A week after playing to a 2-2 draw with defending MLS Cup champions Toronto FC, LAFC hosts its second friendly of preseason against New York City FC on Friday. The match is another chance to fine tune, as the Club continues to build towards the regular season.
“It’s important to get your fitness but it’s also important to get everybody on the same page and build some chemistry,” Jordan Harvey said following training on Thursday. “Because it’s a new team and new guys are playing with one another, that chemistry is vital. These games are very important to just work out some of the kinks and get some fluidity to our style of play.”
Harvey played 45 minutes at left back for LAFC in the first preseason match. He said at times he felt the team was playing at just one pace against TFC and the match against NYCFC would be a chance to continue to get familiar with the coach Bob Bradley’s ideas on the pitch.
“We’re still implementing a style of play and getting everybody on the same page. So we’re really just establishing that,” Harvey said. “Getting a rhythm and a little bit of fluidity to our game that at times was lacking in last game. It’s a process, so we’re just building from there.”
Bradley fielded separate lineups in each half against TFC and is expected to do the same against NYCFC. But as the Club ramps up the intensity of training this week, he has said there is a chance some players are extended up to 60 minutes in the second preseason match.
For NYCFC, the LAFC match is the first of two in two days. They face the Galaxy the following day in Carson.
Patrick Vieira’s men defeated Jackson University 5-2 on Jan. 31 in a match that featured NYCFC’s newest designated player Jesus Medina, but not Spanish international David Villa, who was held out for precautionary reasons. Villa did travel with the team to California and is expected to feature at some point in the match against LAFC.
Having taken on an MLS MVP in Sebastian Giovinco last week, rookie defender Joao Moutinho is looking forward to going up against another former MVP in Villa.
“It’s very exciting to play for the first time against players of that caliber,” Moutinho said when asked about the NYCFC match.
He immediately tempered his excitement by saying: “But that’s something I don’t really think about. I just want to go to the game, do my job, and do my best for the team.
“I go with the same mindset for every game, whether it’s a preseason game or an official game. We always want to get the win. And I want to do what the coach wants me to and do the best for my team.”