Los Angeles FC will complete its grueling six-game streak of road trips with a faceoff against the Montreal Impact at 1 p.m. ET Saturday. The game will be high in emotions for LAFC captain Laurent Ciman, who is returning to play the team that traded him unexpectedly in December. The game will mean a lot for Ciman, the 32-year-old said, and it will also provide him with a space to prove him against his former teammates.
“It will be an emotional match, that’s for sure, but I have to leave the emotions in the locker and to be competitive on the field,” Ciman said. “I won’t be giving any gifts … I’m going to try to enjoy myself on the field like I do in every match.”
For LAFC, any result — win, loss or draw — will still result in a positive opening for the young team, which notched three wins on the road against challenging opponents. However, a victory over the Impact would help LAFC survive its opening series with a winning record and open the newly-minted Banc of California stadium with momentum. To do so, the club will have to close against a team that has already struggled this season.
Montreal has performed better than some preseason predictions, which placed the Impact on the bottom rung of its conference. However, one of the Canadian side’s two wins came against Atlanta United, a team that handily dealt LAFC a loss two weeks ago.
As the stretch of road games comes to a close, LAFC can’t afford to relax against Montreal, a chippy team that has already earned three red cards this season.
“We all want to be champions,” Benny Feilhaber said. “That’s always the main goal, and we feel like we have the ability to do that. Of course, we don’t want to make too many promises, but obviously winning a championship is going to be the goal here.”
Where: Saputo Stadium
When: 1 p.m. ET
Where to watch: YouTube TV, UniMás 46 (Los Angeles blackout zone); ESPN+ (rest of U.S.)
LAFC standing: No. 4 in the Western Conference
Montreal standing: No. 7 in the Eastern Conference
LAFC record: 3-0-2
Montreal record: 2-0-4