Los Angeles FC coach Steve Cherundolo admits he is happy to see his side return to winning ways as they look to wrap up top spot in the MLS Western Conference, with the California outfit making the trip to face FC Dallas this weekend.
A run of three straight losses was snapped by LAFC against Real Salt Lake last time out, to keep them on track to take top spot heading into the postseason campaign.
Cherundolo however is more relieved that they have found their way back to a victorious result, stating: “We’re happy to get three points again and that winning feeling back at LAFC.
“We went on a little three-week, soul-searching adventure and we came out, I hope, long term better for it. I truly believe that. Psychologically, when you get knocked down, it’s very important to get back up and to keep going down the same path.
“That’s what we’ve done. And to understand why you fell down and to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I think that’s what we’ve achieved in the last couple weeks.”
Opposite number Nico Estevez meanwhile hopes his team have turned the corner when it comes to finding goals, with Dallas have struggled to a point to generate finishes this season.
“I think, ultimately, scoring is important,” he stated. “Generating clear chances and feeling comfortable among the attackers is too. I think the team, little by little, is getting to know each other better and getting a better understanding between each other.
“I think in that sense, we analyzed some things, and I think that revision we did with the players, talking about it and working on it here on the training pitch helped us a lot to keep working and growing.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Dallas – Jesus Ferreira
The 21-year-old has been a lethal operator for the Texan outfit this term, emerging as their top scorer to date. His 16 goals this season has been exceeded by only three players across the rest of the league.
LAFC – Gareth Bale
The Wales international’s fitness issues means he has been something of a sporadic presence in recent weeks, perhaps seeking to conserve his qualities for the Qatar 2022 World Cup. But he is still a superb performer – and his efforts off the bench could prove key.
KEY OPTA FACTS
– Los Angeles FC has won its last three matches against Dallas, including a 3-1 home win on June 29. LAFC has won four of the seven all-time meetings in MLS, but only one of the three played in Dallas (D1 L1).
– FC Dallas scored all three of its goals in a span of 3 minutes, 43 seconds against Minnesota on Saturday. It was the fastest a team has scored three times in MLS since at least 2010, besting Dallas’ three goals in 3:53 against Austin last August.
– Los Angeles FC snapped a three-match losing streak (all on the road) with a 2-0 home win over Real Salt Lake on Sunday. LAFC has collected 78 more points at home (172) than on the road (94) in its MLS history, only Real Salt Lake (+84 at home) has a larger difference since LAFC entered MLS in 2018.
– Jesús Ferreira scored his 16th goal of the season in Dallas’ win at Minnesota on Saturday. Ferreira is now just two goals away from the club’s single regular season record of 18 set by Jason Kreis in 1999 and equaled by Kenny Cooper in 2008.
– Cristian Arango has scored in three straight MLS matches and has now scored 15 times this season. Arango is the third different LAFC player to score 15 goals in a single season (C. Vela, D. Rossi in 2019) as no other team has had three different players score at least 15 times in a single season since 2018.