D.C. United-Los Angeles FC Preview
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Looking at the standings, Los Angeles Football Club does not appear to be a typical expansion team and DC United does not appear to be one of the MLS original franchises.
The teams meet for the first time on Saturday night at Banc of California Stadium.
LAFC saw its six-game unbeaten streak end with a 2-1 road loss to Portland last Saturday.
Carlos Vela scored in his second straight game, giving him seven goals this season -- one behind Bradley Wright-Phillips of the New York Red Bulls, Josef Martinez of Atlanta and Gyasi Zardes of Columbus for the MLS Golden Boot lead.
"When I received the ball, I control and said, 'If I shoot there, it's a goal for sure,'" the 29-year-old Mexican forward said. "I believed a lot in that shot and I feel like, when I have a chance and have the time to prepare my body, then I would score a lot of times."
Vela has at least one point in four straight matches. He has been involved in nearly half of LAFC's 23 goals.
Before the loss, the club went 4-0-2 after a 4-3 defeat to their new crosstown rival, the LA Galaxy, on March 31, and a 5-0 thumping by Atlanta on April 7.
Still, for a first-year team, LAFC (6-3-2) doesn't have the record one would expect.
Coach Bob Bradley's club is in second place in the Western Conference, four points behind Sporting KC with a match in hand and is unbeaten at home with a 2-0-2 record.
DC United (2-5-2) begins play this weekend tied with Seattle and Colorado for the fewest points in MLS with eight. However, DC is also going for a two-game sweep through California after last Saturday's 3-1 win over San Jose.
"DC had a good win in San Jose so we certainly know they come in feeling positive about what's going on there," Bradley said after LAFC's 1-1 draw in a friendly with German side Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday in southern California.
United's victory also ended a 10-game road winless streak that stretched to last Aug. 19.
"We're growing as a group and still have some things we need to improve on, but we're getting better with each game," United coach Ben Olsen told the league's official website.
One player growing comfortable with DC is Darren Mattocks. The Jamaican forward, who scored against San Jose, needs one goal to exceed his total from last year when he collected four in 26 matches with Portland.
United is 10-3-2 all time in first meetings with expansion clubs.
Updated May 25, 2018