Match Preview

Preview | LAFC at Minnesota United 3/16/24


LAFC at Minnesota United

Saturday, March 16 at 5:30 pm PT

Location: Allianz Field - St Paul, Minnesota


Coming off a scoreless draw at home against Sporting Kansas City, LAFC travels to take on Minnesota United FC on Saturday, March 16, at Allianz Field. 

The Black & Gold came away with a point against SKC last weekend on the strength of goal keeper Hugo Lloris’ six-save night and his first-ever clean sheet with the club. 

In the early battle for positioning in the Western Conference, LAFC currently sits in eighth place, with four points earned through three games played. 

Against the Loons, the Black & Gold have an all-time record of 3W-2L-5D, in all competitions. LAFC is unbeaten in its last seven meetings in the series.

MNUFC in-depth

The Loons are led by 32-year-old first-time head coach Eric Ramsay, who is expected to make his MLS coaching debut against LAFC. 

Ramsay, the youngest head coach in MLS, joins Minnesota United after two-and-a-half years as a first-team assistant for English Premier League side Manchester United, under managers Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Erik ten Hag.

The Loons are off to a hot start in 2024 with a 2W-0L-1D record, placing them in a first-place tie atop the Western Conference standings. MUNFC has secured convincing road defeats over Austin FC (2-1) and Orlando City SC (3-2), while playing 2023 MLS Cup Champion Columbus Crew to a 1-1 draw in Minneapolis.

Finland international Teemu Pukki, who joined the Loons last summer, remains the team’s biggest scoring threat, having scored two goals in three games so far in 2024. Pukki scored 10 goals in 14 appearances in 2023. 

The Loons are expected to get an extra boost against LAFC, as Argentine wingers Franco Fragapane and Emanuel Reynoso are slated to return from injury.

The Black & Gold Will Win If:

It can find its scoring rhythm again. The club began 2024 with a two-goal performance against Seattle, but has been shut out in the two matches since. Reigning Golden Boot winner Denis Bouanga has yet to find the back of the net in 2024. LAFC needs to find a way to get on the scoreboard first in a tough road environment, and Bouanga, who put up a hat trick against the Loons in their last meeting [October 2023], is the best candidate to score on Saturday.

The Loons Can Win If:

Pukki has his way on the pitch. The Loons’ 2023 scoring leader is coming off a two-goal performance against Orlando and will look to exploit a new-look LAFC backline that is still learning to play together. The Loons’ backline, meanwhile, will need to find ways to keep the Black & Gold out of its penalty area, especially in transition, which is where LAFC’s attack is at its most dangerous.

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