The Philadelphia Union are making the cross-country trip to take on Carlos Vela and Los Angeles FC LAFC look to open the season with a perfect 2-0-0 start, while the Philadelphia Union will be looking for their first points of this season.
Los Angeles FC
Los Angeles FC is back with high expectations for this season after finishing on top of the standings last MLS campaign. It will be another home game for LAFC, who opened the season with a 1-0 shutout home win last week. Urugian duo Brian Rodriguez and Diego Rossi looked dangerous during much of the Week 1 win over Inter Miami. Rodriguez was impactful on the ball, winning a game-high seven of 10 takeons. Over the last three years, LAFC has been able to recruit both players from Uruguayan Primera División side Peñarol, and now it looks as if these youngsters are ready to take over the MLS together. Along with 2019 MLS Golden Boot winner Carlos Vela, this front three for LAFC is likely the best attacking line in the league. With a formidable midfield supporting such a deadly front three, we could see LAFC have a breakout game at home on Sunday.
Philadelphia was able to fire off 15 shots, but only three of these ended up on target. Even more alarming is the fact that nine of the 15 shot attempts were taken from outside the box. This is a Union team who struggled to create any clear chances going forward, with much of this responsibility falling on attacking midfielder Brenden Aaronson. The 19-year-old played the creative midfielder role in his side’s 4-3-1-2 formation, but was unable to leave an impression on the match. Instead, the teenager did very little to affect the game and was taken off at the 66’ minute. If Aaronson keeps his place in the starting XI, the Philadelphia Union are running the risk of the youngster getting overwhelmed and tactically dominated in the middle of the part against an aggressive and unforgiving LAFC lineup. Instead, the Union could decide to slot in the 34-year-old Brazilian Ilsinho. The veteran would offer less mistakes and more composure in exchange for a dropoff in quickness and aggression. Keep an eye on the lineup of the Union before this one, as it will be quite influential on the performance of Philadelphia.
On paper, these are two teams who appear to be trending in different directions. Los Angeles FC has strengthened this offseason and is looking to continue to establish themselves as a powerhouse in this league, while Philadelphia is relying heavily on older veterans and young, unproven raw talent early in the season. This LAFC team has been projected to be one of the top teams in the league this season, and this matchup at home against the Philadelphia Union is the perfect occasion to express their dominance. With a relentless, pacey attacking lineup matching up well this week, look for the home team to dominate from beginning to end.
LAFC winning by more than 1.5 goals (+110) is our pick for this matchup, and the fact that you can get such attractive odds on this outcome is ideal.
Match Preview Prediction : LAFC -1.5 (+110)