WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 19, 2023) – D.C. United, led by manager Wayne Rooney, is preparing to face off against the Los Angeles Galaxy in an exciting showdown on Saturday night. The match will bring Rooney face to face with his former Manchester United teammate, Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez.
Rooney, now 37 years old, spent a significant portion of his career alongside Hernandez at Manchester United. However, they now find themselves on opposite sides as rivals in Major League Soccer (MLS). Rooney, in his second full-time head coaching position, is determined to help D.C. United (4-5-4, 16 points) bounce back from a disappointing 2022 campaign.
Despite the setbacks of the previous season, there have been noticeable improvements in D.C. United’s performance. The team has lost only once in their last six games, indicating a positive shift in form.
However, Rooney’s club is still working on developing their killer instinct in front of goal. In recent matches, they have created better chances but had to settle for a 1-1 draw against Nashville SC and a goalless draw against the Philadelphia Union.
D.C. United’s leading scorer, Christian Benteke, missed the previous game due to a minor injury, and his attacking partner, Taxi Fountas, is expected to be absent for a second consecutive match due to a hamstring issue.
These absences have put additional pressure on the team’s offense, hindering their ability to convert chances into goals.
Despite the finishing struggles, the recent goalless draw against the Philadelphia Union marked D.C. United’s first point earned at Philadelphia in nine years. The team showed promising signs of control and dominance throughout the match, leaving midfielder Russell Canouse both disappointed and satisfied with the result.
“I usually leave this locker room super pissed off,” Canouse expressed to The Washington Post. “I’m still disappointed we didn’t get more from the game. But a point in Philly, and the way we controlled the game, it’s not like we’re leaving here with a point where we weren’t in the game.”
On the other side of the pitch, Hernandez, now in his fourth season with the Los Angeles Galaxy (2-7-3, 9 points), has been a key player for the team in recent years. He led the Galaxy with 17 goals in 2021 and followed it up with 18 goals in 2022.
However, this season has been challenging for the Mexican striker, as he has only managed to score one goal so far due to a hamstring injury that kept him out for most of the first two months.
The Galaxy has also struggled to build on their fourth-place finish in the Western Conference last season. In their recent match against the Columbus Crew, which ended in a 2-0 defeat, manager Greg Vanney made some changes to the starting lineup, including bringing Hernandez off the bench.
Unfortunately, his introduction to the game came too late to make a significant impact, as the Galaxy’s defensive vulnerabilities had already been exposed in the first half.
Vanney acknowledged the team’s defensive shortcomings, stating, “In the first half, we just kept getting ourselves stretched out, and they were just able to play through us and play behind us.
“And then when you’re stretched out on the defensive side and you recover the ball, you’re not really in a position to help each other out when you actually win the ball.”
As D.C. United prepares to host the Los Angeles Galaxy, fans can expect an intriguing battle between Rooney and Hernandez, two former teammates with a shared history.
Both managers will be looking for their respective teams to improve their performance and secure a crucial victory. The outcome of this match could have significant implications for the season ahead.
Los Angeles Galaxy vs D.C. United Prediction and Betting Tips
Result – DC United 2, LA Galaxy 1
Over 2.5 goals – Yes (There have been three or more goals scored in four of the last five meetings between the sides)
More than 4.5 cards – No (There have also been fewer than five bookings in their last 10 clashes since June 2011)
Finally: Moneyline: Looking at the DC United vs LA Galaxy odds for Saturday, we find the hosts as the favorite with a +105 money line. The LA Galaxy are +220 on the moneyline with a draw listed at +280.
How To Watch D.C. United vs LA Galaxy?
Location of the game: Audi Field, Washington D.C.
Date & Time: Saturday, May 20. 7:30 p.m. ET.
How to watch: Apple TV | MLS Season Pass
Information from Field Level Media used