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Massive Predictions: Crew vs Los Angeles FC

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Can the Black & Gold start a new, more positive, streak on Saturday night?

MLS: Columbus Crew at Los Angeles FC Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time in a long time, we come into these predictions on the back of a win for Columbus Crew SC. The Black & Gold ended a five-game losing streak on Wednesday night, defeating the LA Galaxy 3-1 thanks to goals from Gyasi Zardes, Federico Higuain and Hector Jimenez. On Saturday, the other Major League Soccer team from LA, Los Angeles Football Club, comes to MAPFRE Stadium.

If the Crew thought they had a tough challenge in the Galaxy game, they have another thing coming on Saturday. LAFC is MLS’s top team so far in the 2019 season with 24 points and suffering just one defeat so far this year.

Can Columbus start a new winning streak against Los Angeles after a stretch of five-straight losses that ended midweek? Let’s see what our staff thinks.

Guilherme Torres

It should be an interesting matchup, as a motivated Crew faces the best team in the league so far after a quick turnaround following the mid-week victory against the LA Galaxy.

The Crew performed at its best level so far in 2019 on Wednesday and if they can keep the same rhythm, they should be able to compete against LAFC. The Californians, however, have last played on Saturday, which should give them a physical edge over Columbus.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Los Angeles FC 2

Tyler Fisher

Well what do you know? Columbus Crew SC ACTUALLY won a game. But that doesn’t change the fact that they face LAFC next, a team that is tearing up the league right now. We can expect maybe a small shake up of the lineup, but if Columbus can do what they did to the LA Galaxy against LAFC, I can expect a Crew win. But they will have to stop Carlos Vela, and boy is he on fire so far. If Columbus can play as good as Wednesday, I can’t be mad if the game ends in a draw. Which is what I’m hoping for.
Columbus Crew SC 2 Los Angeles FC 2

Elmer Plasencia

The Crew got a much-needed win on Wednesday, finally breaking the five-match losing skid they had been on. The attack looked dangerous and was able to create chances in multiple ways while the defense was able to keep Zlatan Ibrahimovic at bay. Now the other LA team comes to town and I think that is going to be a different challenge altogether. This LAFC team is dangerous, they can score in bunches with an attack led by Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi. The backline and Zack Steffen are going to have a huge night for the Crew to pull out any kind of result. I think their talent will just prove to be too much for Columbus to overcome.
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Abigail Hintz

The Crew are coming into this match on a high after taking down the LA Galaxy on Wednesday. With LAFC coming to their place, the Crew are going to look to capitalize on the momentum they have going. This is the Black & Gold’s third game in eight days, however, so fans will truly get to see if they have the mental toughness to finish out the stretch with a win over a powerhouse Western Conference team.
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Patrick Murphy

If the schedule makers in MLS hadn’t stuck the Crew with two games against the league’s LA teams in three days, I would have a different take on this match. While I like what I saw from the Black & Gold on Wednesday and think that is repeatable, I’m not sure the short rest will do the home side any favors on Saturday. Especially considering LAFC didn’t play midweek.

Here are two stats that don’t have me feeling great about this game. Los Angeles forward Carlos Vela has scored only one fewer goals than Columbus, while the Crew’s 12 goals score this year is only four more than LAFC have allowed through 11 games. Oh, and LAFC is the best team in MLS.
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Mike Crosky

After the referee shenanigans again D.C. United last Saturday, the Crew’s response against the LA Galaxy was great! A 3-1 beating of one of the league’s best squads. I hope Crew fans are basking in the glory of that win, because I have a sneaking suspicion that Saturday’s get together with the other LA-based team will be drastically different. LAFC is the real deal and has the firepower to score goals at will. They also have given up the least amount of goals in the league this year, with a minuscule eight conceded. What do the Crew have going in their favor? The one loss LAFC had this year was on the road. Can the Crew make it two? Hopefully so. But if I am a betting man, I think this one ends in defeat.
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Nick Hudak

While Wednesday’s win against the LA Galaxy is something to build upon moving forward, the Crew face an entirely different test in LAFC. Statistically speaking, they feature both the league’s best offense and defense. On top of that, a red-hot Carlos Vela, who’s looking to add an MLS MVP award to his trophy cabinet this fall.

An away game at a fired-up MAPFRE Stadium in Columbus will be no easy task for Bob Bradley either. However, one good result for the Black & Gold doesn’t make me forget about their recent issues on both ends of the field. I think getting a result is possible, but I need to see more from the Crew before I restore all my faith back in the team.
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Ralph Schudel

Well I was wrong on Wednesday and I hope I’ll be wrong again Saturday but LAFC look like a damn good team. They boast excellent distribution from their midfield and the forwards are quite talented as well. The Crew need to play a more compact game and limit the LA chances in the final third. On offense, Columbus must finish its chances with the ferocity that we saw on Wednesday evening. It should be a dog fight but I think the Crew get overwhelmed in the end.
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Jimmy Lentz

The Black & Gold will host LAFC — the top team in MLS — that is led by the league’s leading scorer Carlos Vela (11 goals) and an incredible plus-18 goal differential after 11 matches compared to the Crew’s minus-3 goal differential. We’ll find out if the Galaxy game will be a turning point for Columbus, as the Crew has a golden opportunity to beat the top two teams in MLS in less than a week after its five-game losing streak. If the Black & Gold plays with the same intensity and focused, purposeful ball movement from Wednesday night, then Columbus will be in good shape to earn another positive result.
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Jay Homan

The losing streak has been broken! Reinforcements have arrived! The Crew beat a Supporters’ Shield-contending club! Taking on LAFC should be a cake walk... right?

If only. While the Galaxy are good, LAFC are outstanding so far this season. With a goal differential of plus-18, they are embarrassing the rest of the league. They haven’t been as bright the last couple of weeks with draws against the Chicago Fire and at the Seattle Sounders, but those are also two clubs that have shown they can hold their own as of late.

While it was refreshing to see the Crew score three goals on Wednesday, I am not expecting it to become the norm. Scoring consistency will be less of an issue going forward, but will take a bit of a step back against an LAFC team who has only given up eight goals in 11 matches. Expect the Crew to utilize the new Davids — David Guzman and David Accam — to some degree this weekend as Porter warms them up to the club. I am expecting Guzman to get a solid 30 minutes on Saturday as he works his way into the starting 11. I am not expecting a win, but a solid performance against the best in the MLS.
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How do you see Saturday’s game playing out? Can the Crew get a win over LAFC? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.