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Draw and both teams to score
Pick made on 07/28/2022 at 11:00 PM EST
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Both of these sides were on a bad run of form but have won their last few matches and will be keen to take the positives from the last game into this one. A two-game winning run would suddenly see a change of fortunes for these sides.
The sides share a long history and have an even record in their head to heads. They have won 24 games each with eight matches ending in a draw. There isn’t much between the sides at the moment, with FC Dallas having a two point lead having played an extra game. This should be a tight affair and is likely to end in a stalemate, which won’t help either but will probably be taken by both sides.
The last match between these sides ended in a 3-1 victory for FC Dallas. The game took place back in May when FC Dallas were in excellent form. FC Dallas won the game in the first half after an electric start which saw them go three goals to the good in 23 minutes.
Jesus Ferreira got a brace and Paul Arriola was also on the scoresheet. They slowed down after that fast start, happy to let LA Galaxy have the larger share of the possession (60 percent). LA Galaxy got one back in the 67th minute thanks to winger Douglas Costa but FC Dallas managed the game well to get all three points on the day.
FC Dallas and their fans breathed a huge sigh of relief after Jesus Ferreira’s early strike was enough to get a much-needed victory. FC Dallas were on an awful run of form and needed the three points by any means necessary. They parked the bus after the early goal, which ended Real Salt Lake’s unbeaten home record for the season.
It was a significant victory because of the level of opposition and in FC Dallas’ recovery. The work doesn’t stop here. They must keep going now.
The worrying aspect for FC Dallas is that the victory against Real Salt Lake was away from home. They haven’t won at home since beating the Seattle Sounders on May 7, 2022. It has been well over months since their last win at the Toyota Stadium. This inability to impose their game on the opposition is likely to be a problem all season. They seem heavily dependent on Ferreira nicking a goal and holding onto the lead as was the case in the last game they played.
FC Dallas have got a new hero this season. Jesus Ferreira has scored 12 goals and assisted five times this season. He has undoubtedly been one of the players of the season. No team has relied so heavily in attack on one player.
Not only has he pitched in with goals but in the last 365 days, he has also applied 21.66 pressures per game, which sees him in the 88th percentile for pressing among forwards in the league according to FBRef via statsbomb. He isn’t the most skillful player in the world but he’s a manager. Still only 21 years old, FC Dallas have a player that they can build the franchise around.
Center-back, Joshué Quiñónez, has been out since last month with a sprained ankle.
The five-time MLS Champions will always have great expectations, no matter what the team is going through. They suffered a little blip in the last few weeks, not managing a win in three games before getting a sound 2-0 victory against Atlanta United.
Dejan Joveljic was once again on the scoresheet along with Kevin Cabral. They’re now back in the playoff spots in 7th place and have played one game fewer than most of the other sides in the league.
The likes of Douglas Costa and Javier Hernandez have been overshadowed this season by the 22 year old Serbian, Dejan Joveljic. He has scored nine goals for the season and also pinched in with two assists. Javier Hernandez has managed seven goals and one assist in the same time.
There’s no doubt that he’s having a purple patch at the moment but the LA Galaxy faithful won’t care. His nine goals have come off an expected goal value of just 4.7. This isn’t likely to continue for very long but in some way evens out Javier Hernandez’s underperformance.
Chicarito has never been the most clinical striker and that’s been the case for the LA Galaxy this season as well with seven goals from 8.8 expected goals. Chicarito isn’t getting any younger either, managing around nine pressures per match in the last year but alongside Joveljic, he hasn’t to worry too much with the young Serb willing to do most of the running for him. It remains to be seen if LA Galaxy can continue papering over the cracks with compromises like this.
Their performances and league standing suggest that they haven’t been at the races but a closer look at the numbers suggests that they haven’t been too bad this season. They’ve got an expected goal differential of +9.2, which is only bested by LAFC, Philadelphia Union and New York City FC.
Despite creating a lot of chances, they haven’t been able to find the back of the net. They’ve generated 37.2 expected goals but only scored 30 so far. As mentioned earlier, Joveljic’s over-performance seems to be evening things out at the moment.
LA Galaxy will be hoping that even if Joveljic is unable to sustain this run for long, the likes of Javier Hernandez will eventually start to find the back of the net with more regularity eventually. LA Galaxy remain one of the harder teams to read this MLS season. They’ll probably have enough chances to win this game but there’s no guarantee that they’ll actually get the result.
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|Teams||FC Dallas vs LA Galaxy|
|Location||Toyota Stadium, Texas|
|Time||Saturday, July 30 at 9pm EST onwards|
|How to watch||ESPN+, DAZN, TXA21 and Spectrum SN|
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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