Three matches without a win has LAFC slipping one spot in the Western Conference standings heading into this week's matchday.
The team that has overtaken the Black & Gold for second place? None other than LAFC's next opponent FC Dallas.
These two teams played to a 1-1 draw in the beginning of May at Banc of California Stadium. But Dallas are riding high on a five-match unbeaten streak and temperatures this weekend are expected to reach triple digits. Here's your preview for Saturday:
Where To Watch/Listen
LAFC At FC Dallas, June 2 at 5pm PT
TV: YouTube TV, UniMás 46
Radio: ESPNLA app (streaming only), KFWB 980
FC Dallas held off the Galaxy in a midweek match in Carson 3-2. They sit two points ahead of LAFC in the Western Conference standings.
What The Players Are Saying
Benny Feilhaber on what he expects facing FC Dallas a second time this season: "I think it will be a different game than the first game we played against them. I think they're a similar team, but obviously the first game we played, we played at home. They played even more reserved than they usually do. I know they're a very good counterattacking team, they like playing guys behind the ball and then trying to take advantage of the speed on the wings. Against us, they really didn't have too many chances. And even there goal wasn't really a break, it was just a turn and shot from the top of the box. They're a very good team, they've only lost one game all year. They know how to win, they know how to get results. In that sense, it's going to be a very difficult game for us. But I do expect them to kind of come at us a little bit more, even though their bread and butter is getting guys behind the ball and counterattacking."
Walker Zimmerman on returning to Dallas: "For sure, it will be my first time back there not in a Dallas uniform. Obviously, I had a lot of good memories there. Five years I spent there, so a lot of friendly faces. I'll know a lot of guys on the other team, and certainly have my fair share of fans coming as well."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, João Moutinho, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Benny Feilhaber, Mark-Anthony Kaye; Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande, Latif Blessing.
What To Watch For
Hot Temps: The weather is definitely going to play a factor in this match. Triple-digit highs are expected during the day Saturday, and we'll almost surely have mandatory hydration breaks as a result. FC Dallas is coming off a midweek match, but Óscar Pareja's side is known for their fitness levels and the heat will be nothing new to them. How will players like Adama Diomande or Lee Nguyen, who have yet to go a full 90 with LAFC, cope if they are asked to stretch their minutes in the extreme conditions? Bob Bradley will have to manage his subs with an eye on fitness in this match.
Can Anyone Slow Down Mauro Diaz?: Since remaining on the bench as an unused sub against LAFC on May 5, Maura Diaz has six assists in his last 241 minutes played. The Argentine attacker enjoys a free role in Pareja's setup and likes to pop up all over the pitch. The Black & Gold will have to find a way to limit his time on the ball and make sure he doesn't find little pockets of space in front of the backline to create in.
Coping Without Carlos Vela And Laurent Ciman: The match in Dallas with be the first in MLS that LAFC have not had Laurent Ciman and Carlos Vela on the pitch. Both players had played every minute of every match to this point for the Black & Gold. Now with the duo away at World Cup camps, LAFC will need contributions from players they haven't had to rely on much to this point. There were positive signs from players like Tristan Blackmon against D.C. United and Aaron Kovar in the friendly against Borussia Dortmund, and we still haven't seen Diomande or Nguyen at full fitness. Head coach Bob Bradley has repeated throughout the build up to the World Cup that the squad was well aware of who would be missing and players knew they had to step up. That time is now.