Can LAFC break out of their slump against the Crew?
By: Andrew Doran
For the first time this season, LAFC have hit a scoring slump. In the last four game, they have only managed to put five goals into the back of the net, and four of them came in one game. Teams around the league are starting to figure out how to stop LAFC. Now, the Black & Gold have to go to Columbus to try and get out of their scoring slump and bring home three vital points.
When asked about how this years Columbus team looks compared to last year, Bob Bradley thought they were pretty similar. “(Federico) Higuain is very much the same,” said Bradley. “The way they play 4-2-3-1 and their ideas of playing from the back, those things stay the same.”
If LAFC is going to try and get a road victory, they are going to have to shut down Higuain and Gyasi Zardes. Zardes has the most goals for the Crew this year, with his tally sitting at four. Higuain only have one goal to his name, but has four assists, leading the Crew.
“The number one way we try to shut down any player is to be so good at playing the football we want to play. That is the part that gives us the edge,” said Bradley. “But we also understand every game that there are players that are important and that we need to have an understanding on how they play, how they move.”
LAFC have practically completed a third of the season already, so the health of the players is going to become a larger talking point. Bradley confirmed in his weekly media scrum that all players have been training, although some might not be every single day. While no names were confirmed, it would mean that hopefully Andre Horta, Rodolfo Zelaya, and Adama Diomande are almost back to full strength.
While it feels like LAFC are in slide, it is not compared to the Black & Yellow of Ohio.The Crew have lost five of their last six games, with their win coming against the LA Galaxy on Wednesday night. They have a new manager this year, with Caleb Porter taking the helm after Gregg Berhalter left for the US Men’s National Team. Porter’s system is still taking shape within the squad, but even with a poor April, the Crew are fifth in the Eastern Conference, with 16 total points.
If LAFC are going to have a chance at winning this game and getting back on track, they need to find that first early goal. When LAFC has struggled at putting the ball past the keeper, the other team just ends up closing in the final attacking third of LAFC’s and the team can’t get anything going. With an early first goal though, the game has to open up more because the other team needs to find a goal in response.