A trip north to San Jose might be just what LAFC need after a run of four matches without a win. The Earthquakes sit near the bottom of the Western Conference table on nine points and have lost three on the bounce.
Here's the Toyota Keys to the Match for LAFC on Saturday night:
Get Your Angles Straight
The Quakes don't see a lot of the ball, even at home. So LAFC's midweek contest against USL side Fresno FC might have been a good dress rehearsal for this one.
Early in the match with Fresno, LAFC had all the possession but not much to show for it by way of chances. Going forward the team couldn't leverage good starting positions into numeric superiority in dangerous areas on the pitch. Against San Jose, the midfielders need to adjust their angles to find the right through lines in the San Jose defense and make the most of possession.
Mind The Gaps
Some things never change. Despite adding technically gifted players like Valeri Qazaishvili, San Jose remains at its best playing direct to its big men up top.
Danny Hoesen has seven goals this season and Chris Wondolowski is still dangerous in and around the box. Both don't mind bodying up a center back, and they feast when isolated on smaller fullbacks. So don't let them get out in transition with their heads up.
San Jose is going to invite LAFC forward, but the Black & Gold will have to keep disciplined even in possession. Make sure the San Jose forwards don't find seams or take up starting points in spaces vacated by LAFC defenders.
Play With Urgency
A weeklong break in MLS action looms after this match. Three points would be a nice comfort in the break. While a loss wouldn't be something you want to dwell on over the break.
LAFC has to seize the advantages they create and get back to the opportunistic road form they displayed to start the season.