Orlando City v LA Galaxy: Preview and prediction
Orlando City forward Facundo Torres is targeting a turnaround in the Lions’ home fortunes, starting against LA Galaxy on Saturday.
Since beating the New York Red Bulls in the opening game of the season, Orlando have failed to win at home in 2023.
That run of five games has included three straight losses, with road wins over Philadelphia Union and Minnesota United wedged between those defeats.
Torres scored the winner against the Red Bulls back in February, and knows the time is now for Orlando to correct their home form.
"It's been difficult losses. Not just this week, but so far the ones that we've had on the season," he said.
"We know that we have to be a little bit more. It's not what we'd hoped for at this point in the season, but we continue working with the whole team to continue finding those details that we've been missing recently.
"In the final third, we've gotten good plays where we've been in and around the ball, but we haven't been able to finish those chances yet. And on the defensive side, we've given up some easy ones that have cost us as a team. So we work together to try and solidify those areas.
"We all know what [head coach] Oscar [Pareja] has been asking of us in the plan that he's laid out for us, whether it's guys that have been here or guys that just got here this year.
"The plan that Oscar has laid out has been very clear, and we're all integrated into that. I think what we're missing right now is the chemistry in between the new players and the old players and executing that idea. Like I said, the plan is very clear so now we just need to work together to bring that idea to the field in reality."
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Orlando City – Duncan McGuire
McGuire has scored three goals in his first six MLS appearances, including scoring Orlando's last two goals. McGuire has hit the target with all seven shots he's attempted in MLS, the only player to attempt more than three shots with a 100 per cent shooting accuracy this season.
LA Galaxy – Javier Hernandez
Hernandez scored his first goal of the season in the Galaxy's 2-0 win over Austin on Saturday, and will be eager to keep up his form. It was his 38th regular season MLS goal, surpassing Erick Torres to become the second-highest-scoring Mexican international in MLS history, behind only Carlos Vela (72).
MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW
Each side have three wins in their six previous MLS meetings. The last two matches ended 1-0 to the visiting team (one win each) after there were a total of 20 goals scored in the first four games between the Lions and Galaxy.
Orlando have lost 11 regular season home matches since the start of 2022 (W10 D1) after losing a total of 12 home matches over the previous three regular seasons combined (W20 D14 from 2019—21).
The Galaxy have just two points from four away matches this season, though they're unbeaten in their last five away matches against Eastern Conference opposition.
OPTA WIN PROBABILITY
Orlando City – 48.2 per cent
LA Galaxy – 25.1 per cent
Draw – 26.7 per cent