FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy

Michael Barrios looks to lead FC Dallas when they host the timeless Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the LA Galaxy on Saturday, March 9th at 3:30 PM EST at Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX. The broadcast is available on Univision, FCDallas.com, Unimas; radio is available via 1270 AM (ESP).

How to Watch

What: FC Dallas vs Los Angeles Galaxy

Where: Toyota Stadium in Frisco, TX

When: Saturday, March 9th at 3:30 PM EST

How (TV/Radio): Univision, FCDallas.com, Unimas | 1270 AM (ESP)

FC Dallas (Away)

Head Coach: Luchi Gonzalez {Current: 0-1-0 (1) | Top Scorer: Michael Barrios (1)}

Key Players: Matt Hedges, Jesse Gonzalez, Reggie Cannon

Expected Starting XI (4-3-3): Gonzalez, Hollingshead - Ziegler - Hedges - Cannon, Hayes - Gruezo - Acosta, Mosquera - Badji - Barrios

Luchi Gonzalez received a promotion from managing the youth program at FC Dallas to directing the senior team in what will be an exciting season for the squad. After a fourth-place finish last season, FC Dallas decided to part ways with manager Oscar Pareja in hopes that Gonzalez could lead them to a better result.

In their first match of the season, FC Dallas drew against a gritty New England Revolution side. Michael Barrios was able to take an early lead through some individual brilliance, taking on three defenders and the goalkeeper, for a spectacular finish. Unfortunately, suspect defending allowed the New England Revolution to score an equalizer.

When FC Dallas takes on the LA Galaxy, you can expect it to be a more defensively oriented line for Dallas. With the attacking talent on the side of the Galaxy - Ibrahimovic, Allesandrini, Dos Santos - FC Dallas will surely be cautious to commit too many of their players into the attack.

LA Galaxy (Home)

Head Coach: Guillermo Barros Schelotto {Current: 1-0-0 (3) | 3rd in Western Conference | Top Scorer(s): Daniel Steres (1), Zlatan Ibrahimovic (1)}

Key Players: Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Romain Alessandrini, Jonathan dos Santos

Expected Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Bingham, Polenta - Steres - Skjelvik - Feltscher, Dos Santos - Carrasco, Antuna - Cuello - Boateng, Ibrahimovic

After a disappointing 2018 campaign in which the LA Galaxy missed the playoffs for the first time in four years, ownership decided the change needed was at the top. Insert former Argentina international and Boca Juniors legend Guillermo Barros Schelotto. Unfortunately for Schelotto, his first match was questionable, to say the least.

LA Galaxy came out with the win, which is what is important at the end of the day. The Galaxy finished the match on top of a 2-1 victory. Unfortunately, their play was rife with mistakes. None more evident than the single goal allowed, via an incredibly casual back pass to the opposing Sappong for a goal.

FC Dallas pressed hard in their match against the Revs, but against the attacking talent of the Galaxy suggests they won't be as ambitious moving forward. In their match against Chicago, the Galaxy showed they've still got some tactics to work out as they, for all their talent, held possession only 43% of the match and allowed 17 shots (5 on goal).

What's At Stake?

Over the past four seasons, the LA Galaxy and FC Dallas have had a rather one-sided relationship. Since 2015-2016, FC Dallas holds a record of 6-1-0 against the LA Galaxy.

Still early in the season, a win for the Galaxy would keep them near the top three of the Western Conference.

A win for FC Dallas would help to separate them from the middle of the Western Conference where five clubs gained a single point over opening weekend.

Questions to answer

Is Badji's performance a new role or a one-off display?

What will become of Romain Alessandrini?

We are going to compare the Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas in an attempt to see who has the advantage in this matchup.

Badji Is Almost A False 9

When Dominique Badji was traded to FC Dallas last season for Kellyn Acosta, fans maintained a negative reaction. A USMNT member, Acosta seemed primed to be the future of FC Dallas, despite his desire to move on. When Badji failed to produce immediately, the transfer became worrisome.

Since then though, Badji's performance has improved. Once sitting at the top of the attacking line waiting for service, Badji dropped deep a number of times in their last match against the Revs and contributed greatly to their build-up and hold-up play. Eleven of Badji's successful passes were below the attacking third.

It has been a beneficial turn of events for FC Dallas. Lacking a creative midfielder or powerful striker that most teams have, FC Dallas' inclusion of Badji in the build-up has proved successful in a short amount of time. With LA's talent, so much of the match will be determined by success in the midfield. Having Dominique Badji drop deep is a good step toward controlling the match.

Romain Alessandrini Limped Off the Pitch

Romain Alessandrini has been a faithful servant for the LA Galaxy since his acquisition from French side Marseille. A talented attacking midfielder/winger, Alessandrini has been one of the Galaxy's most capable attacking options for the past three years.

Unsurprisingly, the Galaxy struggled when Alessandrini came off the pitch. As evidenced by the fact that Chicago Fire maintained 57% possession all match, partially due to the lack of outlet on the wing to Alessandrini. The introduction of Emmanuel Boateng on the wing is a solid reserve option for LA but is not the long-term solution for the Galaxy.

Information on the extent of Alessandrini's injury is not yet released. At the moment, the most optimistic hope he will be available for this fixture in Week 2 of the MLS season. Time will tell how the Galaxy will fare. However, on the positive side, Efrain Alvarez's presence and ability in his last match showed he may be able to provide valuable attacking creativity in Alessandrini's absence.

LA Galaxy Roster Notes

M Sebastian Lletget - 1 Mar 2019 - OUT (Undisclosed) is not expected to be available for the fixture against FC Dallas.

M Perry Kitchen - 1 Mar 2019 - OUT (Undisclosed) is not expected to be available for the fixture against FC Dallas.

M Juninho - 1 Mar 2019 - OUT (Undisclosed) is not expected to be available for the fixture against FC Dallas.

FC Dallas Roster Notes

F Cristian Colman - 4 Oct 2018 - OUT (Torn ACL) is not expected to be available for a majority of the 2019 season.

F Francis Atuahene - 1 Mar 2019 - OUT (Ruptured Pectoral) is not expected to be available for the fixtures against FC Dallas.

D Callum Montgomery - 1 Mar 2019 - QUESTIONABLE (Ankle) is still rehabilitating from an ankle injury but may be eligible for selection by the weekend.

Head-to-Head: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (LAG) vs Carlos Gruezo (DAL)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Forward | 195cm, 95kg (6-4, 209lb) | Sweden | Exp. 19 Years

505 Apps | 448 Starts | 0.74 Gls/90 | 1.01 G+A/90 | 2.16 SoT | 2.04 Fls | 0.20 Crd

Carlos Gruezo

Mid-Field | 171cm, 67kg (5-6, 147lb) | Ecuador | Exp. 7 Years

108 Apps | 99 Starts | 0.03 Gls/90 | 0.09 G+A/90 | 0.15 SoT | 1.95 Fls | 0.30 Crd

Los Angeles Galaxy and FC Dallas face-off in a crucial early-season matchup. The Galaxy haven't shown recent success against FC Dallas, a hard-charging team that hit a road bump in their quest for MLS Cup glory last season. Two key players in this match will be the goal-savvy Zlatan Ibrahimovic and FC Dallas' midfield enforcer Carlos Gruezo.

Who else but Zlatan would pull out the win for the LA Galaxy? In their last match against the Chicago Fire, it was an 80th-minute winner by Ibrahimovic that pulled them through. The Galaxy doesn't play with a ton of pace on the wings, but their build-up allows for Ibrahimovic to shine in key moments. Compounded on his experience and efficiency in front of goal, the LA Galaxy are never out of a match.

There were questions about Carlos Gruezo last season. Under Oscar Pareja, Gruezo was asked to press high in order to win the ball due to his pace and stamina in the midfield. Unfortunately, his lack of comfort on the ball tended to spell a quick turnover in play anyway. Now sitting back more, spelling his mid-field teammates and center backs, FC Dallas has been able to operate an effective counterattacking style of play. His ability to break up play in the midfield will be key in slowing down the Galaxy.

LA Galaxy at FC Dallas Predictions and Odds

The oddsmakers have FC Dallas (-0.5) favored over the Los Angeles Galaxy (+0.5), with a -125 for Dallas and a +105 for the LA Galaxy.

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