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LAFC vs San Jose Earthquakes

Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021

12:30 p.m. PT

TV: Univision, TUDN, Twitter

RADIO: 710 AM ESPN, 1110 AM ESPN, ESPN App (Audio), KFWB 980 AM

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Six matches remain in the 2021 MLS regular season, and LAFC knows what is necessary to get the Club back on a winning streak and into the playoffs.

“We just need to win,” LAFC forward Cristian Arango said.

The Black & Gold faces off against a familiar foe on Saturday in the San Jose Earthquakes, another team fighting for a playoff spot and a squad that has enjoyed remarkable success against vs. LAFC this season, taking the first two games in the series in 2021.

“San Jose has little twists in the way they go about things,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said. “It makes it difficult.”

As they have been so often in 2021 and in this final spring to the Playoffs, LAFC will be shorthanded. All-Star midfielder Eduard Atuesta is questionable with a shoulder injury suffered against the Galaxy on Oct. 3. Atuesta did not play in LAFC’s 2-0 loss in San Jose on xxx due to a sprained ankle. 2019 MLS MVP Carlos Vela has begun training with the team as he continues to recover from a quad strain, but he is also listed as questionable for Saturday along with versatile defender Tristan Blackman.

In addition, forward Brian Rodriguez and defender Diego Palacios, who were with the Uruguayan and Ecuadorian National Team participating in World Cup qualifying, are slated to return to Los Angeles late Friday night and their status for the match is still to be determined.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES IN-DEPTH

The Quakes are well known for Head Coach Matías Almeyda’s ‘man marking,’ frenetic style of play, but this season San Jose has deviated from this all-out strategy, at times opting for a low block, defensive formation or making line up tweaks game-to-game to exploit different match-ups.

Prior to this season, the Quakes man marking style has not been effective against LAFC, but San Jose has enjoyed a strong run of recent success vs. the Black & Gold. Eduardo “Chofis” Lopez has been extremely dangerous for San Jose, and he caused numerous problems for the LAFC defense in the most recent Quakes victory.

“Chofis has been very important,” Bradley said. “They change a little bit of the way they play him from game to game. I think we know that the game in San Jose, we really hurt ourselves with mistakes at the beginning of each half and then we had some chances to score – but we didn’t do well enough.”

When San Jose employs their man marking, LAFC’s movement to create advantages will be key.

LAFC WILL WIN IF

The team can step up the effort with several players missing due to injuries and national team commitments. It has been a broken record all season long for the Black & Gold, but if they can FINALLY be clinical with finishing and take advantage of the numerous chances they have been creating this season, they will have a shot.

SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES CAN WIN IF

LAFC does not defend crosses well. Defending crosses has been something LAFC has struggled with this season, and it is a strength for San Jose. LAFC will need to be on high alert as the Quakes whip balls into the box throughout the match.

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Inspired by Psycho (1960).