LAFC vs New Mexico United marks the meeting of the leaders in the US Open Cup

Two leaders from different conferences meet in a historic duel in the quarter-finals of the US Open Cup
San Jose Earthquakes v Los Angeles Football Club
San Jose Earthquakes v Los Angeles Football Club / Shaun Clark/GettyImages

The clash between Los Angeles FC and New Mexico United promises to be one of the most electrifying games of the US Open Cup quarterfinals. We're not just talking about another match between two teams at the top of their respective conferences. This is the kind of game that makes any soccer fan's nerves run wild.

Follow MLS Multiplex on X (Twitter).

LAFC, known for their devastating attack and solid defense, arrive with an impressive record in Major League Soccer (MLS). With 43 goals scored and only 24 conceded, the team leads the Western Conference and stands out for its attacking duo of Denis Bouanga and Mateusz Bogusz. Bouanga, with his 14 goals, and Bogusz, with 12, are not only top scorers, but also masters of assists, creating plays that leave any opposing defense in a panic.

On the other side, New Mexico United aren't far behind. Leaders of the Western Conference in the USL Championship, Eric Quill's side are experiencing a magical moment. With a goal difference of +3 and a run of four wins in their last five games, United are ready to show that they can go toe-to-toe with any team in the MLS. Greg Hurst, with his seven goals, is the man to watch, while goalkeeper Alex Tambakis, with five clean sheets, shows that it won't be easy for New Mexico to score.

New Mexico United's progress in the US Open Cup is worthy of applause. In their first appearance in 2019, they reached the quarter-finals, beating MLS teams like Colorado Rapids and FC Dallas. This year, they repeated the feat by beating Real Salt Lake and New York City FC II, showing that they have blood in their eyes and heart in their boots. LAFC, meanwhile, made it all the way to the semifinals on their debut in 2018, but since then, a quarterfinal appearance in 2019 is as far as they've gone.

This clash promises much more than just a soccer match. It's a battle of styles, strategies and the will to win. LAFC, with their tradition and strong squad, against New Mexico United, with their grit and team spirit. The stage is set, the fans are eager and the players are ready to give their all on the pitch.

What can we expect from this match? The answer is not simple. LAFC, playing at home in the BMO Stadium, have the advantage of the support of their fanatical fans. But New Mexico United have already shown that they are not afraid to play away from home. With a 4-2-3-1 formation, Eric Quill's side should try to disrupt LAFC's fast-paced transition game and rely on counter-attacks, a strategy that could catch the Los Angeles side off guard.

Scoring the first goal will be crucial. LAFC, used to dominating their opponents, could find themselves in trouble if they fall behind. On the other hand, New Mexico United need to stay focused and avoid mistakes that could be fatal against such a qualified team. The rotation in LAFC's line-up, due to the sequence of games, could be a factor for the away team to exploit.

In addition, history weighs heavily. Los Angeles has a tradition of success in the US Open Cup, with teams from the region often going far in the tournament. But New Mexico United are looking to make their own history and prove that they can go beyond the quarter-finals, as they did in their inaugural season.