ExLink - 06/30/18 - LAFCvPHI

LAFC vs. Philadelphia Union
2018 MLS Regular Season — Week 18

Banc of California Stadium — Los Angeles
June 30 - 8 pm ET

After a 2-0 win over Columbus Crew SC last Saturday night, LAFC look to continue their unbeaten streak at home and possibly move up to second in the Western Conference when they take on a Philadelphia Union team that is above the playoff line in the East after a 4-0 home win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC.

LAFC are one of nine teams averaging at least 2.0 points per MLS home game in 2018. The Union are averaging just 0.6 points per road game in league play, tied for the fourth-worst average in MLS, per Opta.


Laurent Ciman made a triumphant return from Russia after not making Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad by scoring another free kick goal in the fourth minute. Adama Diomande followed with his fourth goal in his last three games as LAFC (8-4-3) improved to 3-0-3 at Banc of California Stadium with a 2-0 win over Crew SC.

While it was good to have Ciman return, LAFC will have to wait a bit longer for Carlos Vela, who helped lead Mexico into the Round of 16 where they will face Brazil on Monday

“We knew we were getting a leader, a guy in the back who could help us be a team that could play from the back,” Bob Bradley said of Ciman. “But the part with his free kicks has been a great surprise. Obviously by now, in certain situations, he’s capable of coming up with something that is different.”

  • Suspended: None
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: F - Carlos Vela, F - Marco Urena, M - Omar Gaber
  • Injury Report: OUT: GK - Luis Lopez (right tibial stress fracture)

Projected Starting XI
(4-3-3, right to left)
GK: Tyler Miller — Steven Beitashour, Laurent Ciman, Walker Zimmerman, Jordan Harvey — Benny Feilhaber, Eduard Atuesta, Lee Nguyen — Latif Blessing, Adama Diomande, Diego Rossi

  • Notes: Diomande has a xG (ex. penalties) of 3.31 in the month of June. Only one other player has an xG (ex. penalties) of more than 2.68 (Gyasi Zardes – 3.04). … LAFC are 3W-0L-3D at home this season, one of five teams without a home loss in MLS play in 2018.

Philadelphia Union

After back-to-back league losses, Philadelphia (6-7-3) rebounded in a big way with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Vancouver at Talen Energy Stadium. The win also comes on the heels of a 2-1 U.S. Open Cup Round of 16 triumph over the New York Red Bulls.

Borek Dockal struck for a brace and, after defender Jose Aja was sent off for DOGSO, Ilsinho converted from the penalty spot to put the Union in front, 3-0. After the Whitecaps were reduced to nine when Yordy Reyna was sent off for his second bookable offense, Fafa Picault capped the blowout with a penalty kick in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

The Union had a 25-2 edge in shots, 11-0 on target.

“We do have a confident group right now, one that is playing some good attacking soccer, I think is defending well as a team,” Jim Curtin said. “In these critical summer months, as it creeps into July and August, you have to be a team that’s finding ways to grind out results on the road and that will start now with going on a tough trip to LAFC.”

  • Suspended: M - Haris Medunjanin
  • Suspended after next caution: None
  • International duty: None
  • Injury Report: OUT: D - Josh Yaro (concussion); QUESTIONABLE: D - Richie Marquez (Sports hernia surgery)

Projected Starting XI
(4-2-3-1, right to left)
GK: Andre Blake — Keegan Rosenberry, Mark McKenzie, Auston Trusty, Raymon Gaddis — Alejandro Bedoya, Warren Creavalle — Ilsinho, Borek Dockal, Fafa Picault — C.J. Sapong

  • Notes: Last weekend, Dockal became the second Union player to record 2+ goals and 5+ key passes in a MLS match in team history. … The Union are averaging just 0.4 goals per road game in 2018, the third lowest of any MLS team. It is 1.5 goals per game lower than their average at home (1.9), the third-largest differential between home and away goals per game in MLS.

All-Time Series

  • This is the first all-time meeting between Los Angeles Football Club and the Philadelphia Union


Referee: Robert Sibiga
Assistant Referees: Peter Manikowski, Michael Kampmeinert
4th Official: Alejandro Mariscal
VAR: Younes Marrakchi