On its way to an MLS record 71 points last season, the New York Red Bulls took three points off of LAFC at Red Bull Arena. LAFC looks to return the favor on its collision course with history on Sunday at Banc of California Stadium.
In less than two seasons, LAFC has taken at least a point from 22 of its 23 MLS counterparts. The one exception in this case? Yup, you've guessed it: NYRB.
One of the highlights of LAFC's chase for history this season has been its penchant for avenging losses from its inaugural season. Sporting KC, Portland Timbers, Atlanta United, and FC Dallas have all fallen by the wayside in 2019. The New York Red Bulls remain one of the lone outliers.
And while NYRB stands in LAFC's way in the record books, Sunday's match is a more pressing matter.
Here's a look at the match between LAFC and NYRB on Sunday at Banc of California Stadium:
LAFC vs New York Red Bulls | Aug. 11 at 7:00pm PT
Where To Watch
TV: FS1, FOX Deportes
Radio: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
Whereas the 2018 version of Chris Armas' side was the model of consistency, the New York Red Bulls of 2019 have struggled to string results together. In its last five matches, NYRB has alternated wins and losses. On the bright side, there have been more wins than losses in that run and they defeated Toronto FC 2-0 last time out. But it's tough to predict which NYRB team will show up on any given day.
What The Team Is Saying
Walker Zimmerman on how his team keeps its level high: "Concentration has been high. I think guys are realizing what we're doing doesn't happen every year. What we're doing is special and I think guys notice that And that kind of helps in our preparation because every game still matters. We're chasing trophies, we're chasing records in points and wins. It presents a challenge each and every game. And it helps guys get motivated every game."
Diego Rossi on the focus of the team: "It's the same mentality. This group is not only looking at one game. We want every game to be good for us. It's the same mentality that we the last game. We are going to keep working on that and improve every game."
LAFC Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Tristan Blackmon, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela.
What To Watch For
Keeping It Clean: LAFC posted its first clean sheet in MLS play since May 16 against the New England Revolution last week. The Black & Gold lead MLS with the fewest goals allowed (23) this season but had been conceded more goals and more chances over the past couple of months. Both Bob Bradley and the players spoke about their renewed focus on clamping down on teams. The Red Bulls come to LA tied for third in MLS in scoring and LAFC will be without Walker Zimmerman at center back (yellow card accumulation).
Press, Press, Press: This New York Red Bulls team isn't quite what we're used to. They still press more than most but Chris Armas has made his side a bit more well-rounded. At Banc of California Stadium, how will NYRB choose to use its press. Will it look for moments or triggers to get at LAFC or will it swarm the Black & Gold early to maybe catch Bob Bradley's team off guard and steal an early goal.
Vela Back On The Score Sheet: Carlos Vela had ample chances to score in his third match running last week against New England. After what we've come to expect from the LAFC captain, he probably should have had a hat trick. While missing chances definitely irks Vela, he's happy as long as his team gets three points. That's not to say he's completely forgotten those missed opportunities. With 11 matches to play, Vela is 10 goals from breaking Josef Martinez's MLS record for goals in a single season.