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Is it too early to have lots of confidence in the LA Galaxy? Although the Seattle Sounders should never be taken lightly, especially at home, there’s something about the incoming visitors this season that are beginning to show the signs of an early dark horse.
Spearheaded by Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez’s efforts in the attack, the Galaxy have already started to surpass some expectations. Seattle have the capacity to find a goal or two, but so does Hernandez on his own.
The Galaxy for the draw.
|Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy Information|
|What||Seattle Sounders vs LA Galaxy|
|Where||Lumen Field (Seattle, Washington)|
|When||Sunday, May 2nd at 9:00 pm ET|
|How to Watch||FS1|
If there were any justifiable doubts about Chicharito after his dismal 2020, those lingering worries have already been washed away within the first two weeks of the new MLS season. With back-to-back Player of the Week awards, no player has shined better in 2021 than the Mexican striker with five goals.
Which is incredible news for the Galaxy. After bringing him in a little over 12 months ago, Chicharito was supposed to be a figure that would not only regularly find the back of the net, but that would also help gain a first MLS Cup title since 2014.
That didn’t pan out in 2020. The Galaxy failed to qualify for the playoffs and were left reassessing their approach. Part of that growth was bringing in Greg Vanney as manager, and with Chicharito already bringing in five goals in two games, things seem to be turning around for them quite quickly this year.
Up next for them: A Seattle side that could be caught off-guard by the Galaxy.
It might seem strange to call a team that kicked off their season with a 5-0 win a “work in progress,” but there is value to that assessment.
They’ve lost key players from last season, midfielder Nicolas Lodeiro may not be fully fit or ready to return to the XI this weekend, and in their previous game, the Sounders were outpossessed and outshot by LAFC in the 2nd half of a 1-1 draw.
Granted, this isn’t to say that Seattle will struggle mightily this weekend. At their best, they can go toe-to-toe with any team in MLS. With a name like Raul Ruidiaz in the attack, they should be able to at least sneak one goal against the Galaxy’s less-than-exciting defense.
But as mentioned earlier, there is a certain superstar for the Galaxy that could do the same on his own.
That’s why he gets the big money.
Brought over from a European stint that included stays with world-class clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid, expectations were incredibly high for the striker when he joined the Galaxy in 2020. After a lengthy break, it has become immediately obvious as to why there was so much fanfare about the player who is currently the all-time leading goalscorer for Mexico’s national team.
Blessed with intelligent movement and incredibly accurate finishing, Hernandez showed glimpses in the last few weeks of the striker that was once one of the best on the planet in the not-so-distant past. Chicharito is back, and if he continues at this rate and builds upon his momentum, there will be no defender in the league that could stop him.
And yet, as tempting as it is to then assume that Chicharito could carry the Galaxy to a major away win, there’s just no way of overlooking some of the issues that the club have defensively.
They’ve allowed four goals in their last two games and have allowed a total of 33 shots during that run.
The Galaxy backline is far from solid, and when looking at their last couple of matches, it wouldn’t be much of a shock if Seattle keep this entertaining match level in what could be a goal-heavy encounter.
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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]More info on Cesar Hernandez
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