Where: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California.
When: Friday, May 24, 7:30 pm PT
How to Watch: Youtube TV & KVMD in LA, ESPN+ in the rest of the U.S., TSN & TVAS in Canada.
Los Angeles FC will look to bounce back from a ground-out, hard-fought 1-1 draw on the road with FC Dallas when they return to the friendly confines of Banc of California Stadium to host the Montreal Impact on Friday. The Canadian side are also coming off a draw, a scoreless affair at home against the New England Revolution.
LAFC are still atop the Western Conference standings, five points clear of the Seattle Sounders with 31 points. LAFC also lead MLS in goals scored with 32, and are tied with Atlanta United for fewest goals conceded with nine. Montreal is having a far better season than many may have expected so far, sitting in third in the East, just three points behind frontrunners Philadelphia and DC United, and one in front of Atlanta.
As always, it is worthwhile noting LAFC’s record at home since the start of last season: 17 wins, eight draws, and just two losses. Montreal’s record on the road is almost the opposite, with seven wins, four draws, and 15 losses when not at home.
The two sides have met just once before, in Montreal last April. That match was a wild 5-3 win for LAFC, with Laurent Ciman, Benny Feilhaber, Carlos Vela, and Latif Blessing all getting on the scoresheet (plus a Montreal own goal) and surpassing a hat-trick from, you guessed it, Ignacio Piatti.
Playing against Montreal, despite their standings in the East, can be hit or miss. Montreal has six wins and five losses on the season, with three draws. You’re never sure what you will get against them — will they hoof the ball to Piatti and see if it works? Will that actually work and get them three points? Will they sit back and pack it in? Will they try and run with you? I would expect more of a defensive tendency as they come into the Banc against LAFC.
Prediction: LAFC 3, Montreal 1. LAFC played the same opponent, FC Dallas, twice in a week. Coming home is a good chance to get another three points in hand. The Banc crowd and the 3252 cannot be underestimated, and Carlos Vela will look to bounce back from the penalty that did not go his way last week.
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