Where: Red Bull Arena, Harrison, New Jersey
When: Sunday, August 5th, 3pm PT
How To Watch: FS1 in the United States
The plus side of the game being on a week ago last Thursday is that LAFC got a few extra days to rest and lick their wounds. More damaging than the result against the Galaxy was the injury to Mark-Anthony Kaye, who broke his ankle during the match.
It was confirmed that Kaye will miss the rest of the 2018 season, a crushing blow to a player who had been an unexpected bright spot so far this season.
This makes it even more critical that Andre Horta is able to come into the team seamlessly.
He will surely be looking for redemption after his horrific back pass led to the Galaxy’s equalizing goal.
LAFC have no time to ease back into it though, as they travel to one of the league’s best team, the New York Red Bulls. The Red Bulls are coming off a bad result of their own, a 3-2 loss at home to Crew SC where at one point the Red Bulls were down 3-0. It was only their second home loss of the season.
The Red Bulls under Chris Armas have not been as pressing oriented as they were under Jesse Marsch.
MLSsoccer.com’s Matt Doyle talks a little here about how the Red Bulls lately have spent a lot more time possessing the ball, and less time with their high explosive press. This might be to LAFC’s advantage.
LAFC have made a number of mistakes at the back, especially their center backs. Pressing leads to turnovers and chaos at the back, but if the Red Bulls were more inclined to possess the ball, LAFC could settle into a defensive shape and avoid some of the defensive errors that have plagued them this year.
Obviously, the newly-minted 100-goal scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips is the Red Bulls’ most potent goal threat.
LAFC also need to keep an eye out on Kaku, who is the Red Bulls’ most productive creator.
He has 14 assists in 18 games this season, and his been the playmaker the Red Bulls were looking for, especially after trading Sacha Kljestan.
If LAFC are going to get a result here, they must try and disrupt the Kaku and BWP connection.
Prediction: Red Bulls 3, LAFC 2. In another edition of the never boring LAFC chronicles, the boys drop a hard fought and close game on the road.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!