LAFC returns to MLS preseason play with a friendly against Columbus FC on Monday night, looking to mark its third victory of the preseason.
The Black and Gold have fared well so far in preseason play, defeating Toronto FC in a closed 3-1 victory and taking down Japanese club Vissel Kobe 4-1 in front of a packed Banc of California stadium. The team’s early victories have been solidified by aggressive play by the front line, led by captain Carlos Vela, who continues to act as the foundation of the attack in both scoring and assisting roles.
With defender Walker Zimmerman and goalkeeper Tyler Miller both back from the U.S. men’s national team January games — in which the American team went 2-0 — the team will be even more fully rounded against Toronto.
Although goals have not been flowing as steadily for the Crew as they have for LAFC, Columbus has survived the preseason so far without surrendering a goal, holding Vissel Kobe to 0-0 and notching a 1-0 win over Club Tijuana, a Liga MX club. The two clubs did not meet last season, so the match will offer a fresh look for both sides as they prepare for the regular season.
The Columbus match is one of three closed matches remaining in the preseason for LAFC, and it will stand as an opportunity to continue tuning up the full roster. With the home opener against Sporting KC looming less than a month away, head coach Bob Bradley’s team is well aware that it needs to be close regular season form.
Following Monday’s match, three more preseason games remain before the March 3 home opener, including a matchup in Sacramento that is open to season ticket holders: