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Los Angeles FC to win or draw, over 2.5 goals scored in total
Orlando City is sixth in the Supporters’ Shield table after playing five games this season. They have picked up two wins in those matches and have lost just once
That makes them one of the better-performing teams in the league at the moment. However, they have not been clinical in front of goals and have scored just five times or an average of 1 goal scored per game.
LAFC has made an excellent start to the season and is on top of the table on goal difference. They have three wins and a draw in their opening four matches – thanks to a solid performance in defense that has meant they’ve conceded only 2 goals in the season so far.
Orlando City has met LAFC thrice in MLS history, and both teams have picked up a win each. The away side is the favorites to win this weekend, and the game could involve a few goals, perhaps even from both teams, despite LAFC’s defensive numbers looking like they are. That would be down to the relatively easy schedule Orlando has had over the last two weeks, which lends itself to tactical tweaking.
Orlando City is sixth in the MLS table and can go to the top for the time being with a win – and some other results working out in their favor, of course. However, they have a massive task in front of them as LAFC has one of the league’s meanest defenses. The issue for Orlando has been scoring goals, and this weekend’s game is not ideal for them.
With just five goals in their five matches so far, Orlando has the joint-second-fewest goals scored of all the teams in the top 10. Only Minnesota United have fewer goals, with Chicago Fire also having scored just five times this season.
Oscar Pareja’s side started the season with a 2-0 win over CF Montreal, thanks to goals from Alexandre Pato and Benji Michel. Despite the sending off of Robin Jansson in the 81st minute, the home side managed to hold on to their lead and start the season with three points.
Things did not go to plan for Pareja in the second game of the season, as his players failed to get a single shot on target. However, they did manage to get a point from the game as Chicago Fire were unable to make a big impact in front of the goal and failed to find the back of the net, a fitting end to two teams who have since struggled to score.
FC Cincinnati were up next for the Lions, and they were handed a reality check. Pareja’s side were dominant throughout the game and held 70% of the ball. However, the away side stood tall, and a Brandon Vazquez brace saw them picking up a 2-1 win. Júnior Urso was able to get the level just before halftime, but they were level for just 11 minutes as Cincinnati took the lead right after the break.
Orlando learned quickly from their mistakes and switched up their strategy against LA Galaxy. They kept the ball with a low block, and a low tempo, trying to attack the counter in the fourth game of the season. And it worked. Facundo Torres’s early goal was enough for them to grab all three points despite having just 37 percent of the ball and just two shots on target.
With players away on international duty, MLS only had three games last weekend. In one of those fixtures, Orlando were up against Portland Timbers and only managed to get a draw after Júnior Urso scored his second goal of the season.
LAFC have made a great start to the season and seems to be the favorite for the title right now. They have won three of their opening four matches and are sitting on top of the table.
Steven Cherundolo’s side had a poor pre-season, and many doubted if LAFC had it in them to get back into the playoffs. They missed out last season after finishing 9th in the Western Conference, but it was just by three points. They needed to start this season well, and they have done precisely that.
Carlos Vela is back to full fitness, which has given them a big boost. The Mexican scored a hat-trick in the season opener against Colorado Rapids to help his side win 3-0. The former Arsenal star missed a lot of matches last season due to injuries and is eyeing the Golden Boot again this season. He is currently tied with a few others in goal standings, with 4 goals so far.
Vela could not continue his form against Portland Timbers in LAFC’s first home game of the season, where it looked like they were headed for a loss. However, Mamadou Fall scored in injury time to cancel out Yimmi Chara’s overhead kick in the first half to get the home side a point from the game.
Inter Miami stood no chance against LAFC and was beaten easily by the 2019 Supporters’ Shield winners. Kwadwo Opoku and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi got on the scoresheet, and Brek Shea’s sending off did not do David Beckham’s club any favors.
LAFC went behind Tristan Blackmon’s goal early in their game against Vancouver Whitecaps but bounced back quickly to grab all three points. Ryan Hollingshead scored in either half, with Carlos Vela notching one before halftime to hand the league leaders a 3-1 win before the players split for the international break. At the moment, few teams can claim to be anywhere close to as balanced as LAFC has been in the early parts.
|Orlando City SC vs Los Angeles FC Information|
|Teams||Orlando City SC vs Los Angeles FC|
|Time||Saturday, April 2 at 7.30pm EST|
|How to watch||MLS LIVE on ESPN+, MLS LIVE on DAZN, Fox 35 Plus, KCOP 13, Estrella TV|
Varun is a web journalist who has been writing on sports for 13 years. He took a shine for the MLS during the 2021 season and has been following it and writing about it since, alongside his work involving the English Premier League, La Liga, and the Serie A. He is deeply interested in soccer analytics and strategy and has aspirations to move into coaching at some point. Email: [email protected]More info on Varun Shetty
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