LAFC, Real Salt Lake jockeying for playoff positions | RopSport

LAFC, Real Salt Lake jockeying for playoff positions


Two clubs still trying to work their way into the postseason picture clash Sunday night when host Los Angeles FC and Real Salt Lake meet in the only MLS match of the day.

Los Angeles (7-9-6, 27 points) might be finding some offensive rhythm and consistency after scoring seven goals in its last two games, a win and a draw.

Real Salt Lake (8-8-6, 30 points) are coming off a 3-2 home win over FC Dallas on Sept. 4 and entered the weekend in seventh place in the tightly bunched Western Conference.

LAFC has won three straight matches against Real Salt Lake, including both previous games this season. LAFC has won all three regular season matches against RSL at Banc of California Stadium.

Salt Lake has lost four straight games away from Sandy, Utah, and is 2-6-2 on the road this season. Interim head coach Pablo Mastroeni has been in charge since Aug. 27, when the team and former coach Freddy Juarez parted ways.

“One of the things that I really want to focus on is our mentality, to play higher up the field, to play more direct, to look forward,” Mastroeni told SB Nation. “It could be considered tactical, but for me, it’s more of a mentality.”

Both teams will be without a number of players due to either injury or the fact that some are returning from international duty and not yet ready to be active. Forward Carlos Vela, the biggest name on the LAFC roster, is week-to-week in terms of when he will be ready to come back from injury.

“Very pleased obviously with the set piece goals, and I thought the overall mentality of the club was very strong,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said of his team’s 4-0 pounding of Sporting Kansas City on Sept. 3.

That win ended an eight-game winless streak for the club.

–Field Level Media