LAFC looks to avenge a rare blowout from its inaugural season with a sophomore-year rematch against the Chicago Fire at home Saturday night at 10:30 p.m. ET.
Last year’s game against the Fire was a rare sore spot for LAFC. Chicago took an early 1-0 advantage, then picked up a penalty kick and a second-half goal to lead 3-0 before Diego Rossi knocked in a late consolatory goal to avoid a shutout. The late August match reflected one of the sloppier performances by the team, and headed into this year’s rematch, it’s something on the minds of every player in black and gold.
“That was a game that we weren’t happy with last year,” Bradley said. “We won’t spend much time talking about it. Nonetheless, we know the days when we let things get away and then, I think… everybody feels like that’s a reason to be even sharper on the day.”
Chicago has only notched two victories this season, and its offense has struggled to producel scoring only 12 goals — 14 less than LAFC in the same number of games. The team is second-to-last in the Eastern Conference, which has four teams tied for the bottom rung in the conference rankings as the summer nears.
The team has skidded in the last few weeks, settling for shutouts against New York and Montreal, but it went on a four-game unbeaten run before that started. On any given game, a different Chicago team can emerge, and striker C.J. Sapong can be dangerous from many angles.
“They do have a lot of talent,” defender Jordan Harvey said. “We’ve been watching from a distance… the beauty about LAFC is that we focus on ourselves and what we do day in and day out. This game is going to be no different.”
Returning to its home stadium, however, LAFC feels confident in its advantage. The team remains perfect so far at home, not only going undefeated but also only winning at the Banc of California stadium so far this year. LAFC has enjoyed a +10 goal differential at home this season, and its players often seem particularly hungry to put on a show — normally in the form of scoring goals — when they’re playing to a home crowd.
Where: Banc of California Stadium
When: 10:30 p.m. ET
How to watch: YouTube TV (coverage starts with Matchday at 6pm), KVMD
How to listen: ESPNLA 710, KFWB 980
Questionable: The day before kickoff, no players were listed as questionable.
Out: Defender Danilo Silva (hamstring strain); midfielder Alejandro Guido (quad strain); midfielder Javi Pérez (groin strain)