In what is expected to be a close affair, two of the best teams in MLS' Western Conference meet. Steve Cherundolo's first season as Los Angeles FC's manager has been a success. However, they will need to win to reclaim the West Division lead from Austin FC. LAFC boasts one of the most impressive defenses in the league. They have allowed only eight goals so far. It will be a good feeling to face a Minnesota team that has sometimes struggled with scoring.
Adrian Heath has changed the Loons' style this season. In years past, they were an open-attacking team that exposed their defense. But this year they have dialed it back. Minnesota has scored only 11 goals but Dayne St. Clair's defense has allowed only six. This is a good mark for the league's best defense.
Emanuel Reynoso is the attack's leader. His two goals and three assists make up almost half of the team’s scoring output. Ilie Sanchez and Kellyn Acosta will need to track his movements, but Heath would prefer that the attack be less predictable.
"Our defensive position has been quite good throughout the season. Heat stated that it was probably in the attacking areas where there were more concerns and questions. Heat stated that the group's defense has never been compromised. Our goalkeepers have been outstanding this year. Boxy (Michael Boxall), and Dibassy(Bakaye Dibassy), are so experienced, and everyone who has stepped in at fullback has really helped. It's been a great team effort. It's time to stop focusing on the back four. This is both a 10-man defensive and 10-man attacking formation. Everyone contributes to both sides of the ball."
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Time: 10 p.m. ET
Location: Banc of California Stadium - Los Angeles, California
Live stream: fuboTV (try for free)
Odds: LAFC -210; Draw + 350; Minnesota United +550 (via Caesars Sportsbook)
LAFC: Losses are increasing for LAFC. Doneil Henry is doubtful with a hamstring injury, but Erik Dunas and Julian Gaines, Brian Rodriguez, Brian Rodriguez, Brian Rodriguez, Brian Rodriguez, Brian Rodriguez, Ismael Tajouri–Shradi all will miss the match due to injuries. Cherundolo must figure out how to keep his team fresh as the weeks get shorter due to US Open Cup matches.
Minnesota United: Will Trapp, the Loons' midfielder, will not be available due to yellow card accumulation eight games into this season.
Carlos Vela has the scoresheet for LAFC, but they will share the points as Minnesota's defense is difficult to break down. Pick: LAFC 1, Minnesota United 1