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LAFC at Vancouver Whitecaps

MLS 2021 Season - Match 20

Saturday, August 21, 2021

7:00 p.m. PT

TV: My13 KCOP, Estrella TV

RADIO: 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KTMZ 1220 AM

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LAFC continued its run of difficult results after dropping a 1-0 decision at Atlanta United FC Sunday afternoon. The Black & Gold did put up a fight, earning several great chances including a Mamadou Fall header that found the back of the net that was called back after VAR review, but Josef Martinez’s goal in the 47th minute was ultimately enough to grab the three points for Atlanta.

“Not much to say. We have to keep working,” said LAFC captain Carlos Vela after the loss. “Honestly, I don't want to lose any more. I'm tired of losing, so we have to change this situation. Change this stretch and keep going, keep working.”

Vela didn’t mince words in his postgame press conference, and it was clear that the Club will be doing everything moving forward to shift their momentum moving into the latter stages of the MLS season. It was the Club’s third-straight loss as they continue to teeter on the brink of playoff contention.

Next up for LAFC, are the Vancouver Whitecaps. The Caps have not lost a match since July 7, putting together a seven-game unbeaten streak with a 2-0-5 (W-L-T) record, which includes a 2-2 tie with LAFC on July 24 at the Banc. The real storyline is that the Whitecaps are FINALLY returning home, playing their first game actual game in Vancouver since Feb. 29, 2020 – a 3-1 loss to Kansas City.

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VANCOUVER WHITECAPS IN-DEPTH

Vancouver head coach Marc Dos Santos knows LAFC well. Dos Santos was an assistant coach on Bob Bradley’s staff during the 2018 inaugural season, and while the Caps have not always racked up the points over the last few years playing in difficult circumstances, Dos Santos always gets his team to play hard and compete. Vancouver will likely come out with a low defensive block, looking to get an early lead on LAFC and protect it. Vancouver recently signed Designated Player Ryan Gauld from SC Farense of the Portuguese Primeira Liga. Gauld is a strong player, who is dangerous and can take over a game with his playmaking ability.

TURF WOES

In the midst of their longest winless streak in Club history at six games, LAFC needs a win going into a stadium – and a playing surface that has not been kind to them. Vancouver’s home stadium BC Place has an artificial playing field, a surface that has not been kind to the Black & Gold over the last two seasons.

“The turf is hard to play on, plain and simple,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said.  “If you have watched football around the world, you should be able to see the differences in the way the ball bounces and the timing of everything when a game is played on a top grass field that's wet and the ball is moving quick and fast and then the difference when there is all sorts of rubber and the ball bounces up all the time. So, that’s not easy.”

Since 2020, LAFC is 0-7-1 in eight games on artificial turf and has been outscored 17-5 in those matches.

LAFC WILL WIN IF

They can figure out how to get goals on a turf field and slow down Ryan Gauld. LAFC’s All-Star players like Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi need to step up and get a goal or an assist to get things going, and newly acquired Chicho Arango is due for his first goal.

VANCOUVER WHITECAPS CAN WIN IF

They score early and are successfully able to kill off the game.

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Inspired by Explosion (1969).

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