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Jun 21, 2024 9:20 pm

LAFC look to even score against lowly Earthquakes

olivera earthquakes

On paper, Los Angeles FC appear to be a good bet to keep their recent run of success going.

Going into their home encounter with the struggling San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night, LAFC (10-4-4, 34 points) are 6-0-1 in their last seven matches, outscoring the opposition by a whopping 13-2. That includes a 1-1 draw Wednesday night in Austin, where Kei Kamara scored on a 90th-minute header to salvage a point.

“Away from home, we’re always happy with a point when you go down a goal,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. “… We’ll take it and we’ll carry this momentum back home and try to win a game Saturday.”

Meanwhile, San Jose (3-13-2, 11 points) is 0-5-1 in its last six matches, including a 2-1 loss Wednesday night at home to Portland. The Earthquakes sit in last place in the West and have allowed a league-worst 45 goals.

San Jose could have escaped with a draw but Cristian Espinoza’s potential tying goal sailed just over the crossbar in stoppage time.

“The game is cruel,” Earthquakes coach Luchi Gonzalez said. “Too many times, we’ve been in leads or been in good momentum so it could have or should have or deserve to be winning while we’re creating. I love the excitement our guys play with.”

While the trends all suggest a one-sided LAFC win, one of San Jose’s rare victories this year was a 3-1 verdict when the teams met on May 4 in Santa Clara. The Earthquakes actually owned a 3-0 lead before Cristian Olivera tallied in the 69th minute.

To make a similar result happen on the road, the Earthquakes must tighten up defensively and earn more possession time. Their 44.5 possession rate is 28th of 29 teams in the league and has been a reason why they’ve plucked the ball out of the net so often.

Both teams will be short-handed due to Copa America. San Jose will be without midfielder Carlos Gruezo, who is playing for Ecuador, while Olivera will represent Uruguay.

LAFC boast a 9-7-2 lead in the all-time series.

–Field Level Media

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