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May 14, 2024 8:25 pm

St. Louis City keeping pace in West, seek more vs. LAFC

chris durkin

They may only be a third of the way through the MLS season, but St. Louis City know the importance of each match.

St. Louis (3-1-7, 16 points) is coming off a 3-1 win against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, extending its unbeaten run to five matches (2-0-3). The second-year side sits ninth in the Western Conference and will have a chance to vault up the standings when it hosts Los Angeles FC on Wednesday.

Los Angeles (5-4-3, 18 points) is in fifth place. Two points separate six teams in fourth through ninth.

“You look at the table right now, we’re still trying to stick with everybody else,” midfielder Chris Durkin said. “It’s really tight right now. So we really needed that win (against Chicago).”

St. Louis has yet to win consecutive matches this season and hasn’t done so since Sept. 23 and Sept. 30, 2023.

The team has managed to stay in the mix with a league-leading seven draws and a league-low one loss on its record.

Joao Klauss scored twice in the win against the Fire last week and leads St. Louis with five goals. Four of those have come in the past four matches.

“Good from him, and the cherry on top is getting rewarded for all the hard work,” coach Bradley Carnell said. “I’m glad it’s starting to fall his way a little bit.”

Los Angeles arrives in St. Louis looking for its first road win of the season. The Black and Gold have struggled to pick up points as the visitors, going 0-4-1 thus far.

The overall picture has been better, however, with Los Angeles on a 3-1-2 run in its past six matches, including a 3-0 win against the Vancouver Whitecaps last week.

Cristian Olivera tallied twice in the victory to double his season total in MLS play. He’s scored three goals in his past two MLS matches and has five goals in the past three across all competitions.

“It’s been a long road for (Olivera) to become more prolific,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. “He’s put a lot of individual work in the training field with coaches, and he has the ability to also learn and get better, and I think that’s what you’re seeing.”

LAFC announced the long-expected signing of French striker Olivier Giroud on Tuesday. The 37-year-old is a former Arsenal, Chelsea and AC Milan star.

Los Angeles is 1-0-1 in two all-time matches against St. Louis.

–Field Level Media

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