Sun, 29 Nov 2020

LAFC out to even score against rival Galaxy

Field Level Media
25 Oct 2020, 07:40 GMT+10

The only match of the day on Sunday in Major League Soccer is the one known as "El Trafico," pitting Los Angeles FC against the LA Galaxy in another installment of the Los Angeles-area rivalry between the two teams.

LAFC (7-7-4, 25 points) sit alone in fourth place in the Western Conference, which would put them in the postseason. They have lost just once in their last four matches. The 2019 Supporters' Shield winners left Portland last Sunday with a 1-1 draw after Christian Torres scored in the third minute of stoppage time.

For the city's original MLS club, it's been a dreadful season for a team that is annually in contention for the MLS Cup. The Galaxy (5-9-3, 18 points) are in last place in the 12-team conference and until last Sunday's 1-0 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps had lost six in a row.

But they remain alive to sneak into the top eight, as the Galaxy are only three points out of that position in the standings with five games currently left in the regular season.

LAFC won the first meeting between the teams this season, 6-2 in the MLS is Back tournament in July. But the Galaxy have taken the last two.

It's been a season of missing or underperforming stars for both teams. Carlos Vela, last season's MLS Most Valuable Player, has a chance to return for LAFC on Sunday after he was out two months with a knee injury. The club could also get back four players who had to quarantine after international duty -- Diego Rossi, Brian Rodriguez, Jose Cifuentes and Diego Palacios.

"They're healthy, but what you have to do is look at the last three weeks and see how much or how little they've done," LAFC coach Bob Bradley said when asked about the return of the four internationals.

Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez was the Galaxy's big-name acquisition in January of this year. But he has one goal in 10 matches and didn't start the match against Vancouver.

The Galaxy are expected to get midfielder Jonathan dos Santos back from international duty quarantine this week.

"We know what we're doing," head coach Guillermo Barros Schelotto said this week. "We have a number of young players who we're playing.

"Obviously, we have to think about the future, but I'm 100-percent calm and working day by day to give my best and to be able to have a great rest of the year."

--Field Level Media

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