LAFC vs Real Salt Lake
Sunday, October 1 at 5:00 pm PT
Location: BMO Stadium - Los Angeles, California
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
After a penalty shootout loss to Mexican side Tigres UANL in the Campeones Cup Wednesday night, LAFC resumes MLS league play against Real Salt Lake in a Western Conference showdown on Sunday, October 1, at BMO Stadium.
The scoreless draw in regulation time against Tigres marks three straight matches in which the Black & Gold has not scored or allowed a goal.
LAFC sits in second place (45 points) in the Western Conference standings. With a win over RSL on Sunday, LAFC can clinch its fifth appearance in the Audi 2023 MLS Cup Playoffs in the club’s six years of existence.
The Black & Gold are 13-2-0 all-time against RSL across all competitions, including 4-0 win at BMO Stadium on August 8 in the Leagues Cup Round of 16.
Led by 47-year-old former USMNT player Pablo Mastroeni, RSL is in the midst of a positioning battle in the Western Conference, with four games to play. The club sits in fifth place with 43 points – tied with the Houston Dynamo but currently losing the tiebreaker based on goal difference.
RSL has won just two of its last eight matches (2-6-0) across all competitions. Former LAFC forward Cristian Arango has made a difference since joining RSL in early July, collecting five goals and two assists in just nine MLS games. The Colombian striker’s five goals are second on the team (behind Jefferson Savarino’s six) despite Arango’s recent arrival from C.F. Pachuca during the summer transfer window.
RSL is playing without standout midfielder Pablo Ruiz, who will miss 4-6 months following knee surgery to repair his right meniscus.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
Its back line can help Maxime Crépeau notch his fourth straight clean sheet since his return to the lineup following injury. LAFC can expect to score at home against an RSL side that has conceded 45 goals in MLS play (5th-worst in the league), a team it has already beaten twice in 2023, by a combined 7-0 score.
RSL CAN WIN IF
It can rediscover the form it displayed when Arango joined the club. RSL went on a 6-0-3 run in MLS play run prior to the start of Leagues Cup, but has just two league wins since. After an 11-game unbeaten streak on the road (W8, L3), RSL has lost four straight away matches in all competitions.