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LAFC, riding 6-game win streak, face last-place D.C. United

Sportsnaut
Aug 13, 2022; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) moves the ball against Charlotte FC during the second half at Banc of California Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Los Angeles FC can run their club-record winning streak to seven games with a victory Tuesday at home against D.C. United, the lone game on the Major League Soccer schedule for the night.

A 5-0 win over Charlotte FC on Saturday gave LAFC the franchise record. Los Angeles (17-4-3, 54 points) exploded for all five of their goals in the second half after a scoreless first half.

The surge spoke to the offensive capabilities of a team loaded with talent and depth at the attacking positions. Jesus Murillo, Jose Cifuentes, Carlos Vela and Cristian Arango scored goals for LAFC, which also benefitted from a late own goal. Recently acquired star forward Gareth Bale was given a rest day, as was newly acquired defender Giorgio Chiellini.

“It’s a quick turnaround (to Tuesday), but it’s the same for both teams and we don’t have a long travel like D.C., so I see no disadvantage there for LAFC,” coach Steve Cherundolo said.

LAFC’s 54 points through 24 games are the second most in their brief history in MLS. They had accumulated 59 points after 24 games in 2019.

Los Angeles is also 10-1-2 at home this season and seeking a seventh straight home win at Banc of California Stadium. The club is now 17-0-1 when scoring two or more goals in a game this season and 9-0-0 when scoring three or more goals.

D.C. United (6-14-4, 22 points) have the lowest point total in MLS, with only one win since July 8. Their most recent outing was a 1-0 defeat to the New England Revolution on Saturday in Foxborough, Mass.

D.C. United have lost four straight away matches and were outscored 13-0 in those games. Only four teams in MLS history have suffered five straight shutout losses on the road, according to the MLS website.

The club is piecing together a new-look roster with new coach Wayne Rooney at the helm. One important piece is leading scorer Taxiarchis Fountas, who ranks 11th in MLS with a team-leading 11 goals.

“It’s not going to be an overnight thing,” Rooney said regarding a possible turnaround. “I know that. It will take a little bit of time, but we need to be smarter, the game management needs to be better.”

–Field Level Media