Roots travel to Carson, California, where it is probably actually summer, for a Friday night match-up against L.A. Galaxy II at 7:30. The game will be on ESPN+, KTVU Plus, and TeleXitos. I will be at Oracle Park freezing my damn ass off and frantically checking the score on my phone.
[To the two people on the Discord who care about this bit: this has been a Top 5 song for me since <googles when Tony Hawk Pro Skater came out> 23 years ago. As there is a team from Orange County, I feel like I have to differentiate LA and OC bands here. We’ll get to see Sublime and some deeper cuts next season.]
Roots beat Galaxy II 1-0 on May 21, in what was only the Roots’ second win of the season. I previewed that match here. Roots won that one on an Ottar penalty, and held that lead even after Benny got sent off in the 69th, giving Timothy Syrel his professional debut.
The important thing to remember about Galaxy II is that we don’t like LA Sports to begin with, we don’t like Galaxy better than we like LAFC, and this isn’t even real Galaxy.
Galaxy II’s Form
Galaxy II are 7-3-6 with 26 goals for and 33 goals against. They sit 9th in the Western Conference, tied on points with the Roots, but behind on goal differential. Galaxy have a game in hand on the Roots, though. Since the loss to the Roots, LA has wins over RGV, Monterey, and Miami, a draw to Loyal, and predictable losses to Switchbacks and Sacramento.
This mfer said “posed and compoised.” Judd’s opener is a good, if unexciting header on a long cross. His second, though, is a belter. Judd had ages in the box while the defense waited to see which direction he’d pass, and he just hammered into the far top corner. Judd completed the hatty on a great full-extension touch past the keeper under pressure. The two Monterey Bay goals showed that the Galaxy II defense is subject to the same kind of complete failure to clear the ball that haunts the Roots defense at times–particularly on set pieces.
Galaxy II hit the crossbar twice in the first twenty minutes, and it is only three Galaxy highlights in the first 60 minutes shown in the highlights. Then like a minute later the Galaxy keeper wipes out a breaking Sac attacker for a penalty, which the Sac guy converts. Sac’s second is a … I mean… it’s a pretty tricky choice to go near post, but the Galaxy II keeper completely craps the bed.
Galaxy II got off to a hot start, scoring twice in the first ten minutes. Miami gave the home fans hope when they scored in the 16th, and it looks like they kinda should have equalized in the 43rd, but the the AR said the ball did not cross the line. Preston Judd got a third basically all by himself in the 70th to put the game away.
So what have we learned? Galaxy II’s defense is prone to hilarious ineptitude, but their attack scores goals.
|3/26||Monterey Bay Union Football Club of Seaside, California||Home||L||2||3|
|3/30||New Mexico United||Away||D||2||2|
|4/02||Tampa Bay Rowdies||Home||D||0||0|
|4/13||January 6 Apologists SC||Home||D||2||2|
|4/30||Colorado Springs Troop Appreciators||Home||L||0||3|
|5/14||AFC Pure Uncut Nevada Chaos||Away||D||1||1|
|5/21||Galaxia de Carson, Two||Home||W||1||0|
|5/28||Central Valley Republic||Home||D||1||1|
|6/4||Monterey Bay Union Football Club of Seaside, California||Away||W||2||0|
|6/15||New Mexico United||Home||L||1||2|
|6/22||Five Shades of Gray, F.C.||Away||D||1||1|
Players to Watch
Preston Judd #31 – Preston Judd has 8 goals on the season, 3 fewer than Karlsson. He has not been called up to Galaxy I yet, and maybe he never will, at 22, but with 17 goals last year you’d think he has a good shot. In April of this year he moved to the MLS roster, so he can move when the team wants him. Judd is 6’3″, but if you watched the highlights above you know he can move.
I got way behind this week on work, so this preview kinda sucks. Check out the players to watch from when I did this two months ago.
Lineup and Score Predictions
I thought I spied Rito in the background of the training pictures the Roots posted today, and you would imagine if he is healthy enough to start, Guerra would want him to start. I don’t know if the Formella wing option still works if you are starting him opposite Rito, instead of a more dedicated defender like Diaz. I’m going to predict a return to Azocar/Rito, but, again, will call for the end of the three centerback tyranny. Anyway, there’s no way the Roots keep a clean sheet here, but I’m counting on them to want a good result to they can celebrate in
Los Angeles Carson. Roots 2-1.
Similar to Peter, I’m basing my guesses on the photos available from Oakland Roots’ social media feeds. I spied Rito and Azocar, so my guess is that they return to the lineup. I have Danny Barbir in the back for that same reason, while I wasn’t able to spot Morad, so I’m winging it with Barbir manning the back line. In the attack, it appears that Mikael Johnsen is hammering down the starting role, I’m excited to see what he can do with consistent minutes in a consistent position. I’m sticking with my 2-nil Roots’ victory score prediction from RootsPod; goals scored by Karlsson and Johnsen.
As I mentioned on the Pod, I think Roots are the better side, and should win. But I trust that the road to the playoffs will have way more zigs and zags than anyone wants. 2-1 LA2.