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Segura LAFC’s only injury worry vs. Austin FC, says Cherundolo

We’ll see if LAFC mixes things up in Western Conference Final.

MLS: Audi 2022 MLS Cup Playoffs Conference Semifinals-LA Galaxy at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

During the team’s media availability with reporters on Friday ahead of Sunday’s Western Conference Final against Austin FC at The Banc, LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said Eddie Segura was the only injury concern heading into the game.

Cherundolo didn’t rule out the Colombian defender, who went the distance at center back in LAFC’s 3-2 win in the semifinal round against the LA Galaxy, but called him a “question mark” with an undisclosed ailment. LAFC’s initial game notes for Sunday do not list any players on the injury report. If Segura can’t play, Giorgio Chiellini would seem to be the likely replacement at center back.

Otherwise, the rest of the LAFC squad is presumably available for selection, including attacker Gareth Bale, who was a scratch against the Galaxy, with the TV broadcast from that game noting Cherundolo cryptically called Bale “Not hurt, but not 100%” and held out as a result. Bale has not played major minutes for LAFC since joining, but it would seem a player of his talent would be better to have available for selection than not.

LAFC have lost twice so far this year to Austin FC, but Cherundolo said that’s not weighing on his team at all, given the context.

“Two completely different games,” he told reporters. “They have no effect on Sunday’s match. Different players in the field in these matches, are different stories. So completely detaching Sunday’s game to those two. Like I said, just different circumstances. The game here we all saw statistically very dominant, lucky with few calls as well. We were naive in two moments and that was the end. And then there [in Austin], had a poor performance and again, statistically also not the worst performance, if you looked at expected goals, if that’s important to you, so very completely different games, different players in the field for them as well. So I don’t think there’s any bearing on Sunday.”

Kickoff for Sunday’s game at The Banc is scheduled for 12:18 pm PT, so if you’re going or planning to watch, make sure to get up and about in time for the big game.

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