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The hosts will not be coming into this game with the best form, as they have lost four of their last five MLS games. During this abysmal run, the club has lost to Sporting Kansas City, Nashville SC, Portland Timbers, and Austin FC. Their only win during this stint was sandwiched between the losses and came against the current division leaders St. Louis City SC. That surprising victory came in FC Dallas’ last home game.
June will be a month to forget for Los Angeles FC, as they won just two out of eight games in all competitions during the month. The defending MLS champions were dumped out of the US Open Cup by rivals LA Galaxy before losing the CONCACAF Champions League final against Liga MX side Club Leon. They failed to win three successive MLS games after the exit. Wins finally came against Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders, but last weekend, Vancouver Whitecaps shocked them in their own backyard.
Despite that, the visitors will be strong favorites to win this encounter. The intent of defending their maiden MLS title is quite clear, and three points against FC Dallas will propel them back to the top of the division.
Including the encounter in March this year, these two clubs have locked horns nine times in the MLS. Los Angeles FC have the better record, with five wins under their belt. Meanwhile, FC Dallas have only won twice, and two games have ended in draws.
When the two sides met at the BMO Stadium this season, an 84th-minute Denis Bouanga winner secured a 2-1 win for the hosts. The winner came five minutes after Carlos Vela missed a penalty against the visitors, who were reduced to ten men after Ema Twumasi saw red in the first half.
Despite winning that game, the defending champions will be concerned with the fact that they have only beaten FC Dallas once in their home stadium. Last season, a Jesus Ferreira brace in the final quarter of the game handed the hosts a 2-1 win.
Los Angeles FC’s only win on enemy territory in this encounter came in the 2021 MLS season in a dramatic five-goal thriller. Cristian Arango’s hat-trick helped the visitors come from 2-1 down to win the game 3-2.
While the hosts are coming into this match with a terrible record of one win in the last five games, there is a small positive for them ahead of the colossal encounter with the defending MLS champions.
The solitary win for FC Dallas in their last five games came at home and against St. Louis City SC. The outcome showcased how the club could field a formidable side at home and possess the potential to be giant slayers in their own backyard.
However, the result against St. Louis City SC followed a disappointing 2-1 loss against Nashville SC. That was FC Dallas’ second home defeat of the season. So far, the side have played nine games at home. They have won five of those and drawn two.
While the home record could be a morale booster for FC Dallas, their performance in the last two MLS games has been quite concerning. Not only has the club dropped all available points in the previous two outings, but they have also failed to score in both games.
This is the first time FC Dallas have failed to score in two successive MLS games since August 2021. If the hosts fail to score against Los Angeles FC, it will be the first time since August 2020 that FC Dallas will go three consecutive MLS games without scoring.
After firing blanks in the last two games, the goal-scoring average of FC Dallas has dropped to 1.1 goals per match. The club has scored 21 goals in 19 MLS games, and it could have been more if other attackers would have chipped in.
Almost half of FC Dallas’ goals this season have been scored by Jesus Ferreira. In 18 appearances, the 22-year-old has scored ten goals. The rest of the goals have come from eight players, of which none have scored more than two.
A few weeks ago, Los Angeles FC were in a commanding spot in multiple competitions. The club reached the CONCACAF Champions League final, looking for their maiden title. Meanwhile, in the MLS, they had quite a few games in hand to clinch the top spot.
However, after giving it their all in the Champions League, the defending MLS champions had to settle for silver medals. The effects of the loss started reflecting in the league as Los Angeles FC were winless in three successive games, without scoring in any of them.
Despite winning the tricky encounters against Sporting Kansas City and Seattle Sounders FC, Los Angeles FC’s complacency and vulnerability were still evident last week. Vancouver Whitecaps capitalized on it to get three points - something FC Dallas can also do.
In ten home games this season, Los Angeles FC have lost only two matches. They have scored 18 goals and conceded half of that. The games have been more challenging for the defending champions on the road.
In eight away matches, Los Angeles FC have lost two and won three. Their goal difference away from home is zero after scoring ten and conceding ten in those eight matches. FC Dallas are struggling, and this could be the perfect match for Los Angeles FC to better their away form.
Unlike their next opponents, Los Angeles FC do not rely on just one player for goals. The duo of Carlos Vela and Denis Bouanga has been scoring consistently this season, which has been a major boost for the defending champions.
Bouanga has scored 11 goals and pocketed one assist in 16 appearances, while Vela has scored six and assisted four in 18 appearances. The former has his eyes set on the Golden Boot and is currently two goals behind Nashville SC’s Hany Mukhtar, who currently leads the chart.
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With an interest in strategy and mathematics, applying that to sports writing was the natural progression. A writer at night and the founder of a gaming company, Nikhil’s previous experience includes working with ESPN for five years. His specialization includes soccer, basketball, tennis, and esports betting. Email: [email protected]More info on Nikhil Kalro
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