The 2019 season is just about here! Los Angeles Football Club kick off their second season on Sunday at home against Sporting Kansas City. Before the first game kicks off, it’s time for our final predictions piece for the season ahead.
In this one, we’re going to try and predict what will happen for LAFC for the season.
I think LAFC, like Atlanta United, builds on a successful first season in the league and has another good year. I see LAFC finishing second in the West, with 60 points. I think they end up winning a trophy this season, the U.S. Open Cup, which they have made clear from day 1 last year that they take seriously. In the playoffs, I have LAFC making the Western Conference finals before losing to the Seattle Sounders.
LAFC set the bar about as high as they could in their first year. Their 57 points were a record for MLS in a first season. Their 68 goals were second all-time for an expansion side, to Atlanta’s 70. With all the benchmarks they set, LAFC finished third in the West due to a loss to Sporting KC on Decision Day, and fell in the knockout round of the playoffs to RSL.
I believe, as I think many do, that LAFC will take yet another step forward under Bob Bradley. With another offseason, some time for guys who were added mid-season (Christian Ramirez, Adama Diomande, Andre Horta), and the chance to get key pieces healthy (Mark-Anthony Kaye), LAFC should be able to come out firing.
My prediction is that LAFC will finish second in the Western Conference, to Sporting Kansas City. LAFC will finish with more than their total of 57 points last season, and will jump to 64. I also have LAFC making it to the Western Conference Final (by way of beating Minnesota United And Portland, for what it is worth) where I have them falling to Sporting KC in Kansas City. I then have SKC winning MLS Cup, as well as Supporters’ Shield.
As for the U.S. Open Cup, I believe Bob Bradley and company will be out for vengeance after getting knocked out in penalties by the eventual champions, the Houston Dynamo. LAFC very well could have won it last year, and I think they will take the tournament very seriously in order to get the first piece of silverware in club history. I have LAFC winning the U.S. Open Cup.
I’m going to be real for a second, and admit that I feel confident, which is weird because I basically never have before coming into a season. I thought LAFC had a good chance to make the playoffs last year but didn’t expect them to do quite as well in shrugging off the expansion team mantle.
So what now? I think this is a competitor for trophies. Like my colleagues, I think they’ll win the U.S. Open Cup, and make a run in the playoffs this year, although I’m too hazy on where they ultimately end up. Conference finals are an attainable goal, and if you make it that far, MLS Cup is just one game beyond. I do not think they’ll get the Supporters’ Shield, however, and expect them to earn somewhere around 61 points in 2019.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!