Contact Form

    News Details

    LAFC will get much-needed rest after trip to Texas
    • October 7, 2023

    The Los Angeles Football Club is set to get a few things it hasn’t had a lot of in 2023.

    Rest, recovery and reps in training.

    Seven matches during the past three weeks, the third such taxing spell this year, concludes on Saturday in Texas as LAFC (13-10-9, 48 points) hopes to build on its midweek demolition of Minnesota with a game against a desperate Austin FC squad (10-14-8, 38 points).

    Five goals in 90 minutes on Wednesday, as many as last season’s MLS champions had in a half-dozen games in September, made for an emphatic end to a four-match scoreless streak.

    “I think our physical output against Minnesota was excellent only off two days’ rest,” LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo said prior to departing for the Texas capitol. “Again, another quick turnaround, two days of rest, now we’re looking for another good physical performance but it will be difficult.”

    The good news: Following Austin, which ended a 10-match winless streak on Wednesday as it attempts to climb into a second straight playoff berth, LAFC won’t play during the international break leading up to Decision Day in Vancouver on Oct. 21.

    “Players are relishing that fact,” Cherundolo said.

    A top-seven seed ensures LAFC’s MLS Cup defense begins a week after the regular season concludes in Canada.

    Beating Austin combined with dropped points from Vancouver and Houston would lock in a top-four spot for the Black & Gold, guaranteeing a pair of matches at BMO Stadium during the best-of-three opening round.

    Staggered to give enough time to physically and mentally recover, LAFC’s playoff run, however long it lasts, should feel like light work for an MLS group that played a record number of games over a calendar season.

    Executing with an intensity that is integral to its game model was tough to pull off during the season’s most congested moments, said midfielder Ilie Sanchez, “especially on the road in some games we wanted to do but were not able to do it physically.”

    “We can learn from that,” the Spaniard added after Wednesday’s win against Minnesota. “But from here until the end of the playoffs we all play with the same cards. We’ll all have the same resting time between games and more or less the travel distances will be the same, so it’s important we can secure home-field advantage and see what we can do.”

    With room to breathe coming, Cherundolo’s plan against Austin will balance lineup continuity for a team that conceded goals twice in five games and getting fresh legs on the field to preserve his players.

    LAFC captain Carlos Vela, 34, has traversed this line all year.

    Related Articles

    Los Angeles Football Club |

    Denis Bouanga helps LAFC rout Minnesota, clinch playoff spot

    Los Angeles Football Club |

    LAFC missing that home cooking as regular season winds down

    Los Angeles Football Club |

    LAFC stumbles against Real Salt Lake

    Los Angeles Football Club |

    LAFC looks to overcome inconsistent scoring against Real Salt Lake

    Los Angeles Football Club |

    LAFC falls to Tigres on penalty kicks in Campeones Cup

    While scoring nine goals with 12 assists in 32 league appearances (22 starts), the Mexican forward has played in 42 of the club’s 47 games so far, contributing 14 goals and 15 assists in total.

    However in Vela’s last nine games, including Wednesday’s two-assist performance in his 150th regular-season appearance with LAFC, he is goalless.

    Vela’s next goal would mark the fourth time in six years that he produced double-digit goals and assists. Only three players in MLS history have done the same: Jaime Moreno, Preki and Diego Valeri.


    When: Saturday, 5:30 p.m. PT

    Where: Q2 Stadium, Austin, Texas

    TV/Radio: Apple TV+ – MLS Season Pass/710 AM, 980 AM

    ​ Orange County Register