We kick off Season 3 on Sunday. First up in the 34-match marathon that is the MLS regular season is Inter Miami CF.
Like LAFC two years ago, Inter Miami is in new territory. Diego Alonso's team is playing in their first competitive match in club history on Sunday at Banc of California Stadium. While they'll be looking to get off to a dream start against last year's Supporters' Shield winners, LAFC will be hoping to make it perfect three out of three in seasons openers.
Here are the Toyota Keys to the Match for LAFC's first MLS match of 2020:
After a historic night in the Concacaf Champions League against Club León, LAFC will be back on the pitch less than 72 hours later. That's not ideal for any professional side, let alone one just finding its legs but it's something LAFC's front office prepared for this season.
The Black & Gold have never been deeper in certain spots on the pitch. After bringing in talented reinforcements in the offseason, there's no time to waste to get them acclimated to MLS. Bob Bradley will need to find the right balance of newcomers and those that played against León on Thursday night.
It's time to see how well players can come in and get guys some rest while putting into play the ideas they've been working on in training.
LAFC will rotate a bit for this match but a few guys are going to have to step up and play despite being a part of the team on Thursday.
A lot of what is going to make LAFC successful on Sunday is the right mentality and willingness to put in the effort. They'll need to do it as a unit, stepping to close the opponent and trusting that the guy behind them will do the same.
Inter Miami is going to come into the match hyped to finally show what it can do. LAFC has to do its best to match that intensity.
Rodolfo Pizarro joined Inter Miami CF just a few weeks ago in a high-priced move from Liga MX. The Mexican international is a talented, technical player that likes to combine with teammates and create openings.
LAFC can't let him get in a rhythm.
Pizarro isn't afraid to search for the ball all over the pitch. The Black & Gold will have to be disciplined in closing Pizarro while not resorting to chasing him around. The more LAFC can disrupt his timing with his teammates, the less he'll be able to exert his influence on the match.