Where: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, Calif.
When: Saturday, June 30, 5 pm PT
How to Watch: YouTube TV and UniMás 46 in Los Angeles blackout zone; ESPN+ in the rest of the United States.
Los Angeles Football Club will put their two-game winning streak in league play on the line Saturday night, when they welcome the Philadelphia Union to Banc of California Stadium for the teams’ first-ever meeting.
In the opening nine league games, the Union only won two games, and looked like they would struggle throughout the season, and frankly it probably would have been a good time to play them. Since then, Philly have won four of their last seven games and with a lineup combining youth and experience, they are starting to click.
Possible benefits to LAFC: Union midfielder Haris Medunjanin is still suspended after freaking out against the referee a while back, and his skill and set-piece ability should be missed, even if Philly posted their largest-ever win last week with him out. The architect of that blowout, midfielder Borek Dockal, may or may not be available for this game, as his wife delivered a baby early in the week and the player did not travel with the team to Los Angeles. That doesn’t mean he is ruled out, but he may not make it. We’ll see.
LAFC have adjusted to life without their World Cup players, and are playing pretty well. I don’t think they can take the Union lightly, as Jim Curtin’s side have shown substantial improvement in recent weeks, but this is absolutely a cross-conference game they can take three points from.
On the injury front, only goalkeepers Luis Lopez and Quillen Roberts were listed as out, although forward Diego Rossi was listed as questionable with a hamstring issue. That’s concerning,
as is the status of Mark-Anthony Kaye, who has been out the past couple games with a knee sprain, although he’s never been listed on the injury report. Is he healthy again, or will Eduard Atuesta and Benny Feilhaber be rocking the middle of the park again? They’ve been playing well the past couple weeks, to be fair. We’ll see.
Update: Kaye is available, and has been training in full this week, so he may go back into the lineup against the Union.
Prediction: 2-1 win for LAFC. Obviously, given LAFC’s penchant for drama, there should be a few more goals, but let’s call it a relatively low-scoring affair by their standards at The Banc.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!