Neither team in this match-up is particularly pleased with itself at the moment. LA Galaxy has established high standards for itself: a year in which it is not challenging for a trophy is a disappointment; a year in which it misses the playoffs...well, that hasn't happened since 2008. Nor need it happen this year, the Galaxy is off to a slow start in MLS 2017 - just eight points from nine games played - but it's position is hardly irretrievable. Still, it is at a low ebb right now, with last week's fight back to claim a 2-2 draw at home against Chicago Fire representing something of an upturn in form.
Winless in its last four games and reduced to celebrating not losing at home, LA could use a pick-me-up.
So too could the New York Red Bulls. RBNY has settled into a topsy-turvy pattern in 2017: invincible at home, incompetent on the road. The last three home games have been won by an aggregate score of 6-1, and the team has kept a clean sheet in four of its five MLS matches at Red Bull Arena this season. Conversely, the last five road games were all lost, by a combined score of 13-2. RBNY's opening day win in Atlanta looks increasingly like an inexplicable blip, a false promise of steadiness away from home.
But the Red Bulls are in better shape than LA: 16 points from 11 games is not great, merely good enough for now. But good enough is a better place to be than the Galaxy's misfiring effort to climb into the top half of the Western Conference. And if RBNY can keep piling up points at home, it will keep buying itself time to figure out its issues on the road.
The Red Bulls need to keep winning in Harrison; LA needs to start winning anywhere it can: both teams should not be short of motivation for this one.
Per livesoccertv.com, here's where to find the game: