LAFC vs Minnesota United FC
Wednesday, October 4 at 7:30 pm PT
Location: BMO Stadium - Los Angeles, California
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
After a 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Sunday night, LAFC faces a quick turnaround when it hosts Minnesota United FC on Wednesday, October 4, at BMO Stadium.
Despite winning the possession battle (69-31 percent) and attempting 20 shots (seven on target) compared to RSL’s seven (four), the Black & Gold were unable to find the back of the net for the fourth straight match.
The loss drops LAFC into fourth place (45 points) in the Western Conference standings with three matches to go. The club will get another opportunity to clinch a playoff berth on Wednesday; a win would result in LAFC’s fifth appearance in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs in the club’s six years of existence.
LAFC is 2W-2L-5D all-time against the Loons, and has not lost a match to its Western Conference rivals since 2019.
Led by head coach Adrian Heath, the Loons are in a battle to climb above the playoff line in the Western Conference with three games to play. The club sits in 11th place with 38 points – tied with Sporting Kansas City but trailing SKC in the tiebreaker based on head-to-head record.
Forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane leads the club with eight goals in 27 MLS matches. Summer acquisition and European first-division legend Teemu Pukki has contributed six goals in just 11 MLS appearances.
Designated Player Emanuel Reynoso, who missed the start of the season due for personal reasons, has scored six goals and contributed two assists in 15 MLS appearances in 2023.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
It can snap out of its scoring funk and get on the board first. Prior to going scoreless in four-straight matches, the Black & Gold scored four goals against the Galaxy inside raucous BMO Stadium, including two before halftime. LAFC needs to re-energize its home supporters in the club’s final regular-season home match of 2023.
MNUFC CAN WIN IF
It rectifies its own scoring shortage. The Loons have scored one or zero goals in five of their last six matches and have not won since August, going 0W-3L-3T over that span. The attacking trio of Hlongwane, Pukki, and Reynoso must try and solve an LAFC defense that has conceded just one goal in its last 391 minutes of play, across all competitions.