Galaxy-New York City FC preview
The Los Angeles Galaxy visit Yankee Stadium for the first time on Saturday to take on first-place New York City FC in a matinee battle between two contenders.
The Galaxy (9-3-11) is trying to stay in the race at the top of the Western Conference table. Los Angeles is winless in its last four outings, but has a good grasp of third place heading into the final stretch of the regular season.
The Galaxy will need to find a way to contain New York City FC's firepower, featuring star Frank Lampard in top form. Lampard has scored nine goals in his last 10 games, helping New York City FC maintain the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
"They're playing well at the moment, and so are we," the Galaxy's Robbie Keane told the team's website. "It should be an interesting game."
Keane is expected to make his return to the pitch for the first time since suffering an orbital fracture in a hard collision with New York Red Bulls goalie Luis Robles on Aug. 7.
New York City FC (10-7-8) will be without coach Patrick Viera and defender Maxime Chano. Both are suspended for Saturday's match after receiving postgame red cards following last weekend's 3-3 draw with Columbus. Forward David Villa had two goals against Columbus and is tied for the most goals in MLS with Toronto's Sebastian Giovinco. They each have 15 on the season.
The Galaxy won't be at full strength, either. Keeper Brian Rowe is out with a head injury, likely leaving Dan Kennedy to make his first start since May 11.
Temperatures are expected to reach the mid-80s, with humid conditions at Yankee Stadium. Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, a Brooklyn native, believes the weather will be a big factor.
"I think probably the weather Saturday will be more of an issue than the field," Arena told reporters. "It's going to be pretty warm and humid in New York and the East Coast this time of year, and the conditions are generally tough to play in.
"We're playing an afternoon game. I think that's going to be more challenging than the field."
Updated August 19, 2016