Los Angeles FC visits FC Dallas for the teams’ second matchup with the clubs heading in opposite directions.
Dallas (6-1-5, 23 points) will take the pitch riding a five-game unbeaten streak that stretches back to the first meeting between these two sides, when they played to a 1-1 draw in Los Angeles. Dallas comes home after two consecutive road victories that have seen it leapfrog LAFC (6-3-3, 21 points) into second place in the Western Conference.
Dallas coach Oscar Pareja aims to build on that recent success.
“The most important thing is to keep the high spirit of the players and the optimism for the performance that they’ve had and that they can continue it,” he said Thursday.
Conversely, LAFC’s remarkable inaugural season has been tempered in recent weeks. They haven’t won a match since May 9, going 0-1-2 in three MLS matchups since. Things aren’t going to get any easier in Dallas.
LAFC’s three losses have all come on the road, and Dallas has yet to lose on its home pitch. On top of playing in unfriendly surroundings, LAFC will be facing temperatures expected to hit the triple digits.
In addition to those challenges, midfielder Benny Feilhaber expects to see a more aggressive Dallas team than the club LAFC played to a draw in Los Angeles.
“They’re a very good team, they’ve only lost one game all year,” Feilhaber said. “I do expect them to kind of come at us a little bit more, even though their bread and butter is getting guys behind the ball and counterattacking.”
Dallas has the advantage of playing against a depleted L.A. club. Leading scorer Carlos Vela, defenders Laurent Ciman and Omar Gaber and forward Marco Urena are all away playing for their home countries in the World Cup. Goalkeeper Luis Lopez is out with a right tibial fracture, and center back Dejan Jakovic is suspended after receiving a red card last week against DC United.
Dallas is missing Kris Reaves (sports hernia) and Anton Nedyalkov (broken collarbone). Forward Cristian Colman was facing a suspension after receiving a red card last week in a win over the LA Galaxy, but the red card was reversed by the league this week, making Colman available to play.
—Field Level Media