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Los Angeles FC v Minnesota United: Long aiming to build on LAFC´s growing momentum


Defender Aaron Long has praised Los Angeles FC’s recent defensive strength as they prepare to welcome Minnesota United to BMO Stadium on Wednesday.

LAFC have won their last four in all competitions without conceding a goal, with Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Atlanta United their 100th MLS regular-season win.

They currently sit fourth in the Western Conference with 24 points and can leapfrog opponents Minnesota United if they continue their winning streak.

“We touched on it a little bit earlier in the year when I was asked about giving up a lot of goals in a lot of weird ways,” said Long.

“We pride ourselves on being a good defensive team with a good structure and getting 11 guys behind the ball and working hard.

“More than anything, I think we have strikers, forwards and midfielders who can score a lot of goals. If we can hold zeros, we can win a lot of games. We held four zeros in a row, four wins, so let’s try and keep the ball rolling.”

When asked about reaching the milestone of their 100th win last Saturday, Long added: “To be the fastest to 100 or tied as the fastest to 100, is a huge, monumental step. I think it’s something that the club should be proud of.”

Meanwhile, Minnesota are second in the table, just four points behind leaders Real Salt Lake City after a 3-3 draw with Colorado Rapids last weekend.

They have not lost any of their last seven matches, and forward, Tani Oluwaseyi is looking forward to facing off against a tough opponent.

He said: “You always want to face the great teams and LAFC is a marquee team with a lot of really good players, really big players. Hopefully, we can put a great game plan together to go into that game.”

PLAYERS TO WATCH

LAFC – Mateusz Bogusz

Bogusz scored LAFC’s lone goal in their win in Atlanta on Saturday. Only four players have scored Los Angeles FC’s 15 goals since the beginning of April (excluding own goals): Denis Bouanga (six), Mateusz Bogusz (four), Cristian Olivera (three) and Timothy Tillman (two).

Minnesota – Tani Oluwaseyi

Oluwaseyi scored the second of Minnesota’s three goals on Saturday at Colorado, scoring for the third-straight MLS road game. Oluwaseyi is the second Minnesota player to score in three straight regular-season away matches after Franco Fragapane did so in June-July 2022.

MATCH PREDICTION: LOS ANGELES FC WIN

LAFC have won five straight matches in all competitions, keeping clean sheets in the last four. This equals their second-longest all-competition winning streak (seven straight in 2022) while it’s the second time LAFC have kept clean sheets in four straight matches (April 2023).

Meanwhile, Minnesota are unbeaten in six straight matches following a 3-3 draw at Colorado on Saturday (W4 D2). The Loons have scored multiple goals in all six games during that run.

Indeed, Minnesota ended a seven-match winless run against LAFC with a 2-0 home victory on March 16. Each team has won three times against the other with five of the 11 meetings ending in draws.

OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

LAFC – 51.5%

Draw – 25.3%

Minnesota – 23.2%





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