Los Angeles FC will be bidding to make it seven MLS victories in a row when they continue their campaign at home to struggling DC United on Tuesday night.
The home side are currently top of the Western Conference, boasting 54 points from their 24 league matches this term, while DC sit bottom of the Eastern Conference, claiming just 22 points from 24 fixtures.
Los Angeles FC continued their brilliant run of form with a 5-0 victory over Charlotte FC on Saturday evening, which made it six straight MLS victories for the club.
Steven Cherundolo’s team have actually now won eight of their last nine in the league, which has left them top of the Western Conference, boasting a record of 17 wins, three draws and four defeats from 24 matches to collect 54 points, six more than second-placed Austin.
LAFC, who were only founded in 2014, have finished seventh and ninth in their last two Western Conference campaigns, but they were first in their conference and also overall back in 2019.
The additions of Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini have boosted an already-strong squad, while the club also have experienced Mexican striker Carlos Vela in their ranks.
Cherundolo’s side will fancy their chances of overcoming a struggling DC United on Tuesday evening, while a busy end to the month will also see them face San Jose Earthquakes, Austin and Houston Dynamo.
DC United, meanwhile, will enter this contest off the back of a 1-0 defeat to New England Revolution on Saturday evening, with Carles Gil scoring the only goal of the contest at Gillette Stadium.
Wayne Rooney’s side have only won one of their last eight in the league, which has left them bottom of the Eastern Conference on 22 points, boasting a record of six wins, four draws and 14 defeats from 24 matches.
The Black and Reds finished eighth in the Eastern Conference last season, but they are 11 points off that position at this stage and are also now seven behind the team directly above them, Atlanta United.
Rooney’s team would not have wanted to enter a clash with LAFC off the back of another defeat, especially with the hosts scoring 53 league goals during an impressive campaign thus far.
DC United have the worst defensive record in the Eastern Conference with 48 conceded, meanwhile, and they will surely need to put in one of their best performances of the season to stand a chance of picking up a positive result here.
Neither Bale nor Chiellini were involved against Charlotte on Saturday due to fitness problems, but the pair are expected to be back in the squad for this contest, with the latter likely to be in the first XI.
Bale’s involvement is expected to come from the bench, with the 33-year-old yet to start in the MLS this term, but he has contributed two goals against Kansas City and Real Salt Lake.
The home side are again likely to be without Danny Musovski, Julian Gaines and Erik Duenas through injury, so the XI is expected to be similar to the one that started against Charlotte, with Vela again joining Cristian Arango and Brian Rodriguez in the final third of the field.
As for DC United, a lengthy injury list includes Brad Smith, Bill Hamid, Hayden Sargis, Jacob Greene and Adrien Perez, with all five players likely to be out for the rest of the month.
Head coach Rooney would have been pleased with aspects of his team’s performance against New England on Saturday, so there are not expected to be wholesale changes for this match.
Kimarni Smith is expected to be brought into the side, though, while there could also be a position at the tip of the attack for Taxiarchis Fountas.
Former Man United youngster Ravel Morrison should also retain his spot in midfield.
Los Angeles FC possible starting lineup:
Crepeau; Hollingshead, Murillo, Chiellini, Palacios; Cifuentes, Ilie, Acosta; Vela, Arango, Rodriguez
DC United possible starting lineup:
Romo; Najar, Birnbaum, Alfaro, Smith; Durkin, Palsson, Morrison; Berry, Fountas, Rodriguez