Houston Dynamo v LAFC, Saturday July 13, 02:00 BST
Los Angeles FC have set a strong pace at the front of the MLS pack this summer and they head to Houston this weekend hoping to extend that lead in the West.
Limited History Suggests Goals
LAFC are only in their second season in MLS, so there is limited history to draw on when looking for clues for this game, but one thing that is apparent is that these teams can produce plenty of goals.
Their first meeting with Houston took place last July and saw LAFC earn a 2-2 draw at BBVA Compass Stadium. The return fixture at Bank of California Stadium in October produced an LAFC comeback to win 4-2 on their way to finishing third in the Western Conference.
There was also an action-packed US Open Cup encounter between the two sides in August that went to penalties after they’d shared six goals in Houston. That’s 16 goals in 3 games at an average of 5.33 per game, suggesting fans could be in for plenty of excitement.
Fluent LAFC Hope to Extend Lead
Whereas some of the leading MLS contenders have shown inconsistent form this season, LAFC have kept up the pace throughout, losing only twice. They go into this game nine points clear in the West and seven points clear of the leading side in the East, Philadelphia, over whom they have two games in hand. They’ve also won three of their last five on the road in the MLS, thrashing Kansas 5-1 last time, although they did suffer a surprise US Open Cup loss to Portland in the week.
Houston Losing Ground
Houston have been to four MLS Cup finals, winning two of them, but there has been a gradual decline in recent seasons, and that has been mirrored by their form this time. After a solid start, they’ve lost five of their last seven, including a 3-2 defeat against struggling Cincinnati last time, and head coach Wilmer Cabrera’s counter-attacking style has been increasingly easy for teams to unpick.
LAFC Odds Against
A trip to Houston is never easy, and the Dynamo are regarded as 6/5 favourites with many bookmakers, but LAFC are full of confidence right now and could attract some interest among MLS punters at their current odds of 2/1.