It says a lot about the season you are having when a streak of four matches without a win that includes three draws is the low point. If LAFC is in disarray, there are 23 other MLS teams that would love their problems.
But it's also a testament to the standards of Bob Bradley's team and its fanbase. LAFC goes into every match expecting three points regardless of being home or away, who starts, and the time of year.
So despite having already wrapped up the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, the Black & Gold want more. A win against Toronto FC on Saturday would all but secure the Supporters' Shield and guarantee LAFC plays every match of the postseason, including MLS Cup, at home.
Here are the Toyota Keys to the Match for LAFC vs. Toronto FC:
Win The Midfield Battle
Both these sides focus on control of matches. That control comes from the center of the park.
LAFC's midfield drives the attack with its ability to find space in central areas and dictates how the opposition attacks with its pressure when the ball turns over. And in a lot of ways, Toronto FC wants to do the same.
The team that is able to dictate how the match is played by the way it controls the middle third of the pitch will likely come out on top.
Focus From Whistle To Whistle
During this four-match span, it's no coincidence the lack of a 90-minute performance has resulted in a lack of wins.
There's been small lapses in LAFC's decision-making and focus during this stretch. Against the Philadelphia Union, the Black & Gold simply weren't sharp to start the match and paid the price, conceding an early goal.
A return to winning ways will come with LAFC's return to a committed performance from whistle to whistle.
Keep Jozy Off Balance
As a focal point of Toronto's attack, Jozy Altidore does so many things. He can play with his back to goal, has the passing ability to set up teammates, and he can finish if you give him space.
I've already mentioned the midfield battle. LAFC has to get pressure on the ball to disrupt TFC's ability to play easily to Altidore. But when they do find their target, LAFC's defenders have to find ways to give Altidore different looks. That means getting tight in moments and other times working together to close down the forward.
The more Altidore is concerned with where the pressure is coming from, the less he'll be able to get into a rhythm and impact the match.