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Red Bulls try to slow down red-hot Galaxy

(Twitter/@newyorkredbulls)

The Los Angeles Galaxy can extend their unbeaten streak to eight matches when they play the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena in Harrison, N.J., on Saturday.

LA’s 22 points are one behind Western Conference leader Los Angeles FC. The Galaxy (7-1-1) have six wins and a tie in the past seven games but have shown a tendency for slow starts to the second half.

That’s how it was in a 2-1 win vs. Real Salt Lake on Sunday but some of the sluggishness was due to fatigue from playing midweek, Galaxy midfielder Sebastian Lletget said. LA got away with it at home, but the Galaxy face tough road venues at New York and in Columbus on Wednesday.

“Especially with these away games coming up, we have to get started on the right foot against teams that are good at home,” he said. “We’ve definitely got to fix that.”

The Red Bulls (2-4-2, eight points) ended an 0-4-1 streak with a 1-0 victory over Cincinnati on April 27 and play the second of three straight home matches where they are an uncharacteristically average 2-2-0.

“We want to start playing well at Red Bull Arena again,” New York defender Tim Parker said. “Just as important as it is to beat a good team in the LA Galaxy, it’s just as important to win at home.”

To do so may involve containing Galaxy forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic, whose eight goals in seven games are second in MLS to the 11 goals in 10 games for LAFC’s Carlos Vela.

With 30 goals in 34 career MLS games — the equivalent of a full season — Ibrahimovic is the all-time leader in goals per game (0.88).

“He’s a great player,” Red Bulls defender Aaron Long said. “His pedigree and the amount of goals per game shows that. He’s going to be tough, so we’ll try to limit his time and space. He’s world class.”

REUTERS/Field Level Media

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