Where: BBVA Compass Stadium, Houston, Texas
When: Friday, July 12, 6:00 pm PT
How to Watch: UniMas, Twitter in the United States
Los Angeles Football Club will look to rebound from a shocking 1-0 loss to the Portland Timbers and their elimination from the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup as they travel to Houston to take on the Dynamo on Friday. LAFC not only has to deal with just their third loss of the season, but has to travel in the quickest turnaround of their season, with just one day in between matchdays.
LAFC, who had previously been on a two-match winning streak since their loss to the Colorado Rapids in late June, had scored 11 goals in two matches, and had just one loss since mid-April (13 matches). That all changed Wednesday, when Jeremy Ebobisse put an attempted clearance from Jordan Harvey into LAFC’s net to bounce them from the Open Cup, and handing LAFC their second loss in four matches. Now, LAFC has to recover and return to MLS play, with all their eggs in the MLS Cup basket and just one day of rest.
While LAFC still sit atop the Western Conference with 43 points and an outrageous +34 goal differential, Houston sits in seventh place, walking the playoff line as tightly as they can. Their 27 points are one behind San Jose and one ahead of Real Salt Lake, and they have won just one out of their last six matches and two of their last nine. The Dynamo are undefeated at home (seven wins and two draws) in MLS play, and have outscored opponents 18-9 at BBVA. By comparison, LAFC are 6-2-3 away from home this season, having dropped close matches to Vancouver and Colorado on the road.
LAFC and Houston have yet to play one another this season, but are not short on history. Houston was the side that bounced LAFC out of the Open Cup (which they proceeded to win) last year, albeit on penalties in the semifinals. The sides drew in their first matchup in 2018 with two goals each in Houston, and LAFC won the second game 4-2 in mid-October, with goals from Carlos Vela, Adama Diomande, and Walker Zimmerman.
Prediction: Houston Dynamo 1, LAFC 2. I think LAFC will bounce back from their loss to Portland, but it will not be easy. Houston is not an easy place to play, the Dynamo are not easy to play against, and LAFC only has a day of rest, and will therefore likely have some rotation. That said, LAFC have bounced back from both their previous losses with wins, beating Sporting Kansas City 5-1 on the road after the Colorado loss, and dropping four on the Seattle Sounders after losing to Vancouver. Bob Bradley will have the guys ready to go, but it will depend on which guys are out there.
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