LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo - Prediction, Odds & Picks

  • Houston’s attack ready for more goals
  • Galaxy share similar strengths and weaknesses with their opponents
  • Expect plenty of scoring in a game featuring two hungry MLS sides

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What LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo
Where ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex (Bay Lake, Florida)
When Thursday, July 23rd at 8:00 PM ET
How to watch FS1, FOX Deportes, TUDN

We are now near the end of the group stage of the MLS Is Back tournament. In Group F, two teams have taken charge: LAFC and the Portland Timbers. With a couple of good results in hand, both squads are now eyeing a likely position in the knockout round of the competition.

The same can’t be said for the other two members of the group who will face off this Thursday.

Left licking their wounds, both the LA Galaxy and Houston Dynamo still have plenty to prove — and with only a short window to do so — in the current tournament. Without a win for either side, both teams will be desperate for three points that could potentially sneak them into a coveted position in the round of 16.

In a last ditch effort to gain a much-needed victory, expect to see players hit the ground running this week as they dash to get what might be a game-changing early goal in the final match of the group stage.

LA Galaxy vs Houston Dynamo Odds

Goal Scored — 0:00-14:59 Odds
Yes +138
No -195

Odds taken from DraftKings

Is it a slight risk to assume that either side could immediately find the back of the net? Eager for a win, it perhaps wouldn’t come as much of a surprise if at least one team scores within the first 15 minutes…

Houston’s Frontline Have Quietly Done Well

A look at the Dynamo’s point accumulation, only one in total, initially appears to indicate problems at hand. With a draw and loss, it has been fair for many to consider the team one of the most underwhelming squads so far in MLS Is Back. And yet, the attack has actually played decently. In their first two matches, Houston accumulated 30 shots (10 on target) and four goals. Granted, they’ll be without forward Alberth Elis after he earned a red card last week, but a number of attacking talent remains in the feet of Darwin Quintero, Boniek Garcia, Memo Rodriguez, and Mauro Manotas.

The Dynamo knows how to score goals. They earned a 3-3 draw with LAFC to start the tournament and were unlucky to only score once in the 2-1 loss to the Portland Timbers after launching 24 shots.

They know how to find the back of the net, it’s simply their defense that needs to step up — which is a problem that their upcoming opponents also share.

Galaxy Have Similar Strengths And Complications When Compared To Dynamo

Let’s take a look at the scorelines and stats. In their first match of the tournament, the Galaxy missed a penalty and a handful of straightforward chances in front of the net in the 2-1 loss to the Timbers. Finishing with a noteworthy xG (expected goals) tally of 2.69, many Galaxy fans would be justified in feeling short-changed with the result.

Things quickly got better in the next match against rivals LAFC. Within the first five minutes of the El Trafico derby, the Galaxy had already taken a 1-0 lead. Seven more goals followed in the thrilling affair, but sadly for the Galaxy, six of those were for the opposition. The final scoreline revealed a whopping 6-2 result in favor of LAFC.

You can see the similarities here. Both the Dynamo and Galaxy have played at a somewhat satisfactory level in the attack. It’s the defense that needs fixing, and with so much on the line this week, those weaknesses could be on full display.

Goals May Arrive Quick And Fast For The Desperate Teams

Even without key players such as Elis for the Dynamo and the injured Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for the Galaxy, fans should expect both teams to come out with guns blazing from the get-go.

A place in the knockout round is still within the grasp of the Dynamo if they claim a win, and if the result of Portland VS LAFC works in their favor, they may even secure a spot in second place of the group with 2 or 3+ goals against the Galaxy.

At the other end of the pitch, a place at the bottom of the group is inexcusable for the most successful team in the history of MLS. The Galaxy should be highly determined to gain three points and would benefit greatly with an early statement within the first 15 minutes of Thursday’s match.

Our Pick

You’ve got two teams who should be throwing the kitchen sink at their problems this week in a last-minute effort for a win. We could see plenty of goals, perhaps even within the early stages. Go with a goal in the first 15 minutes.

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Cesar Hernandez

Expert on Soccer

Freelance writer Cesar Hernandez is a specialist in all things American and Mexican soccer. He has written for ESPN FC, The Athletic, The Guardian, FourFourTwo, VICE Sports and several other publications. Along with writing and previous radio appearances on the BBC, talkSPORT and SiriusXM FC, Cesar is also a member of the Mexican Soccer Show podcast. Email: [email protected]