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New York Red Bulls vs. Los Angeles Football Club | 2018 MLS Match Preview

New York Red Bulls vs. LAFC
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 23

Red Bull Arena — Harrison
August 5 - 6 pm ET


There’s storylines abound for this epic Sunday showdown between two of the league’s elite squads.

It’s teacher vs. pupil as LAFC’s Bob Bradley goes against Chris Armas of the New York Red Bulls, it’s East vs. West, it’s stars like Bradley Wright Phillips and Kaku against Carlos Vela and Adama Diomande.

Five teams are averaging more than 1.9 xG/game this season – two of which are the Red Bulls (1.9) and LAFC (1.9), per Opta.

New York Red Bulls

The Red Bulls (13-6-2) suffered just their second home loss of the season, losing 3-2 to Columbus Crew SC last Saturday. The visitors jumped all over the Red Bulls for three goals in the opening 31 minutes against Chris Armas’ second-choice 3-3-3-1 formation.

Wright-Phillips and Kaku came on for the start of the second half, which saw a furious rally from the Red Bulls in their familiar 4-2-3-1 look. It started with a Jonathan Mensah own goal in the 50th minute, followed by Daniel Royer’s sixth goal of the season in the 69th minute. The Red Bulls knocked on the door, but an equalizer wasn’t to be had in Harrison.

“Man, it was brutal,” Red Bulls goalkeeper Luis Robles said of the first half. “I don’t really have any reasons for it, it’s just we know internally it’s not good enough. We’re not necessarily going to point fingers at anyone or give any excuses, but the standards that we have here are high and that didn’t meet it so at the end of the day it was a big fail by us and we’ll learn from it.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: M - Florian Valot (torn left ACL), D - Kyle Duncan (torn right ACL), M - Vincent Bezecourt (MCL sprain)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Luis Robles — Kemar Lawrence, Tim Parker, Aaron Long, Michael Murillo — Sean Davis, Marc Rzatkowski — Tyler Adams, Kaku, Danny Royer — Bradley Wright-Phillips

  • Notes: Kaku has a MLS-best 14 assists in 18 games for the New York Red Bulls. Only three players tallied more in the 2017 regular season, and only two players have ever tallied 20+ assists in a single season. … Their 3-2 loss last weekend snapped New York’s six-game home unbeaten run in league games (5W-1D) in which they conceded three goals total. They have not lost consecutive league home games since 2015.

Los Angeles Football Club

Another sensational start for LAFC (10-5-6) was ruined by more goals conceded late in a 2-2 draw with the LA Galaxy in the second edition of El Trafico last Thursday night at Banc of California Stadium.

Vela and Lee Nguyen struck inside of the first 20 minutes and it appeared the expansion side was well on their way to a first win over their established rivals. Bur Romain Alessandrini and Ola Kamara scored four minutes apart inside the final eight minutes to send LAFC fans home frustrated again.

“We have ourselves to blame again,” Bob Bradley said. “If our football continues in the right way, if we still make the right passes, the right choices, we get the third goal.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: D - Walker Zimmerman
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Quillan Roberts (right fibular fracture), M - Mark-Anthony Kaye (fractured ankle)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Jordan Harvey — Lee Nguyen, Benny Feilhaber, Eduard Atuesta — Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Carlos Vela

  • Notes: Vela has six goals in seven road games this season. Only three players have more, and all three have played in at least 11 away matches. … After starting the season 4W-2L-0D in their first six league road games, LAFC is 1W-3L-1D in their last five. They have averaged 1.8 goals in their last five away games – they averaged 2.7 in their first five.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first all-time meeting between the New York Red Bulls and Los Angeles Football Club


Referee: Allen Chapman
Assistant Referees: Corey Rockwell, Jeremy Kieso
4th Official: Mark Geiger
VAR: Jorge Gonzalez

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Current Form

NY Red Bulls

Season Stats

New York Red BullsLos Angeles Football Club
21Games Played21
22Goals Conceded35
125Shots on Target127
236Fouls committed223
242Fouls suffered253

Goals Scored


Goals Conceded

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