Atlanta United (4-1-1) are looking to extend their unbeaten streak to six as they head out West to face their next opponent in the LA Galaxy (3-2-1) on Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET. While Atlanta dominated the first meeting last season 4-0, it’s a new year and the Galaxy look like a new team in 2018 sitting at 2nd in the Western Conference. New signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic is an obvious threat but LA have plenty of other firepower at their disposal. Here’s what Five Stripes fans can expect from their next opponent:
At the heart of the Galaxy midfield is a face well-known in the Southern California area. Mexican international Jonathan dos Santos joined his brother Giovanni at the LA Galaxy near the end of last season from Spanish side Villarreal CF. While the midfielder doesn’t pride himself on flare or his nose for goal, he’s a player every team hates to face. His intelligence, ball distribution and physical play makes him the cog in the LA midfield wheel sitting right in front of the back line. And he’s one of the best in the league at reading the game, so Atlanta will have to get outsmart him before they can break down the Galaxy unit.
Standing at 5’6”, Emma Boateng doesn’t offer a massive presence at first glance, but find him running in space, and his speed will knock you off your feet. The Ghanaian winger is quick, crafty and an absolute nightmare for opposing defenses. While not their primary goal-scoring attacker, Boateng loves to make penetrating runs behind the back line, beat a defender off the dribble and put the rest of his attacking cohort in good positions to find the back of the net. With Boateng’s lightning pace on one side and Alessandrini’s nifty feet on the other, Atlanta will have their hands full defending from wide areas.
A key piece of the LA Galaxy puzzle was missing last year in one of their lowest performing seasons ever, but the player they dub “Da Boy” is back for their 2018 campaign. Sebastian Lletget joined the Galaxy midfield in 2015 after spending time in England with Premier League side West Ham United F.C. The U.S. international is intelligent, technical, and brings a calming presence to the center of the park. With an incredibly high work-rate as well, he gives a full 90 minutes box-to-box and that’s not only on the defensive side of the ball. Lletget’s forward, attacking-minded instincts are crucial in connecting the play and launching the Galaxy attack and will certainly be looking to pick out Alessandrini, Boateng and Ibrahimovic as soon as he gets the chance.
This weekend’s match kicks off at 10:30 p.m. EST on Saturday, April 21st, and will be broadcast on FOX Sports Southeast. Click here for everything you need to know about how to follow along from home.