Bob Bradley got straight to the point.
"That was a game that we weren't happy with last year," Bradley said about last season's 3-1 loss in Chicago.
Against the Fire that day, LAFC was bested in nearly every facet of the match. The loss brought a six-match unbeaten streak to an end and forced the team to take a long look in the mirror.
So far in 2019, LAFC is three wins out of three against teams that dealt them a loss last season. With Chicago visiting Banc of California Stadium for the first time on Saturday, the Black & Gold and its fans will be eager to keep that streak alive.
Here are the Toyota Keys to the Match for LAFC's grudge match against the Chicago Fire:
Keep It Moving
When you think the Fire's influential players like Nico Gaitán, Bastien Schweinsteiger, and Dax McCarty, you think of technical players with international pedigree but pace and mobility doesn't come to mind.
LAFC's midfield of Latif Blessing, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Eduard Atuesta is one of the most energetic in the league. The trio is hard to play against on a good day. On the ball, they need to be quick in their decisions and go right at Chicago. And when the ball turns over, it will be up to them to get tight to the Fire's central players to disrupt their rhythm and create transition opportunities for LAFC.
Find Inside Passes
LAFC's ability to play in the middle of the pitch opens all avenues.
Teams visiting Banc of California Stadium have shown a propensity towards defending narrow to avoid gaps in the middle of the pitch. Those spaces become congested but they aren't unplayable. If LAFC can find the pockets of space and the right movements in tight areas, it will force the Fire's defenders out of their comfort zone.
Chip On Your Shoulder
A vast majority of the team from last year is still here. They'll remember the loss in Chicago vividly. You know the fans haven't forgotten.
You're at home, in the fantastic atmosphere at Banc of California Stadium, and revenge is on the menu. The players should come into this match with a bit of added motivation. The display we witnessed last season against the Fire is not the level we've come to expect from LAFC. On Saturday, the focus should be on pushing the tempo from the opening whistle and seizing the match by being sharp all over the pitch.