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LAFC vs. LA Galaxy: Three Questions

This one’s a little bit different.

MLS: Portland Timbers at Los Angeles FC Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

The LA Galaxy will look to confirm the regular season series against LAFC Sunday when the teams square off in El Trafico for the fourth time this year. Ahead of the game, let’s catch up with the person who runs SB Nation’s LAFC site, Angels on Parade, which is me. Yes, I’m going to interview myself about the Galaxy’s opponent, let’s do this.

LAG Confidential asks Angels on Parade:

  1. How have LAFC been playing since the last time they faced the Galaxy?

Kind of all over the place, honestly. LAFC have missed Carlos Vela since he got hurt a couple meetings back against the Galaxy, and there’s more where that came from. After changing goalkeepers, LAFC have only had two constants in the XI, defender Eddie Segura and forward Bradley Wright-Phillips.

Around the time of the two losses to the Galaxy, LAFC lost four in five games, but they’ve bounced back a bit since then, going 4-3-1 lately. They’re above the playoff line and they are looking to clinch and find some form for the playoffs (if they ultimately clinch).

But compared to how strong they were last year, LAFC are still struggling to find consistency game to game. One game, they’ll win big. The next one, they’ll lose. They drew last time, against the Portland Timbers, so who knows what that will mean for this game.

2. What will LAFC try to do differently against the Galaxy?

Basically, they will try to dictate the tempo. Generally LAFC have at least a chance in games when they are controlling the run of play, and they have struggled this season at doing that at times. If their energy is good and they are running the game, they will be more comfortable and more apt to win.

At the same time, they’ve been very shorthanded lately but they’ll get a bunch of key players back — Diego Rossi will almost certainly start, same for Brian Rodriguez and Diego Palacios. Jose Cifuentes could be back in midfield. And Tristan Blackmon and Carlos Vela could be back from injury and play some in this game. There has to be a concern about Vela’s form, if he does get on the field, since he’s played one game since the season shut down in March, but all those returns will surely help LAFC’s quest to play the game the way they want to Sunday.

3. So if LAFC are struggling, how can they be beat these days?

Inconsistency means they are less apt to go up multiple goals and weather a shootout or comeback, and that puts pressure on the defense. The defense has long been the concern for Bob Bradley’s team, and it’s been challenging this season. They’ve also made changes — Jesús David Murillo was signed this month after LAFC’s center back situation hit a dire point, and he was thrown in right away last week against the Timbers, and had a good debut. If he proves to be an upgrade game over game, that will help LAFC a lot. But time will tell.

The Galaxy can beat LAFC if they control the game and if they score a couple goals, the earlier the better. They’ve obviously done it already this year, but if LA get their mojo fully back they can definitely get a result against a wobbly rival.

4. (Bonus) That’s all you got? I think you could do better.

You would say that.

You can see my answers to, um, my questions about the Galaxy over at Angels on Parade.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.