Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s yellow card tally will keep him out for Galaxy versus Atlanta
The Galaxy enter the most challenging stretch of their season Saturday, and they’ll do it without two of their most important players. The Galaxy will be missing captain and leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic and defender Diego Polenta when they meet defending league champion Atlanta United in the first of six MLS games the team will play in 29 days.
Their opponents are a combined 55-32-27, and four of those games, including Saturday’s, will be on the road, where the Galaxy (12-9-1) have a losing record.
Ibrahimovic, third in MLS with 16 goals, is out because of yellow-card accumulation while Polenta is suspended after getting a red card for confronting Portland’s Dairon Asprilla after the final whistle of last weekend’s 4-0 loss to the Timbers. Also out after getting a red card in that game is teenage midfielder Efrain Alvarez.
Atlanta is second in the Eastern Conference standings, but it has the league’s second-best record (8-1-3) at home, where it hasn’t lost since April.
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LAFC, the league’s best team at 15-3-4, is also on the road Saturday, traveling cross-country to meet the New England Revolution, the league’s hottest team with a 7-0-4 record over the last three months. The game will match former U.S. national team coaches Bob Bradley and Bruce Arena, longtime friends and the two winningest active managers in MLS.
LAFC has the league’s top offense led by Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, who have combined for 34 goals this season. There are 13 teams in MLS that don’t have 34 goals this season.
The Revolution have allowed just one goal in their last three games.