Los Angeles FC head coach Steve Cherundolo declared he is “well aware” of the test that Minnesota United will pose when they visit in MLS on Sunday.
The Black and Gold boast the best record in MLS this season, topping the Western Conference with 19 points after eight games.
Los Angeles defeated FC Cincinnati 2-1 in their last outing, but Cherundolo expects another tough task when the Loons hit the road.
“Physical, unpredictability and creativity, we’re well aware of what is coming our way but we feel good in our preparation so far,” he said.
“Two more days to go, our team will be in a good spot to put ourselves in a position where we can win another game.
“We need to push the tempo up a little bit, in our terms the first half against Cincinnati was poor, defensively we are trying to get rid of the man-orientation that has slipped into our game.
“We have corrected that in the video analysis with the group and training, I’m sure we’ll see a different picture at the weekend.”
The Loons, meanwhile, are fifth in the West after a 3-0 victory over Chicago Fire, though Minnesota head coach Adrian Heath appreciates the sizable challenge ahead.
“They play in a similar shape, they play their 4-3-3 and they’ve got really good attacking pieces, whether it be (Cristian) Arango or whether it be (Carlos) Vela,” he said.
“Obviously, (Cristian) Fernandez is injured. (Kwadwo) Opoku has come in and done well. It’s going to be tough at their place. It always is.
“We’ve been there in the past and got a couple of results so it’s going to be tough but not impossible. Looking forward to it.”
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Los Angeles FC – Carlos Vela
Carlos Vela set up the winner in the Black and Gold’s last game, his third assist of the 2022 MLS campaign.
Minnesota United – Robin Lod
Robin Lod has scored in consecutive MLS games, taking his tally to a team-leading three goals for the season.
KEY OPTA FACTS
·Los Angeles FC won its first match against Minnesota, 2-0, in May 2018. The Loons are unbeaten in the five meetings since (W2 D3), with the last three all ending in draws. Only the Timbers (6 games, active streak), have gone more consecutive meetings with LAFC without defeat.
·With its win over Cincinnati on Sunday, Los Angeles FC is on 19 points through eight matches, equaling the best start in club history (2019). No team has had more than 19 points at this stage of a season since Sporting Kansas City had 21 (W7 D0 L1) to start the 2012 campaign.
·After totaling five goals in its first six games this season, Minnesota United has scored three times in consecutive matches, both wins. The Loons could record three straight regular season wins for the first time since winning its first three games of the 2020 season.
·Kellyn Acosta and Danny Musovski became the 11th and 12th LAFC players to score a goal already this season, while no other team has more than nine different scorers. LAFC has one more goalscorer (12) than Minnesota United has total goals (11) so far this season.
·Emanuel Reynoso recorded a goal and an assist against the Fire on Saturday following a two-assist performance against the Rapids in his last match. The performance against the Fire on Saturday was the Reynoso’s ninth match with multiple goal contributions (including playoffs), only Kevin Molino (13) and Darwin Quintero (10) have had more games with multiple goal contributions in Loons history.