MX23RW : Monday, December 6 05:23:52| >> :600:2125977:2125977:
Oct 21, 2021 at 1am UK at Pizza Hut Park
DallasDallas
2-3
Los AngelesLos Angeles FC
Hollingshead (10'), Jara (45')
Hedges (59'), Hollingshead (74')
FT(HT: 2-1)
Arango (33' pen., 75', 79')
Cifuentes (67'), Musovski (89')

Preview: Dallas vs. Los Angeles FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Thursday's Major League Soccer clash between Dallas and Los Angeles FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Los Angeles FC desperately need another victory on Wednesday to keep pace in the battle for a postseason berth as they head to Toyota Stadium for a game against Dallas.

The Black-and-Gold kept their playoff hopes alive with a 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, while Dallas are playing their first game since the international window, having drawn 0-0 with Minnesota United in their previous match on October 2.


Match preview

Dallas forward Ricardo Pepi pictured in October 2021© Reuters

With five matches remaining and 13 points to make up, in order for Dallas to have any chance at a postseason berth, the formula is simple - win.

That is the only option for Marco Ferruzzi and his side if they want an opportunity to make the playoffs for a fourth consecutive campaign.

The problem is that the Toros have gone seven matches without a victory, and they are playing a team in LAFC who they have only beaten once in five previous regular-season encounters.

Far too often, this team tend to come to life when a match is virtually out of reach, scoring late in the second half versus Sporting Kansas City after being down 3-0, missing a penalty which would have earned them a draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps and scoring twice in the late stages against the Houston Dynamo after being down 3-0.

It should be noted that they are not being blown away by their opponents, losing only two fixtures since July 24 by multiple goals, but all season they have lacked that little extra that can make the difference between three points and one or zero.

In their previous match against the Loons, the players looked lively and ambitious in the first half with three shots on target while conceding only one, but they seemed to be shaken by some solid early saves from goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who did not have a lot to do in half number two.

Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley on May 9, 2021 © Reuters

LA came up with a huge effort to keep pace with the Loons in the Western Conference table this past weekend, but they are still four points behind them for the final playoff spot, so there is still a lot of work to be done.

It was their first win in five matches and one that Bob Bradley hopes can give his side some momentum coming into their two-game road trip, which begins in midweek in Big D.

A strong opening half against San Jose looked to be going south for Los Angeles in the second half as they were a little hesitant in making decisions after getting to loose balls, causing plenty of giveaways while they also committed a lot of fouls (19).

Fortunately for them, the Quakes were not very precise on their free-kick opportunities and the Black-and-Gold iced the game with a third goal in the 88th minute to collect a big three points.

Now the players face a significant challenge, playing on the road where they have only won one of their last eight matches and facing a side who should be reasonably relaxed.

If LA want to avoid missing the postseason for the first time in their history, they need to learn how to finish off opposing teams, as they tend to get a little too comfortable when scoring first.

Dallas Major League Soccer form:
  • D
  • D
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D

Los Angeles FC Major League Soccer form:
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • L
  • D
  • W



Team News

FC Dallas forward Jesus Ferreira (9) celebrates with teammates and fans after scoring a goal during the second half against Austin FC at Toyota Stadium on August 7, 2021© Reuters

Dallas goalkeeper Phelipe Megiolaro picked up his first career MLS shutout as the Brazilian, on loan from Gremio, made seven stops for the Toros against Minnesota.

Their leading goalscorer Ricardo Pepi is off to a terrific start to his international career, with the 18-year-old notching a brace for the USA in World Cup 2022 qualifying, in a 2-0 win over Jamaica.

Beni Redzic is out with an ankle sprain, and Johnny Nelson may not see the field again this year for Dallas after undergoing back surgery.

On Saturday, Cristian Arango scored twice in the California Classico, helping LA to a 3-1 win as he moved past Diego Rossi in goals this season, with the Uruguayan currently on loan at Fenerbahce in Turkey.

Arango also assisted on the opening goal by Daniel Musovski in the third minute versus San Jose, while winger Brian Rodriguez picked up his first assist of the season on the insurance marker late in the second half.

Kwadwo Opoku and Erik Duenas are out with left knee injuries, Eddie Segura is having problems with his right knee, Julian Gaines continues to suffer from a pelvic stress fracture, Alvaro Quezada is dealing with chest pain, Carlos Vela has a right quad strain and Eduard Atuesta will be a question mark with a right shoulder issue.

Dallas possible starting lineup:
Megiolaro; Twumasi, Hedges, Munjoma, Hollingshead; Obrian, Ferreira, Ricaurte, Schon, Cerrillo; Pepi

Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Blackman; Blackmon, Murillo, Farfan, Palacios; Kim, Blessing, Edwards; Cifuentes; Arango, Musovski


SM words green background

We say: Dallas 0-1 Los Angeles FC

Dallas are winless in five straight home games, and when you lose as many close encounters as they have, it tends to shake your confidence while taking away the belief factor that you might have had.

The Black-and-Gold have struggled to play strong for a full 90 minutes, so taking on a team as frustrated as the Toros should be just what they need to earn a victory in this one.


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How you voted: Dallas vs Los Angeles

Dallas
0.0%
Draw
23.1%
Los Angeles FC
76.9%
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Atlanta United FC forward Josef Martinez (7) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against DC United at Audi Field on August 24, 2021
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Tables

Eastern Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

Western Conference

TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1New England RevolutionNew England34227565412473
2Philadelphia UnionPhiladelphia341412848351354
3Nashville SCNashville341218455332254
4New York City FCNY City341491156362051
5Atlanta UnitedAtlanta34131294537851
6Orlando City34131295048251
7New York Red BullsNY Red Bulls34139123933648
8DC United34145155654247
9Columbus Crew34138134645147
10CF MontrealMontreal341210124644246
11Inter MiamiInter Miami34125173653-1741
12Chicago Fire3497183654-1834
13Toronto34610183966-2728
14FC CincinnatiCincinnati3448223774-3720

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