duo of Jermaine Jones and Jonathan dos Santos be able to dictate play for the Galaxy?
  • Can Jon Kempin continue to look solid in net despite playing in a big-time atmosphere?
  • How likely are media to abandon press box food in favor of in-stadium Chick-fil-A?

Usher Lyrics

Peace up, A-Town down

Yeah! Okay!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah!

Let's go!

- Usher (2003)