Los Angeles FC has been one of the most surprising teams in MLS during its inaugural season and carries a three-match win streak into the south Texas heat when it squares off against the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday at BBVA Compass Stadium in downtown Houston.
It’s the first-ever meeting between the two sides.
LAFC burst out of the World Cup break with a 4-1 win over Philadelphia on Saturday as Norwegian striker Adama Diomande notched the side’s first ever hat trick. Diomande’s goals came in the 25th, 43rd and 55th minutes, and gave him seven in his first five games.
The victory allowed Los Angeles (9-4-3) to stretch its unbeaten streak at home to seven matches and pull within two points of Western Conference-leading Sporting Kansas City.
“The goals are great,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said of his striker’s performance. “I know they’ll keep coming because of the way he moves. But I was very pleased with the quality of some of his touches and passing too.”
Houston has lost three of its past four matches, with its most recent MLS setback a 3-2 loss at Sporting Kansas City on June 23 despite Mauro Manotas’ two goals, one of which was scored just two minutes into the match.
The Dynamo (6-6-3) owned a 2-0 lead at halftime against Sporting KC and were still in line for the win until surrendering two goals in the final nine minutes, prompting veteran defender DaMarcus Beasley to lay it on the line concerning his sides continued troubles closing games.
Houston played with 10 men after Eric Alexander was sent off for his second bookable offense in the 87th minute.
“We have to learn to play 90 minutes — especially on the road,” Beasley said. “We have to have the right mentality in these games, especially up 2-0 — we have to get something out if it. Even those that we’ve won we haven’t played well the whole game. We have to keep pushing and get as close to the top as we can. To do that our mentality has to be a lot better.”
—Field Level Media