LAFC play their third consecutive home match on Wednesday, welcoming in Minnesota United to the Banc of California Stadium. The visitors are on a winning streak right now, having beaten the Houston Dynamo and the Vancouver Whitecaps. Here are three things to keep an eye on during this midweek clash.
Three things to Watch
1. Darwin Quintero
Darwin Quintero turned Minnesota United’s fortunes around when he left Liga MX side Club America earlier this season.
That is because the 30-year-old adds something the Loons have been missing. His speed can absolutely rip apart defenses. In the four matches Quintero has played with Minnesota thus far, he has two goals and one assists. It is more impressive considering that Quintero is only a month into his MLS season. Quintero’s average rating is already one of the best in the league. His 7.57 average is equal with Graham Zusi, Johnny Russell, and Mauro Diaz.
One thing that has probably helped though, is the experience playing against MLS clubs in CONCACAF Champions League. He’ll only get better with each match too, which is scary to think about.
2. Home Debut Hangover?
After LAFC’s late goal in their 1-0 win over Seattle, they fought to a 1-1 draw with FC Dallas last weekend. Is there such thing as a hangover after unveiling a brand new stadium? All this nervous energy and adrenaline built up throughout the afternoon, perhaps that took a toll on Bob Bradley and his squad.
Now what does the question become? Okay, there’s been two matches played, can LAFC get back on track and claim all three points?
Let’s take a closer look at the standings real quick. MNUFC are just three points behind LAFC in the Western Conference standings. Wednesday’s hosts have scored 18 goals – second in the West – and have allowed only 14. Meanwhile, Minnesota have allowed 16. There are wholes in that back line that can be exploited and expect LAFC to do just that
3. A Lee Nguyen Start?
Lee Nguyen played 17 minutes at Banc of California stadium last time out. In that time on the pitch, Nguyen completed 87.5% of his passes, but did not register a single shot.
However, that’s okay. Nguyen was brought into the squad to be more of a facilitator of sorts, to keep the attack humming deep in the final third. If he sees an opening, he’ll take it, but the 31-year-old would rather get his teammates involved in the play.
Prediction: 2-1 LAFC.