Back to work.
I hope many of you are enjoying a much-needed and well-deserved holiday weekend. After returning to Los Angeles in the early morning hours on Fourth of July, LAFC players had a much needed day off of their own. But with the MLS schedule taking breaks for no one, it was back to training on Friday.
LAFC will face the Vancouver Whitecaps at Banc of California Stadium on Saturday. It's a match that is smack dab in the middle of LAFC's five-match stretch in 15 days. And its a chance for LAFC to avenge its first loss of the 2019 season.
So, take your pick. There's a storyline for everyone in this one. Let's preview LAFC's return home to face the Whitecaps:
LAFC vs Vancouver Whitecaps presented by Angel City Brewery | July 6 at 7:30pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: YouTube TV, KVMD
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
There are two ways to look at Vancouver's recent form for head coach Marc Dos Santos. The Whitecaps just had their six-match unbeaten streak snapped by a 1-0 loss in Seattle or they have gone four matches without a win. Either way, Vancouver has earned the full three points only one time in the last eight matches.
What The Players Are Saying
Christian Ramirez on the chance at some payback against the Whitecaps: "Against Vancouver, it's one of those teams that we look back at as a missed opportunity early in the season. And it's something that we look forward to avenging."
Mark-Anthony Kaye on returning home after international duty and a road trip with LAFC: "It's a good feeling. It's tough when you have to be in a hotel for 30 days and then living out of a suitcase. To be back in my own place and be on my own schedule and routine is very nice."
Projected LAFC Starting XI
(4-3-3): Pablo Sisniega; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Tristan Blackmon, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez, Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
The Boys Are Back: Mark-Anthony Kaye returned from international duty with Canada against Sporting KC on Wednesday. And now, Peter-Lee Vassell is back with the team. Slowly, but surely, LAFC is getting back its full squad. In light of the congested schedule ahead, this is a very, very good thing.
Revenge Game: If payback has been on your mind, LAFC is your team. So far this season, LAFC has avenged 2018 losses to FC Dallas, Sporting KC, and Portland. The match against Vancouver is LAFC's first chance to exact some retribution on a team that dealt them a loss in 2019.
Navigating The Schedule: After a midweek match, Saturday starts another rough stretch for LAFC. Three matches in seven days, one of them being a knockout match in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals against Portland, is a brutal task. Bob Bradley has already said it would be impossible for any player to go the full 90 minutes in all three matches. Expect some rotation to take place from match to match. Bradley, his coaching staff, and the performance staff will be working to keep players at the highest levels of fitness, but it is up to the players that are called to step in to be prepared to showcase the work they've been doing day in and day out on the training pitch.