Leagues Cup Semifinal Preview – Los Angeles Galaxy vs Cruz Azul

Friday, August 16th, 2019

By Jonathan Willis
Los Angeles Galaxy vs Cruz Azul

The lone MLS team to win their Leagues Cup match last month was the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy did not use star forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic in the match, but they managed to advance thanks to a penalty shootout victory over Club Tijuana. They overcame a 2-1 deficit due to goals from Emmanuel Boateng and David Romney, and then Tijuana only found the back of the net once in the shootout. LA will look to advance to the first Leagues Cup Final with a win over Cruz Azul on Tuesday.

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Los Angeles Galaxy vs. Cruz Azul

Date and Time: August 20, 2019, 10:30 p.m. ET

Location: Dignity Health Sports Park, Los Angeles, California

US Television Coverage: ESPN2

Betting Line: Check Back Later

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Cruz Azul are not off to a good start this season. They are in the middle of the Liga MX table, but they did win the Mexican Supercopa before the start of the season. Cruz Azul hammered Necaxa 4-0 to begin their year with a trophy.

As luck would have it, Cruz Azul then played Necaxa in the first game of the Apertura, but they were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw despite having the better run of play. They played Toluca to a 1-1 draw in their next match, and then they suffered a brutal 3-0 defeat at the hands of Queretaro. Cruz Azul finally picked up a win with a 2-0 win over recently promoted Juarez last weekend. To reach the semifinals, the club beat the Chicago Fire 2-0 in a game they dominated from start to finish.

The Los Angeles Galaxy are in the middle of the playoff race, and they finally broke their three-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over FC Dallas on Wednesday night. Of course, Ibra was the man of the hour with both Galaxy goals in the victory, and he continues to be the lynchpin of the team. No other player has scored more than three goals in league play for the Galaxy this season.

Key Absences

There are plenty of players on Cruz Azul’s injury report, and that has led to their downturn. Elias Hernandez has been a long-term injury, while Yoshimar Yotun and Santiago Gimenez are both questionable. Midfielders Stephen Eustaquio and Javier Salas are both listed as probable.

Midfielder Romain Alessandrini is the only player on the injury report for the Galaxy. He has been out for the past four months after undergoing knee surgery, but he should be back in the coming weeks.

Los Angeles Galaxy Player to Watch

Ibrahimovic has notched 18 goals on the season, and he is the key to it all for the Galaxy. Without him, the club really doesn’t have many options up front, so if he doesn’t play, that is going to sting. Ibra might not play as he is getting older and this will be the club’s third match in seven days, and that would really hurt their chances.

Cruz Azul Player to Watch

Roberto Alvarado is a star in the making, and Cruz Azul have seen the 20-year-old flash already this season. He was the youngest player in the history of second-tier Mexican soccer, and Alvarado has notched goals against Chicago and Juarez this season.

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Even though the Galaxy have the benefit of playing at home, tired legs will hurt them here. Liga MX clubs have long had the better of these matches, and that trend is likely to continue.

Leagues Cup Semifinals Prediction: Cruz Azul 1, Los Angeles Galaxy 0

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