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Game Day Hub: New York City vs LA Galaxy at Dignity Health Sports Park

NYCFC's depleted defense will face an LA Galaxy attack with the third-highest goal tally in the league in this midweek matchup.

Carson, CA is about 17 miles from the center of Los Angeles | Courtesy LA Galaxy

It's Matchday 18, and New York City FC are in  Los Angeles Carson, CA to face LA Galaxy this Juneteenth under the sweet skies of a SoCal sunset. The game will be broadcast for free on Apple TV, and is scheduled to start at 10:30 pm ET. That means it will run deep into the East Coast night — time to settle in for a result that won't be finalized until the early hours of Thursday.

Game Day Essentials

• Matchday 18: LA Galaxy vs New York City FC

• Date and Time: Wednesday, June 18, 10:30 pm ET

• Venue: Dignity Health Sports Park

• Forecast: Pleasant and clear, 68F/20 C

• Watch: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV (Free)

Apple Broadcast Team: Nate Bukaty and Devon Kerr (English), Jorge Perez-Navarro and Marcelo Balboa (Spanish)

New York City FC Radio: Glenn Crooks and Matty Lawrence (English), Roberto Abramowitz and Ariel Judas (Spanish)

Officiating Crew: Rubiel Vazquez (referee), Corey Rockwell and Matthew Nelson (assistant referees), Brandon Stevis (fourth official), Younes Marrakchi (VAR), TJ Zablocki (assistant VAR)

• Kits: New York City will be in the black 24/7 Kit, the LA Galaxy in the white Angeleno Kit

New York City are coming off a 2-3 home loss to Columbus Crew after being reduced to 10 players. The result didn't go NYCFC's way but the team was electric in the final 30 minutes of the game, completely outplaying the current MLS Champions despite being short-handed.

But the red card shown to right-back Mitja Ilenič will haunt them tonight, when the one-game suspension will keep him out of a defense that could also be missing center-back Thiago Martins and left-back Kevin O'Toole.

LA Galaxy will be without talisman Riqui Puig, who is still recovering from a groin injury. Last Saturday, they defeated Sporting Kansas City 4-2 without him, and rose to second place in the Western Conference – and fifth place in the league standings – with 31 points after 18 games.

New York City aren't far behind, and have a game in hand: NYCFC now have 29 points after 17 games, and sit fourth in the Eastern Conference and seventh overall.

The Galaxy's red-hot attack has 35 goals in 18 games, which is good for third-best in MLS. But New York City don't give up goals easily, and they're now finding their scoring mojo: An NYCFC that managed just 11 goals in their first 11 games this season scored 15 goals in their last six.

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New York City FC vs LA Galaxy H2H

6 4 0 2 8 7 1

The historic head-to-head between these two teams heavily favors New York City, who have four wins out of six games played.

The two sides last faced each other on February 27 2022, when a NYCFC struggling to cope with a brutal CONCACAF Champions League (now called the Concacaf Champions Cup) schedule lost in Los Angeles after Chicharito scored the only goal of the game in the 90th minute.

New York City won the previous matchup, also held in Los Angeles, which was way back on May 11, 2019. NYCFC shut out LA Galaxy 0-2 behind goals from Héber and Maxi Moralez.

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New York City FC

Player Availability: Mitja Ilenič is serving a one-game suspension after earning a red card last Friday. Rio Hope-Gund is also out with an injury.
• The defense could be missing three starters. Thiago Martins and Kevin O'Toole, who both missed the Columbus game with hamstring injuries, are not on the injury report, but head coach Nick Cushing said in his pre-match press conference that the team would be cautious with each defender's injury, and it's unclear if either will be involved in LA.
• Will Nick Cushing change formations and switch to a back-three with Tayvon Gray on the right, Strahinja Tanasijević in the center, and Birk Risa on the left? In the past, the team put in some impressive results when injuries and suspensions forced Cushing to go with a back-three.
• Or will Cushing stick with a back-four and put left-back Christian McFarlane in the Starting XI? The 17-year-old made his Major League Soccer debut last Friday.
• Will Justin Haak see some playing time? The defensive midfielder, who can fill in at defense, has made just four appearances in the first 17 games, all off the bench.
Will Talles Magno play?

Where’s Magno?
The 21-year-old Designated Player has been an unused sub since returning from injury at the start of May. We look at why Talles Magno is on the bench — and why nobody seems to mind.

LA Galaxy

Player Availability: Riqui Puig (groin), Gaston Brugman (knee), and Jonathan Perez (hamstring) are all unavailable.
• The Galaxy are undefeated at home, with five wins and three draws.
• But the Galaxy also let in a lot of goals at home, allowing 13 in those eight games. Their one and only clean sheet at home took place way back on March 30, when they beat Seattle Sounders 1-0.
• New York City's depleted defense will have their hands full with Dejan Joveljić. The striker has 10 goals in 16 appearances after scoring last Saturday.
• Midfielder Gabriel Pec was a beast in that Galaxy win, stepping up in place of the injured Puig. The 23-year-old Brazilian scored once, added two assists, and basically bossed the game.
• Will center-back Jalen Neal be in the Starting XI? The 20-year-old Homegrown started the last game over 37-year-old Martín Cáceres.
• Want to learn more about LA? We spoke with Josh Guesman from Corner of the Galaxy to get the inside intel in "Oppo Research: 5 Things about LA Galaxy."

Oppo Research: 5 Things about LA Galaxy
Josh Guesman of Corner of the Galaxy tells us why the signings of Gabriel Pec and Joseph Paintsil improved the team, why LA players are such good passers, and why Dejan Joveljić scores so many goals.