The debut season is always tough for MLS sides, especially those that are completely new clubs rather than those being moved from the NASL. Los Angeles FC fall into this category, playing their first ever competitive match just under three months ago.
However, they have taken a leaf out of Atlanta United’s book, who were in the exact same position last year. They have spent big on some genuine footballing talent, as well as bringing in some experienced MLS faces to guide them through this crucial campaign. So far it’s paying dividends.
Their last competitive game did result in a 2-1 defeat at Portland Timbers, but they sit up in 2nd position in the MLS Western Conference and are only four points off the summit. They have a game in hand as well, so they could be within touching distance of Sporting Kansas City soon.
It’s more their style of play that has won them over in the neutral’s minds. They have seen a huge 41 goals in their 11 league games so far, and only Sporting KC have scored more goals than them in the Western Conference this season. Again, this is exactly how Atlanta United did things, so it’s making for exciting viewing.
DC United, once again, sit rock bottom of the Eastern Conference with just eight points from their nine games so far. Admittedly this could be down to the vast majority of their games being played away from home as they await the opening of their new stadium, but even that fact doesn’t ease concerns going into this game.
Seven of the visitors’ nine games this season have been played away from home, and unfortunately for them they have been on the wrong end of the scoreline five times. During these seven games they have conceded 15 goals, and with them performing surprisingly well at the other end of the pitch this has resulted in some high scoring matches. Five of these seven matches have seen at least four goals scored, so Los Angeles FC know that there is a goal or three to be had on Sunday.
We’re opting for an Over 3.5 Goals bet because of this, and combining that with a 3-2 win for the hosts. We’re also backing their star striker, Carlos Vela, to get on the scoresheet after scoring in six of their last ten league games.
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This will be the first meeting between these teams, although DC United have lost their last three trips to Los Angeles.
Goalkeeper Luis Lopez is out with a broken leg, whilst Marco Urena continues his recovery from facial surgery.
Defensive duo Taylor Kemp and Chris Odoi-Atsem are both sidelined along with midfielders Russell Canouse and Ulises Segura. Junior Moreno is hoping to shake off a hamstring injury by the time kickoff rolls around.