Following a historic regular season which saw LAFC achieve the most points in Major League history, the Sophomore club is three wins away from lifting its second trophy in 46 days.
Since the start of the league in March, LAFC went on three separate three-game winning streaks. A four-game run in March and April, one in early July and a five-gamer in late July into August.
The last two were snapped by the team less than 15 miles away from Banc of California Stadium – the Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy face Minnesota United in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs. With a win in the land of 10,000 lakes Sunday, Oct. 20, LAFC will have to face LA Galaxy four days later in Downtown.
LAFC: Two Things to Figure Out
Will Kaye Play?
During Mark Anthony-Kaye’s feature with the Canadian National Team Tuesday, Oct. 15, LAFC’s comeback player of the year was forced to leave early after pulling up with a hamstring injury.
The extent of the injury is unknown but by the looks of Kaye’s reaction, it didn’t look good. The midfielder was on the ground for a while, covering his face in agony. When players do that, it’s usually not a good sign.
With Kaye’s status unknown, it’s a good thing players like Lee Nguyen remain in manager Bob Bradley’s disposal. The American international has seen his minutes decline following recent acquisitions but with Kaye in doubt, Nguyen is more than capable.
Minnesota or Galaxy?
As mentioned previously, LAFC awaits the winner between Minnesota and LA Galaxy. Both teams managed to beat LAFC during the regular season and both have a decent history facing the league-toppers.
Minnesota and Galaxy faced each other two times in 2019. The first time back in March at Dignity Health Sports Park where the Galaxy won 3-2. A month later the Galaxy visited Minnesota and came back with a point following a 0-0 draw.
Galaxy striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic looks to be the difference in a matchup where both teams play on the counter.
Who Does LAFC Wish For?
Last season, LAFC were unable to defeat LA Galaxy in three tries. While LA Football Club defeated Minnesota 2-0 first before losing 5-1 the second time they faced each other.
This season, Minnesota handed LAFC its only home loss of the season and tied at Audi Field. LAFC’s bogey team, LA Galaxy, did the same as a 3-2 win at Dignity Health was followed by a tie at The Banc.
Between the two, the Galaxy poses a bigger threat as LAFC can’t seem to rise above the occasion against their crosstown rivals. The likes of Ibrahimovic and Jonathan dos Santos were built for games against LAFC which leads me to believe the Supporters Shield winners are better off with a Minnesota United victory Sunday.
Top Photo: Jae C. Hong/Associated Press