Some of you might remember the last time LAFC played the Montreal Impact at Banc of California Stadium. Well... not exactly on the pitch of Banc of California Stadium, let me explain.
Last year, LAFC's match with Montreal came just a week before the opening match at Banc of California Stadium. While the first team was actually in Montreal for the match, we all watched from inside the Banc with a few thousand of our closest friends.
It was one of the best watch parties MLS has ever seen. And it was made complete by Laurent Ciman giving us a preview of his free-kick heroics before the home opener and an epic comeback to secure three points.
So while this is the first time the Impact will visit Banc of California Stadium, for many, it's not the first time we've watched these two teams from our beautiful cathedral of soccer in the heart of Los Angeles.
Here's the preview of LAFC's match with the Montreal Impact:
LAFC vs Montreal Impact | May 24 at 7:30pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: YouTube TV, KVMD
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
To say Montreal survived without its best player for the last two months would be a disservice to Rémi Garde's side. Without Nacho Piatti for a stretch of 10 matches, the Impact has gone 4-4-2 and hold the third position in the Eastern Conference with 21 points. The Impact played to a 0-0 draw last time out against the New England Revolution.
What The Team Is Saying
Christian Ramirez on Montreal's play while missing Nacho Piatti: "Anytime you're missing your leader, the way you can rally and get the results they have under certain circumstances, where they've traveled the same day as the game, it's impressive. It will be a tough task [on Friday]."
Mark-Anthony Kaye on Montreal's style of play: "Teams have to find a certain way to get results. We can't judge them on the way we play. We play our way of football that we think gives us the best chance to win games. Teams, they find their own way. And like I say, I don't really pay attention to the opposition too much. So Montreal, they do what they do and we have to do what we do to stop them."
Projected LAFC Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Walker Zimmerman, Latif Blessing; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, André Horta; Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
Pride Night At The Banc: Come to Banc of California Stadium on any matchday and you'll experience the diversity of LAFC's community firsthand. Friday is a celebration of our brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community that stand shoulder to shoulder with us week in and week out. It's a special night with some surprises in store both prematch and at halftime. You won't want to miss it.
Carlos Vela Keeps Scoring: The frontrunner for the MVP this season, Carlos Vela has already equaled his goal tally from last season in just 14 matches. With 14 goals, he leads MLS and is the joint-leader in assists with seven. Vela has scored in each of his last three matches. If he keeps his streak alive at Banc of California Stadium on Friday, there's a good chance LAFC will lock down another three points at home.
Breaking Down Montreal: Montreal has very clear ideas of how to stifle opponents. Rémi Garde's side gets numbers behind the ball, keeps the lines tight, and looks to spring counterattacks against unbalanced opponents. In this clash of styles, it's going to come down to which side executes its style of football. If LAFC can find ways to finish the opportunities in front of goal, it will open this match. Squander too many chances or push forward with reckless abandon and the Black & Gold will be playing into Montreal's hands.