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Los Angeles FC v Vancouver Whitecaps: All eyes on Western Conference summit after cup exploits

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 10 May 2024

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After midweek cup triumphs for both teams, all eyes turn to MLS this Saturday as Western Conference hopefuls Los Angeles FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps meet at BMO Stadium.

Ahead of Saturday’s contest, Vancouver sit fourth in the West with 18 points from 10 games, with LAFC three points further back despite playing an additional match.

Vanni Sartini’s hosts were in Canadian Championship action on Wednesday, beating Calgary 2-1 in the first leg of a quarter-final tie with a starting lineup containing five Canadian players.

Sartini believes the experience of that match will serve his young players well, saying: “We want to do well in that competition and it fits with what we want to do, which is developing a lot of young players, guys who haven’t played a lot for us.

“I’m really happy that we could play five of them, also because I think in this competition, if they have to give one per cent more to win, they will because it’s their national competition.”

LAFC, meanwhile, beat the Las Vegas Lights 3-1 to reach the last 16 of the U.S. Open Cup, a tournament they have never previously won.

Forward Kei Kamara scored his first LAFC goal in that match, and he hopes it will serve to kickstart his campaign.

“It was a battle but it’s good for us to come here and get the win and move onto the next round,” he said.

“Personally, it was nice to get a goal and wash that drought off, even though it was in the cup, to pick the team up and help us into the next round.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Los Angeles FC – Denis Bouanga

Bouanga has scored seven goals in six career matches against the Whitecaps in all competitions, including scoring in all four MLS encounters with them (including playoffs).

The only player to score in five straight MLS meetings with Vancouver is Raul Ruidiaz, who did so between 2020 and 2022.

Vancouver Whitecaps – Brian White

White has scored in each of the Whitecaps’ last three away matches. Only three players in team history, including White himself in 2023, have scored in four straight on the road in regular-season play.

MATCH PREDICTION – LOS ANGELES FC WIN

LAFC have won four of their last six matches against Vancouver in all competitions (one draw, one defeat) with all four wins coming in the CONCACAF Champions Cup or MLS Cup Playoffs.

In regular-season play, LAFC have won only one of their last eight against the Whitecaps, drawing three and losing four. However, they are favourites to improve on that record here.

Saturday’s hosts are unbeaten in nine straight home matches (seven wins, two draws) dating back to the end of last season. LAFC have previously recorded three runs of 10 or more home matches without defeat in their history, and they will fancy their chances of repeating the trick.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

Los Angeles FC – 56.8%

Vancouver Whitecaps – 18.5%

Draw – 24.7%

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

SoccerNews

Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.

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