Just three wins stand in the way of LAFC and its first-ever trophy. On Wednesday night, the Black & Gold host a familiar side in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals at Banc of California Stadium. Four days after drawing 0-0, the Portland Timbers will once again line up opposite LAFC. And this time, there will be a winner.
Here's a look at the Open Cup quarterfinal between LAFC and the Portland Timbers:
Where To Watch/Listen
LAFC vs Portland Timbers, July 18 at 7:30pm PT
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
The Timbers are currently unbeaten in 14 matches across all competitions. To reach the quarterfinals, Portland defeated the Galaxy 1-0 at Providence Park. In MLS play, the Timbers earned a point in a 0-0 draw with LAFC at Banc of California Stadium last Sunday.
What The Players Are Saying
Lee Nguyen on what it would mean to win LAFC's first trophy: "This what we all play for. We want to be able to have that trophy. It's part of our legacy. To be a part of a Club, and be able to lift this first trophy as well, that would be something special in my career for sure."
Benny Feilhaber on the opportunity to play in the CONCACAF Champions League if LAFC win Open Cup: "[CONCACAF] Champions League is a goal that obviously MLS teams have had for the last several years. Obviously, we've gotten close over the last few years. It's a competition that's tough to play in, but very fun to play in. I got to play in it I think twice. The last time, we did very bad. In the group stages we didn't advance. So it would be fun to get back into it and have a chance to get back into those games again against top Mexican sides and top Central American sides. It's a competition I think we all look forward to, and I know our ownership group and coaches are very serious about getting to the CONCACAF Champions League in the near future."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Tristan Blackmon; Mark-Anthony Kaye, Lee Nguyen, Carlos Vela; Diego Rossi, Marco Ureña, Latif Blessing.
What To Watch For
Changes From Sunday: The 0-0 draw on Sunday between LAFC and the Timbers highlighted just how evenly matched these two sides are. With both Clubs insisting the Open Cup is a priority this season, it's likely we'll see full-strength lineups on the pitch on Wednesday. But what changes will the head coaches employ to gain the edge after neither side could find a breakthrough on Sunday? Will the Timbers remain strident in their counterattacking approach? Will LAFC be even more adventurous from the start in order to break Portland's lines? Those are probably the biggest questions ahead of Wednesday night.
There Will Be A Winner, One Way Or Another: No draws in the Open Cup, so we're going to have to separate these two sides even if they can't find a goal between them once again. That means extra time if needed. And if that doesn't do it, on to penalties. LAFC and Portland have not had to resort to penalties yet in the competition, and during MLS play have only had two penalties each awarded to them (LAFC are have made one and missed one, while the Timbers converted both).