2. How will the LAFC backline hold up?
Veteran defender Walker Zimmerman’s departure has left LAFC without their go-to anchor on the backline. Now, they will turn to their younger defensive players to step up in their first real test.
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Tristan Blackmon appears to be destined to replace Zimmerman at center-back alongside Eddie Segura. Both players are just 23 and have never played in a CCL match before. A lot will be told about what to expect this season from these two by their play against Leon. For this opening leg in particular, it will be important for both players to get off to a good start working together.
LAFC’s backline seemed shaky at times during 2019 and they did not have their best performance when they needed it most against the Seattle Sounders. Despite their failing the eye test, they only conceded 37 goals during the regular season. For as much worry as the backline may provide entering this match, it is important to remember they allowed the fewest goals during the entire MLS regular season.
Leon have a solid offense which is going to give the LAFC backline a huge test. Angel Mena leads Liga MX right now with five goals in six appearances. Leonardo Ramos is right behind his teammate with three goals in six appearances. The Mexican club has plenty of threats offensively and is very capable of outdueling the powerful LAFC offense. Blackmon and co. will have to be at the top of their game.