Decision Day is here, and it will, mercifully, be an anti-climactic one for LAFC, who should get to raise the Supporters’ Shield after they square off against Nashville SC at The Banc on Sunday.
LAFC took care of their big business for the regular season last week, as they defeated the Portland Timbers 2-1 at Providence Park in dramatic fashion to clinch the Shield with a game to spare. After Carlos Vela hit a trademark curler to open the scoring, LAFC conceded late in the match, before Denis Bouanga opened his MLS account late in stoppage time with the vital game-winner. It was nervy but they did it, and now the pressure is off in this game, which may be a respite before the most pressure-packed part of the season comes.
Nashville have clinched a playoff berth, their third straight in their history, although they lost their last game 2-1 at home against the Houston Dynamo. Before that, they were in good form, unbeaten in six to fuel their playoff spot for the season. Hany Mukhtar is likely the MLS MVP this season and he’ll look to burnish his case in the final match, while I think Nashville want to get the win to get a shot at hosting a playoff game.
This could be a potential playoff preview, and so this game may be rather weird as a result. I don’t think LAFC will dog it, but we’ll see if the lack of stakes change the lineup or mindset drastically, or if one or both teams keep their powder dry so as not to reveal any tactical approaches or adjustments coming for the playoffs. At the same time, both teams will want to be in form for the postseason. So we’ll see how this one looks!
- Jesus David Murillo (suspended) — OUT
- Alex Muyl (concussion) — QUESTIONABLE
According to our partners at DraftKings Sportsbook, as of Friday morning, LAFC are (-160), Nashville are (+360) and a draw is (+310), so LAFC are big favorites again at home. Here’s hoping they end the regular season on a high (and healthy) note.
How to Watch:
Sunday’s match between LAFC and Nashville SC will be televised locally on KCOP 13 and Estrella 62.2 and streamed in the rest of the United States on ESPN+. The broadcast is scheduled to start at 2 pm PT with kickoff to come at 2:18.