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LAFC at Minnesota United

Saturday, Oct. 23

5:00 p.m. PT

TV: My13 KCOP, Estrella TV

RADIO: ESPN LA 710 AM, ESPN LA 1110 AM, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM

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It can be a cliché for teams to say that “Every game is a playoff game”, as they head down the stretch run trying to qualify for the post-season. But in the case of LAFC and the rest of the teams fighting to stay alive in the Western Conference Playoff race, that is exactly how the final four games of the season must be treated. 

Saturday night, LAFC heads to Allianz Field to take on Minnesota United in what is truly a must-win match for the Black & Gold to keep their playoff hopes alive. LAFC currently sits in 9th place with 40 points on the season, while Minnesota has 44 points in 6th place. 

Staring at what would have been a devastating defeat Wednesday night in Dallas, as they trailed 2-1 after a slow start to the match, LAFC stormed back behind the first career hat trick for Cristian Arango. The Colombian scoring sensation helped the Black & Gold net their first come from behind victory of the year with the dramatic 3-2 victory. 

Minnesota is a difficult team, especially at Allianz Field – where the Black & gold tied 1-1 in 2019 in their only visit. LAFC has only beaten the Loons once, in May of 2018. LAFC was mere seconds from taking a valuable three points from Minnesota on July 28 at Banc of California Stadium earlier this season, but the Loons evened the match in the final seconds on a dramatic equalizer by Hassani Dotson.

MINNESOTA IN-DEPTH

The Loons are on a two-game winning streak, and have lost just once in their last four games. Minnesota pulled off a difficult 3-2 win at home over Philadelphia on Wednesday, and is looking to keep their wining streak alive vs. LAFC. 

With skillful players such as Emanuel Reynoso, Franco Fragapane, Adrien Hunou and Robin Lod, Minnesota is going to look to attack the LAFC defense with pressure from the start and strong football ideas. 

Defender Romain Metanire received a red card Wednesday vs. Philadelphia and will not be available vs. LAFC.  

CHICHO

There is not much more that can be said about Cristian “Chicho” Arango. The Colombian forward has been electric almost since the moment he joined the Black & Gold in August, scoring 11 goals in his first 13 matches. 

Against Dallas, he registered his first professional hat trick, and recorded just the sixth three-goal game in Club history. 

He has been involved in just over 70% of all LAFC’s goals since he arrived, and the Club is again going to be leaning on him heavily to get create chances in Minnesota. 

LAFC WILL WIN IF

LAFC can break down Minnesota in attacking transition. The Loons like to spread out wide defensively, so LAFC will need to find open spaces, move the ball quickly and hope Arango or someone else can finish their chances. 

MINNESOTA CAN WIN IF

Their star players, specifically Reynoso and Fragapane can create magic on the offensive end. Former LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller is expected to start against his old team and will prove to be a formidable foe in the net to take three points from on the road.

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Inspired by Strangers On A Train (1951).