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LAFC vs Houston FC

MLS 2021 Season - Match Eight

Saturday, June 19, 2021

8:00 p.m. PT

TV: UniMás, TUDN, Twitter (English Audio) 

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

It’s been a productive several week’s break for a Black & Gold squad coming off of their first home loss of the season after falling to New York City FC on Saturday, May 29. After LAFC controlled most of the match through the waning moments of the second half, NYCFC were reduced to 10 men in the 86th minute when Nicolas Acevado was shown his second yellow card of the game. That did not stop them from grabbing a game-winning goal in the 90th minute when substitute Ismael Tajouri-Shradi got free at the back post to score from a corner kick and gave NYCFC a 2-1 victory.

“It’s a game that we should not lose,” said LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley. “I thought we controlled the game until somewhere around the 80th minute where there is just a few times where we’re getting stuck with some balls. So, in the end very frustrating day, frustrating way to have a game at home. Feel like we're playing pretty well and then to not come away with any points.”

The Club has had time to regroup and push forward as they look towards a Houston Dynamo FC squad they drew 1-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 1. There are several elements working in LAFC’s favor as they look towards this Saturday night matchup. 

The Dynamo have never taken three regular season points from the LAFC, with LAFC owning a 4-0-3 regular season series record. LAFC was Vela-less in the first match-up vs. Houston, while the Dynamo leaned on striker Tyler Pasher. This time – the roles are reversed with Vela expected to start and Pasher listed as questionable with an injury.

And then there is the biggest x-factor of them all -- LAFC’s Banc of California Stadium is finally back to full capacity for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March, 2020. With a roaring, full crowd behind them creating one of the best home field advantages in MLS, LAFC has collected the most points at home in the entire league since its inaugural season in 2018. 

HOUSTON DYNAMO FC IN-DEPTH

The Dynamo press high and spend a lot of time and energy on counter-pressing.

Houston has been budget conscious in their roster build, but still possess dangerous attacking players in forward Maximiliano Urruti and midfielder Memo Rodríguez, who can always keep matches interesting.  

BACK IN FULL FORCE

The LAFC community, both players and fans have been waiting for this moment. Since their inaugural season in 2018, the Black & Gold have only lost two regular season matches with a full capacity crowd at home. 

“For us, it’s important to have our fans in the stadium. To feel that energy,” said LAFC star Carlos Vela. “Personally, when I have the pressure with the fans I play better. I feel like it's really game day.” 

LAFC WILL WIN IF

The Club can win the fitness battle. With Carlos Vela still shaking off the rust from an early season injury and players like Mark Anthony Kaye returning from international duty, LAFC still have a ways to go to get to full strength. The Dynamo have had recent injury woes of their own to deal with, with Pasher and others missing time. If LAFC can remain in good form for 90 minutes, they have a good chance to take some points.

HOUSTON DYNAMO FC CAN WIN IF

Goalkeeper Marko Marić, who is quickly establishing himself as one of the top keepers in the league can produce another big match, the Dynamo can potentially leave with three-points in hand.

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