In the midst of a magical debut season, Los Angeles FC will take its must-see act on the road, where some of the team’s heroics have been neutralized.
Minnesota United will not lack for confidence in Sunday’s matchup as they have won three consecutive MLS matches at TCF Bank Stadium.
LAFC (10-4-5, 35 points), which has four victories and two ties over its last six league matches, won its U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match Wednesday, getting the best of the Portland Timbers 3-2. Minnesota United (8-11-1, 25 points) handled the New England Revolution 2-1 in MLS play on Wednesday.
While LAFC has been remarkable while going unbeaten in its first nine home matches (5-0-4), the road has been more of a challenge. LAFC is 1-2-1 over its last four MLS road matches, including a humbling 2-2 tie at Houston on July 3 when they surrendered a pair of goals in stoppage time. The club has a 5-4-1 record away from home.
Forward Carlos Vela is back in the fold for LAFC after a run with Mexico in the World Cup and is now trying to blend his talents with forward Adama Diomande, who has burst onto the scene. Diomande scored nine goals in his first eight matches for LAFC, mostly while Vela was gone.
Yet the one match when Vela and Diomande started together, the club played to a scoreless draw in an MLS match against the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
“Maybe from the start it’s a little strange because you are paying in some system now with different guys and you have to change maybe a little bit,” Vela said. “But I think we know (what kind of) team we have. I know how they want to play. I know how I want to play. We have to keep working.”
Minnesota United has shown it has the firepower to stay with an offensive-minded LAFC by scoring nine times in their past three home games. It needed eight matches to score its previous nine home goals.
“We know they have big players,” Minnesota United midfielder Miguel Ibarra told the team website. “We have played teams with big players, like Toronto. We have to approach this team the same. We know we are hard to beat at home and I think we can make it difficult for LAFC to play here.”
Minnesota United’s Darwin Quintero has five goals in the team’s last four matches.
—Field Level Media