Where: Banc of California Stadium, Los Angeles, California
When: Wednesday, August 21, 7:30 pm PT
How to Watch: UniMás and Twitter in the United States.
Los Angeles Football Club will look to notch a fifth consecutive win when they host the San Jose Earthquakes on Wednesday night at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC are coming off a 2-0 win on the road against Real Salt Lake, while San Jose have lost their last two matches and are winless in their last three.
LAFC remains at the top of the Western Conference with 58 points, and have already clinched a spot in the 2019 MLS Cup Playoffs. Their +42 goal differential is not even close to anyone else, as the closest is Atlanta United with +15. San Jose, LAFC’s other California rival, currently sits in sixth in the West with 38 points, one above the Portland Timbers and two below the Seattle Sounders.
After a two-game stint on the road, LAFC returns home to their friendly confines of Banc of California Stadium, where they have won ten matches and drawn two, along with a loss to Portland in the Open Cup. On the other hand, San Jose have three wins, three draws, and seven losses on the road in all competitions.
The San Jose team that LAFC clashes with now is a notably different team than the one they met at the end of March. That was the last time the teams met in MLS play, in San Jose, where LAFC won 5-0 and extended San Jose’s losing streak to start the season to four straight games. After that, the Quakes regrouped and lost just two out of their next seven games. From mid-May to the first weekend of August, San Jose lost only once in thirteen matches, with eight wins along the way. The team LAFC saw in March was one that was trying to learn Matias Almeyda’s system and failing, whereas the team they will run into Wednesday has a distinct style of play that gives opponents a lot of difficulty. LAFC also met with San Jose in the U.S. Open Cup in June, where they won 3-1 at The Banc.
Prediction: LAFC 3, San Jose 1. San Jose has completely changed the course of their season and are a tough team to play. A team that was once left for dead with a new coach is now firmly in the running to make the playoffs, and has a realistic chance of advancing. LAFC, though, are the better team, and will feed off their always-intimidating atmosphere at home. Since LAFC are the in-form team, I don’t think there is a chance they slow down against a local rival.
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