LAFC head to the Houston Dynamo on Tuesday night. With Sporting KC and FC Dallas not playing until Wednesday, it’s time for Bob Bradley’s side to make their move.
Los Angeles FC saw Carlos Vela, Laurent Ciman and Marco Urena all go to the World Cup this summer. It was anticipated that their absence would stent the progression of LAFC’s season as they looked to peak during the middle months of the year, just as the playoff push begins.
But that has not quite happened. Ciman returned quickly as he was only on standby, scoring an excellent freekick in a win over the Columbus Crew, and Latif Blessing and Adama Diomande have stepped up in the absence of Vela and Urena in attacking areas.
And the results have not tailed off either. Three wins from their last three MLS games, including a 4-1 dismantling of the Philadelphia Union at the weekend, has seen them rise to third in the Western Conference standings and begin to chase down leaders Sporting KC.
More from MLS Multiplex
- Javier Milei Elected in Argentina: Potential Impacts on MLS and Signings of Argentine Players
- Orlando City and New York City FC in the Battle for Matías Arezo; Grêmio Enters Negotiations! Who Will Come Out on Top?
- USA, Honduras, Panama, and Canada Close in on a Spot in the 2024 Copa America
- De Gea Turns Down Al-Nassr’s Lucrative Offer: Speculation Points to Possible Reunion with Messi at Inter Miami
- Messi’s Magnetic Impact in the United States
And KC, having lost surprisingly to the Montreal Impact, have opened the door a little to LAFC and FC Dallas. The gap between the three teams is only two points, with both LAFC and Dallas having played a game fewer than their West-chasing rivals. Suddenly, the door is not just ajar, but it is swinging wide open.
Moreover, LAFC also play on Tuesday night against the Houston Dynamo. It is no easy task. The Dynamo are no pushovers, especially against better sides where their pace on the counter-attack can be vicious. But with a win, Bob Bradley’s side can go top of the West with KC and Dallas not playing until Wednesday.
Dallas play Atlanta United, which is a riveting affair that they could very easily lose, while KC will be hoping to bounce back from their weekend loss, travelling to the San Jose Earthquakes, a game that they are expected to win.
But LAFC have the perfect chance to make a statement. Moving top of a conference that KC have had a stranglehold over for much of the season would be hugely significant and it would signify and new recognition of their elite status.
Moreover, doing so with Vela and Urena still to return, the adaptation of Lee Nguyen to a new team still ongoing, and the much-anticipated introduction of Andre Horta on the horizon, is even more impressive. Not only are they winning games and topping the standings, but they are doing so with the expectation that they are only going to get better in the future.
Bradley has shocked the world with an expansion side before. He won the US Open Cup and MLS Cup double in the Chicago Fire’s inaugural season way back in 1998. He knows how to hit the big time with a new team full of new players of which not much is thought of.
And now he’s doing it again. This LAFC team are on a roll. They are only getting better and they could go top of the table against Houston on Tuesday. It’s time to make a move.