The LA Galaxy will host the Houston Dynamo on Sunday at 4:30pm E.T. in the last match of the 2018 regular season at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. This match has major playoff implications for the Galaxy: it’s either win or miss the playoffs completely. Here is what you need to know before the game:
- This is it. The Galaxy must win to make the playoffs. They sit in 7th place in the Western Conference standings with 48 points. Real Salt Lake, who is the only team in MLS to not have a match on Decision Day and therefore has completed their regular season schedule, sits in the final playoff spot with 49 points. If the Galaxy lose they would not have enough points to pass RSL in the standings, and if they draw they would lose to RSL in the tiebreaker, which is total wins.
- The Houston Dynamo have been out of playoff contention for some time, and sit in 10th place in the Western Conference. In the last meeting between these two teams, May 5 in Houston, the Dynamo won 3-2 with a 90th minute game winner from Memo Rodriguez. Houston’s last win came on Sept. 29 at home against the San Jose Earthquakes.
- Midfielder Giovani Dos Santos could potentially return to the 18 man roster on Sunday after a prolonged absence due to injury. He last played for the Galaxy on Sept. 1 at RSL, where he subbed on in the 70th minute of play. The only other player on the Galaxy’s injured list is Chris Pontius, who will be out for the remainder of the season.
- Forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic has garnered MLS MVP consideration after his part in the Galaxy’s recent run of form to get back into the playoff picture. He has 23 goals from 26 games played this season and is one goal away from tying team record for the most goals scored in one season, currently held by Carlos Ruiz with 24 goals from the 2002 season.
- Galaxy fans have been advised to get to the stadium early on Sunday due to the other events around the city on Sunday. The parking gates will all open at 1:30pm E.T.