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LA Galaxy
Major League Soccer
Apr 22, 2024 at 1.15am UK
Dignity Health Sports Park
San Jose Earthquakes

LA Galaxy
4 - 3

Pec (14'), Paintsil (24' pen.), Yoshida (30'), Puig (56')
Paintsil (7'), Vanney (8'), Puig (72')
Zavaleta (70')
FT(HT: 3-1)
Rodrigues (32'), Kikanovic (58'), Ebobisse (72' pen.)
Espinoza (45'), Gruezo (54'), Costa (65'), Skahan (76')

Preview: Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Monday's Major League Soccer clash between Los Angeles Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

A weekend of Major League Soccer (MLS) rivalry games concludes on Sunday when the Los Angeles Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes at Dignity Health Sports Park in the first California Clasico of 2024.

LA moved to the top of the Western Conference table with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday, while the Goonies are bottom of the conference standings following a 3-0 defeat at home to the Colorado Rapids.

Match preview

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Riqui Puig© Reuters

Fresh off a campaign where everything started almost as poorly as possible in 2023, nearly everything has gone right for Greg Vanney's men in 2024.

The former MLS Cup-winning coach was under intense pressure to get results this season, and so far his players have delivered, currently tied on points (15) with Inter Miami in the Supporters' Shield standings, accumulating nine more points than they had in their opening eight league fixtures a year ago.

There are still questions concerning their defending, as they have conceded a dozen goals thus far, but that has been offset by their ability to make the most of their opportunities in front of goal, scoring more than anyone in the Western Conference this season (17).

Of their 17 goals scored during this campaign, 12 have come in the final 45 minutes of play, many in the latter stages, as the Galaxy have come back to claim five points this year when facing a second-half deficit.

LA have yet to lose at Dignity Health Sports Park in 2024, claiming five points from those three regular-season encounters and posting their only clean sheet of the domestic campaign in their previous match at home (1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders).

They enter this encounter on a five-match unbeaten run versus the Quakes in this competition, winning in four of those instances, including a 3-1 victory in Silicon Valley earlier this season.

San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Cristian Espinoza© Reuters

Whatever Luchi Gonzalez is saying to his team in the locker room at half time this season, the message has rarely been received, with San Jose losing for a third successive time in this competition a week ago.

To this point of the 2024 campaign, the Goonies have conceded a league-high 20 goals, four more than the next closest team (the Portland Timbers), allowing 14 in the final 45 minutes.

San Jose have yet to claim a single point away from home this season, losing all four of their matches as the visitors by a single goal despite scoring first each time.

They lost their final five regular-season away contests last season, while their last triumph as the visitors came in Vancouver against the Whitecaps last August (1-0).

In his debut season as the Earthquakes manager in 2023, Gonzalez did not lose more than two successive MLS fixtures, but they are in danger of suffering four consecutive defeats this weekend for the first time since May 2021.

While the Quakes have not won a match against the Galaxy since 2022 (3-2), they have beaten them in two of their last three visits to Dignity Health Sports Park.

Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer form:

San Jose Earthquakes Major League Soccer form:

Team News

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Gaston Brugman© Reuters

Eriq Zavaleta missed the previous Galaxy match due to a head injury, as did Jalen Neal, who will be out for a few more weeks with an abdominal issue.

Emiro Garces is still waiting to make his first appearance for LA since joining them on loan from Deportivo Pereira in the Colombian top flight, while Mauricio Cuevas made his 2024 regular-season debut last week, replacing Miki Yamane with fewer than five minutes remaining.

Dejan Joveljic is tied for the Golden Boot lead, netting his sixth of the campaign in their previous encounter, Joseph Paintsil scored his third of the year and Diego Fagundez rounded out the scoring for LA, becoming just the 10th player in league history to record at least 70 goals and 70 assists all-time in the regular season.

Bruno Wilson injured his knee during the warmups shortly before the Quakes took on Austin FC and was not available against the Rapids, Daniel remains sidelined with a lower-body issue and JT Marcinkowski is still rehabilitating after tearing his ACL.

Vitor Costa and Michael Baldisimo were both questionable last weekend because of lower-body injuries, and neither were on the team sheet.

Preston Judd had the only goal for the Quakes in their earlier encounter with the Galaxy in 2024, but it was a mere consolation in the end.

Los Angeles Galaxy possible starting lineup:
McCarthy; Yamane, Cerrillo, Yoshida, Aude; Delgado, Brugman, Puig; Berry, Joveljic, Paintsil

San Jose Earthquakes possible starting lineup:
Yarbrough; Akapo, Rodrigues, Beason, Marie; Yueill, Gruezo, Tsakiris; Espinoza, Ebobisse, Kikanovic

SM words green background

We say: Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 San Jose Earthquakes

These matches tend to produce plenty of goals, and given the defensive deficiencies of each side, we expect to see the back of the net bulge a few times on Sunday.

If it turns out to be a goal-fest, as we anticipate, that will favour the Galaxy, who are firing on all cylinders and have a lot more depth in the attacking third than the Quakes.

For data analysis of the most likely results, scorelines and more for this match please click here.

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Eastern Conference

1Inter MiamiInter Miami1594236201631
2FC CincinnatiCincinnati149321911830
3New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls146532521423
4New York City FCNY City147251816223
6Columbus Crew135621913621
7Charlotte FCCharlotte FC146351413121
8Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia134542521417
9DC United144552024-417
10Orlando City134451520-516
11Nashville SCNashville133641720-315
12Atlanta UnitedAtlanta133461716113
13CF MontrealMontreal133371731-1412
14Chicago Fire142481326-1310
15New England RevolutionNew England12219925-167

Western Conference

1Real Salt LakeSalt Lake1484227141328
2Minnesota UnitedMinnesota Utd127322114724
3Los Angeles GalaxyLA Galaxy145722521422
4Austin FCAustin146441917222
5Los Angeles FCLos Angeles136342419521
6Colorado RapidsColorado146352423121
7Vancouver WhitecapsVancouver135441915419
8Houston DynamoHouston135351213-118
9St Louis City133731920-116
10Seattle SoundersSeattle143561617-114
11Portland TimbersPortland143472629-313
13Sporting Kansas CityKansas132562124-311
14San Jose EarthquakesEarthquakes1431102233-1110

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