Houston Dynamo, LAFC, Leagues, Major League Soccer, Story

Los Angeles FC will face arguably their toughest test all season as they prepare to play their second match in under 48 hours on Friday.

The MLS leaders (13-2-4, 43 points) will need to summon their strength against the host Houston Dynamo (8-7-3, 27 points) in a contest just two days removed from a 1-0 setback to Portland in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal match.

LAFC coach Bob Bradley lamented his team’s lack of offensive consistency in the loss to the Timbers, a rare event considering his team leads MLS with 50 goals in league play this season.

“The stat that says everything — I’m not big on stats — is in the first half we didn’t have a shot on goal, and in the second half I think we had one,” Bradley said. “We weren’t able to win balls in ways that we could get Carlos (Vela) and Diego (Rossi) more on the move through the middle.”

Vela, who leads MLS in goals (19) and assists (12), collected two of each in LAFC’s 4-2 win over Houston in the club’s last encounter on Oct. 12.

Midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye, who trails Vela and Rossi (10) in goals with four, noted that LAFC have little time to dwell on Wednesday’s setback with league goals still on the table.

“We have to understand that there’s more to play for, and our season isn’t over yet,” the 24-year-old Kaye said. “We have to forget about it and keep going forward because we got a lot of games left.”

Friday’s tilt figures to be a stern test against a Dynamo club that boasts a 7-0-3 mark at BBVA Stadium in Houston, although the team is just 1-5-1 in its last seven matches overall.

The Dynamo, in fact, have been licking their wounds after dropping a 3-2 setback to league-worst FC Cincinnati on Saturday.

Forward Romell Quioto converted a penalty kick in the 79th minute for Houston, which benefited from an own goal two minutes later but was unable to overcome a three-goal deficit.

“I didn’t recognize the way we played the first half. I didn’t recognize,” Dynamo coach Wilmer Cabrera said. “In the second half, we were very good. We were the Houston that we’re expecting, that we know each other, but we fell short. It is sad.”

–Field Level Media

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