KNOW YOUR ENEMY: Los Angeles FC | 5.5.18

FRISCO – After a tough road trip to NYCFC resulting in the first loss of the season for FC Dallas (3-1-3), Week 10 rolls around as FCD takes an away trip to LAFC. Banc of California Stadium opened for LAFC last weekend and FC Dallas will be looking to hand them their first loss in the new LA digs.

Los Angeles FC (5-2-0) with seven games played so far have been MLS’ best road team as they played their first six games of the season on the road. Four road wins out of six games is unprecedented for an MLS team and now that they are opening a three-game homestand MLS teams should beware of Bob Bradley’s side.

Bradley the Expansion Team Whisperer

Bob Bradley has quite the experience with expansion sides as he coached the Chicago Fire back in 1998 to an MLS Cup and is still the only expansion to ever win it in their first year. MLS Cup is a long way away but in terms of expansion team success, Bradley and Co are off to a great start.

Los Angeles FC’s attack has been a strong point so far sitting second in the Western Conference in goals scored with 17 so far. There is a lot to praise LAFC on attacking wise but if FC Dallas is going to capitalize on anything it will be their defense.

Key Match-Ups

Santiago Mosquera vs. Jordan Harvey – Colombian DP Santiago Mosquera is finally settling in after seven games in MLS play as he started back to back games for the first time with FCD. Sunday vs. NYCFC saw Coach Pareja’s faith finally pay off with Mosquera bagging his first goal for FC Dallas in the first half. 34-year-old fullback, Jordan Harvey, will have to stay wary of Mosquera’s darting runs behind as FCD’s attack will most certainly be looking through combine through him.

Reto Ziegler vs. Diego Rossi – 20-year-old Diego Rossi has had no problem settling to MLS so far as he has recorded four goals and four assists to his name in seven starts. With forward, Marco Ureña, out for a month LAFC will be looking to play Rossi up top and Ziegler will have to be conscious of his nose for goal. Rossi is a threat from all aspects as he has shown his ability to score from long range, poach in front of goal, and score off a through ball as well.

Projected XI

Los Angeles FC (4-2-3-1): Tyler Miller; Steven Beitashour, Walker Zimmerman, Laurent Ciman, Jordan Harvey; Mark-Anthony Kaye, Benny Feilhaber; Omar Gaber, Carlos Vela, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi

Keys to Three Points

FCD can’t dwell on the performance against NYCFC as LAFC will be hungry for goals in front of their home crowd. Last week saw NYCFC score two of their goals off of a defensive lapse and a penalty. Albeit a bit unlucky, FCD needs to stay mentally focused all game to keep the clean sheet. Bob Bradley’s side was very stagnant versus a Seattle side that was strong in possession all game last week and FC Dallas will need to replicate the energy Seattle had all game. Most importantly finishing will be the deciding factor on the road and FCD fans will be hoping the chances flooding in away from home.