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LAFC, Minnesota United meet looking to end struggles

Sep 10, 2022; Frisco, Texas, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Cristian Arango (9) chases the ball in the FC Dallas end during the first half at Toyota Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Two struggling sides square off on Tuesday night when Los Angeles FC face Minnesota United in Saint Paul, Minn.

Los Angeles has dropped four of its past five games, while Minnesota has been outscored 7-0 while losing three straight matches.

LAFC (19-8-3, 60 points) remains in first place in the Western Conference despite their slump, but have dropped to second behind the Philadelphia Union (63) for the Supporters’ Shield that is awarded to the team with the most regular-season points.

On Saturday, LAFC gave up goals in the 78th and 81st minutes to drop a 2-1 decision against host FC Dallas. Cristian Arango scored his team-best 16th goal for LAFC.

“We have a sour taste in our mouths,” midfielder Kellyn Acosta said afterward. “That’s the nature of the game. We have to switch our focus. Flush this game out of our system and look to Minnesota.”

LAFC played a man down after losing defender Ryan Hollingshead to a red card in the 13th minute.

“I feel horrible for the boys that they didn’t get anything out of it,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said. “When you look at the effort they put in, they deserved it.

“There are four games left and they are four we would love to win. But we’re focused on Minnesota first.”

Minnesota United (13-12-5, 44 points) reside in sixth place in the West and badly need to end their slump.

It would help if star midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (ankle) is on the field after sitting out Saturday’s 1-0 road loss against the Portland Timbers. Reynoso leads the Loons with 10 goals and nine assists.

Reynoso participated in light workouts on Monday, but coach Adrian Heath wasn’t ready to commit to having Reynoso available.

“He trained this morning and he looked OK,” Heath told reporters. “The problem we’ve had with him is after he has worked, not actually (while) doing it. It’s the swelling and pain that comes after it.”

Minnesota is two points behind fourth-place Nashville SC and stands five ahead of the ninth-place Seattle Sounders. Only the top seven make the postseason field.

“Win a couple games and we’ll be fine,” Heath said. “Obviously, we said that with six games to go and now we’re down to four.”

LAFC recorded a 2-0 home win over Minnesota United on May 1. The all-time series is knotted at 2-2-3.

–Field Level Media