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Match Preview: LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo | July 23, 2020

2020 MLS is Back Tournament – Group F, Matchday 16
Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
Thurs., July 23 – 5:00 PM PT

TV: FS1, TUDN, TVA Sports

STREAMING: FOX Sports App, TUDN App, TVA Sports App

The LA Galaxy meet the Houston Dynamo in Group F play on July 23, in a rematch of the 2020 regular season opener between the sides played on Feb. 29. That match ended in a draw, a result that would eliminate both teams from the MLS is Back Tournament.

A win would not just be Tab Ramos' first as MLS coach, but send the Dynamo through to the Round of 16. The Galaxy are still alive, but they'll need a lopsided result to be in consideration for one of the wildcard berths. 

That previous match was the much-anticipated MLS debut of Galaxy striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, but it was Cristian Pavon who provided the fireworks with a gorgeous strike from distance that put LA in front just 13 minutes after kickoff before Mauro Manotas leveled. 

LA Galaxy

The Galaxy were embarrassed in the first El Trafico meeting with LAFC outside of Greater Los Angeles, conceding four times after halftime in a 6-2 defeat. Head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said his side "gave up" defensively in the second half so it will be interesting to see how they respond in the group finale against the Dynamo. As was the case against LAFC, the Galaxy will be without Chicharito, who returned to LA with a calf injury that will sideline him for three weeks.

Project Starting XI

Updated team roster

  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Jonathan dos Santos (M) - groin injury
    • OUT: Danilo Acosta (D) - ACL injury
    • OUT: Javier Hernandez (F) - right calf injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Kai Koreniuk (M) - hamstring injury
  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Houston Dynamo

Ramos said he's not going to miss Chicharito, who poses a unique attacking threat and combined so well with Pavon. The Dynamo will also be missing an attacking threat with Alberth Elis suspended after a red card in a 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers.

"Obviously not having Chicharito is always something from our end we welcome because he's a player that doesn't need many opportunities to score," Ramos said. "He's been a great player for a long time and him not being on the field certainly is better for us." 

Project Starting XI
  • Updated team roster
  • Injury Report:
    • OUT: Michael Salazar (F) - right knee injury
    • QUESTIONABLE: Marcelo Palomino (M) - thigh injury
  • Suspended: Alberth Elis (M)
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None

Series Matchup

  • Galaxy: 11 wins, 40 goals
  • Dynamo: 12 wins, 43 goals
  • 8 draws

Officials

  • Referee: Victor Rivas
  • Assistant Referees: Cameron Blanchard, Richard Gamache
  • 4th Official: Ismail Elfath
  • VAR: Guido Gonzales Jr
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