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The month ahead: Mapping out the rest of LAFC’s April

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We check out the next four fixtures for the black-and-gold.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

One game down, four to go in April for Los Angeles Football Club, and it should be an interesting slate for the current league leaders. Fresh off a commanding win in a tough game, a 4-0 victory over D.C. United on the road to start the month, you may think the challenges are largely behind the black-and-gold. Think again!

Here’s the rest of the schedule for this month:

Saturday, April 13 - vs. FC Cincinnati

It will be the battle of the most recent MLS expansion teams at The Banc on Saturday, as FC Cincinnati squares up against LAFC for the first time. On paper, it feels like LAFC should do just fine, but FC Cincy have held their own this season, despite not having a Carlos Vela-level talent on their roster. So far, they’re on a 2-2-2 record, which isn’t lights out but shows they aren’t an expansion side interested in rolling over. Darren Mattocks, who scored for D.C. United last year and got under LAFC fans’ skin on his visit, now plays for FCC and scored at the weekend, so expect him to play the role once again at The Banc.

Wednesday, April 17 - at Vancouver Whitecaps

Fresh off the Cincinnati game will be LAFC’s first midweek game of the year, on the road in Vancouver. The Whitecaps have been woeful this season, with an 0-4-1 record to start things off, and every week they seem to suffer a new misfortune or twist of fate.

MLS: Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Houston Dynamo Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

However, the leveler here is that Vancouver’s head coach is Marc Dos Santos, who was an LAFC assistant coach last year. This guy knows this LAFC team better than just about anyone in the league. From there, it is likely to be a battle of which team can execute better. So far, the Whitecaps haven’t been able to do that much at all, but among the teams at the bottom of the stands right now, they also seem like the team most likely to put it together and improve over the course of the season. This is a clear trap game for LAFC to avoid.

Sunday, April 21 - vs. Seattle Sounders; Sunday, April 28 - at Sounders

Here’s a weird quirk of the schedule, with the two meetings against the Sounders coming back-to-back. These are the two teams currently atop the standings, with LAFC mostly winning big and the Sounders mostly getting a goal and locking it down in the back, so there’s a bit of a different styles storyline at play. What’s most intriguing is the fact that the teams are playing home and away on consecutive weekends, so it’s kind of like a playoff/CCL series. Oh wait, no more two-legged playoff series in MLS — well, if LAFC have a great season I guess this is a bit of a taste of Concacaf Champions League in terms of the scheduling. But I digress. These games will be among the toughest of the season, so getting through them will be nice, unless the Sounders win, of course.

U.S. Open Cup this month?

Nope, LAFC won’t play in the Open Cup until June 12 or thereabouts. The tournament proper will kick off in early May.

What do you think? Leave a comment below!