LAFC vs Vancouver Whitecaps
Sunday, November 5 at 4:30 pm PT
Location: BC Place, Vancouver Canada
TV: MLS Season Pass on Apple TV, FS1, and FS2
Radio: 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, 980 AM La Mera Mera
After a dominating 5-2 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps in Game 1 of the MLS Cup Playoffs’ Round One, best-of-three series, LAFC now travels north of the border for Game 2 on Sunday, November 5, at BC Place.
Doubles by MVP candidate Dénis Bouanga and Ryan Hollingshead were preceded a late goal by Jesús David Murillo to give the Black & Gold a 1-0 series lead.
Bouanga’s two goals last Saturday made the 2023 MLS Golden Boot winner LAFC’s all-time leading scorer in the postseason, with four goals. Bouanga is the first LAFC player to record multiple multi-goal games in the playoffs.
The winner of this series will face the matchup winner between the Seattle Sounders and FC Dallas. The Sounders hold a 1-0 lead in that best-of-three series after defeating FC Dallas 2-0 Monday night. Game 2 is scheduled for Saturday, November 4, in Dallas.
Led by head coach Vanni Sartini, the Whitecaps need a win to send the series to a decisive Game 3.
After scoring 15 goals and five assists in 32 regular-season MLS matches, striker Brian White found the back of the net in the first half of Game 1 to tie the game at one goal apiece. ‘Caps midfielder Andrés Cubas returned to the lineup following an injury and got the assist on White’s 27th-minute goal.
LAFC has outscored Vancouver 6-3 over the last two games (including a 1-1 draw on Oct. 21 at BC Place) and has outscored them 14-6 in all competitions in 2023 (five games). Defender Tristan Blackmon played for LAFC from 2018 to 2021. LAFC goalkeeper Maxime Crépeau played for Vancouver from 2019 to 2021; his head coach during that time was current LAFC assistant coach Marc dos Santos.
THE BLACK & GOLD WILL WIN IF
It gets on the scoreboard first. LAFC has lost just once in 24 games, in all competitions, when it tallies the opening goal. Expect LAFC’s starting XI to be similar if not identical to the lineup that took the field for Game 1. Head coach Steve Cherundolo’s starters will look to apply early pressure to end the series and avoid a Game 3.
WHITECAPS CAN WIN IF
They capitalize on any LAFC defensive lapses in the first half. One of the league’s top defenses, LAFC has conceded two first-half goals in just three games this season – twice against Vancouver (June 24 and Oct. 28). Look for the Whitecaps to sit in a low defensive block and focus on its counterattack. If Game 2 comes down to a penalty shoot-out, midfielder Ryan Gauld could prove pivotal. The star midfielder was a perfect six-for-six on penalties in MLS play before the Decision Day match against LAFC in which he missed two attempts in the 1-1 draw.