The 2019 MLS All-Star Game has come and gone.
LAFC sent four players to Orlando to compete against Atlético Madrid on the night. Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Mark-Anthony Kaye, and Diego Rossi all featured in the match. All played about 45 minutes. As you probably already knew by the 3-0 scoreline, none of them scored.
But most importantly, all four finished the match healthy.
So with that exhibition out of the way, it's time to the ground running for the home stretch of the MLS season. And right out of the break, LAFC has a big test away to a team unbeaten in its last 11.
Let's take a look at LAFC's trip to face the New England Revolution:
LAFC at New England Revolution | Aug. 3 at 4:30pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: YouTube TV (matchday coverage starts at 3pm with LAFC Goal Rush), KVMD
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
Official LAFC Watch Parties: The Garage On Motor & 33 Taps Silver Lake
Bruce Arena has been nothing short of a miracle worker in New England. Since taking over for Brad Freidel, Arena took a team on eight points after 12 matches and has turned them into a legitimate playoff contender. The Revs are unbeaten in 11 matches since Arena arrived. They've won three in a row and are outscoring opponents 10-1 in that stretch.
What The Team Is Saying
Bob Bradley on the importance of playing from the opening whistle: "I think we need to have a good start. New England has gotten in front in most of these games. They've done a very good job of taking the lead and then being organized and waiting for their chances after that. We'd like to start the game in a good way, control the game the best we can, and see if we can get on top."
Steven Beitashour on LAFC raising its level: "We want to try to take the game to them. The last game of ours was an indication of ours that we don't play backward, we want to attack from the beginning. And get back to our defensive ways. Lately, we've given up too many opportunities, too many chances, and too many goals. We want to be a team where you're going to have a tough time getting past us, getting into our box, or, quite frankly, having any shots. We need to get back to that mentality."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande; Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
Return Of The All-Stars: Weird week for LAFC but nothing they aren't used to. All season, players have dipped in and out of training with the Black & Gold, whether it be for international call-ups, injuries, or form. While four players were away in Orlando with the MLS All-Stars, LAFC was in training as usual. The four players flew directly from Orlando to New England to meet the team, so they'll have to be checked out and integrated back with the squad on the fly. It will be interesting to see if that changes the plans at all for Bob Bradley.
Greatest Show On Turf?: Recent international friendlies resulted in grass being installed over the turf at Gillette Stadium. While that would suit LAFC just fine, it's likely to be gone by the time they arrive. This season, LAFC has a mixed record on turf. The Black & Gold lost in Vancouver, only managed a draw in Seattle, but pulled out a stunning 3-2 win in Portland. The turf at Gillette rivals Vancouver as one of the worst in the league. It's not an excuse. But it is another obstacle for LAFC to overcome against a team that's in a rich run of form right now.
Dio Coming On Strong: Adama Diomande isn't the type to go under the radar. The striker is at his best when he's facing up center backs and going at the heart of defenses. But with all the attention on Carlos Vela's goal-scoring prowess this season, Diomande's four goals in his last four matches have been a bit of a footnote. If Diomande can continue to produce while occupying the defenders across opponents' backlines, windows for other attackers open all across the pitch. Present LAFC with those types of options and its lights out for the opposition.