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LAFC vs Vancouver Whitecaps

Sunday, March 20, 2022

7:00 p.m. PT

Banc of California Stadium

TV: KCOP 13 / Estrella TV Ch. 62

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

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LAFC is looking to remain undefeated in 2022 on Sunday when they host the Vancouver Whitecaps at Banc of California Stadium. Since 2018, the Black & Gold have only lost seven regular season matches at home, and this Whitecaps team that comes to Los Angeles has struggled so far early on this season.

Vancouver is winless so far, scoring just once in their first three matches while giving up six goals. The match will be a reunion on the pitch and the sidelines, as LAFC goalkeeper Max Crépeau squares off against his former team after spending four seasons in Canada. LAFC defender Doneil Henry also played in Vancouver in 2018-2019, and LAFC assistant coach Marc Dos Santos compiled a 22-39-20 (W-L-T) record as head coach of Vancouver from 2018-2021.

Tristan Blackmon, the second draft pick in LAFC history and a member of LAFC’s 2018 inaugural squad, is now with Vancouver, where he has started and played every minute of the first three games.

VANCOUVER IN-DEPTH

Last season, Vancouver put together an impressive end of season run that saw them push into the MLS Cup Playoffs led by the MVP caliber play of Ryan Gauld. A midseason acquisition, Gauld scored goals and made an immediate impact on the Whitecaps attack. So far in 2022, Gauld has not been up to those lofty standards he set in 2021, but he remains Vancouver’s most important and dangerous player who is the linchpin of their offense.

LAFC WILL WIN IF

They continue to defend as a complete team and create a few more offensive chances. LAFC has only conceded one goal this season, and owns two shutouts. The Black & Gold are conceding 0.49 expected goals per 90 minutes – an incredible mark in just three matches. LAFC has not been giving up big chances in transition so far – and will need to continue to that trend against Vancouver. LAFC is going to look to create more chances – and hopes that Brian Rodriguez, who has shown flashes of brilliance this season, continues to improve and catches fire to create a special moment or two for a goal.

VANCOUVER  CAN WIN IF

They create chances on the fast break in transition. The Whitecaps are a team built to counter and storm into the box in transition. Cristian Dajome and Deiber Caicedo are two Colombian internationals with real speed who are very dangerous on the wings. If their playmaker Gauld is able to find them in attacking moments, and then he has space to run into the box to finish – that is dangerous. Vancouver’s transition attacking identity will be put to a good test against LAFC’s so far solid defensive shape.

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