Los Angeles FC strives to stretch its unbeaten streak to five games on Wednesday when it hosts the Minnesota United at newly minted Banc of California Stadium.
LAFC posted a win and a draw to open a four-game stretch in the sparkling new stadium just south of downtown Los Angeles. The squad sits second in the Western Conference with 16 points to go with a 5-2-1 record, despite playing two fewer games than first-place Sporting Kansas City.
Minnesota (4-5-0) also is settling into a groove with back-to-back wins that followed a four-match losing streak.
The United posted an impressive 1-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps last Saturday when they played with just 10 players after rookie forward Mason Toye was sent off with a red card for violent conduct. Toye will sit out the game against LAFC.
“I thought it was a monumental effort considering how long we played a man down,” Minnesota coach Adrian Heath told reporters, “but the team that we played, they’re the biggest team probably in the league. ... Overall, incredibly proud of the players. It was a really big result for us.”
There was a tinge of disappointment following LAFC’s last outing, as it played FC Dallas to a 1-1 tie.
Though the unbeaten streak remained intact, there was an overwhelming feeling that an opportunity had been missed.
“It’s easy to say that the problem was that we didn’t score goals,” forward Carlos Vela told reporters. “Football is really quick. If they take the chances and score, it doesn’t matter what you do. We lost two points at home.”
Vela (five goals, four assists) and forward Diego Rossi (four goals, five assists) have combined to score nine of the team’s 18 goals. Recently acquired midfielder Lee Nguyen (51 career goals) is expected to help pump up the attack, and his next assist will make him the 19th player in MLS history with at least 50 goals and 50 assists.
Minnesota has scored just 12 goals in nine games. Midfielders Ibson, Kevin Molino and Darwin Quintero and forward Ethan Finlay each have scored two.
—Field Level Media