SANDY, Utah — LAFC have now won four straight, and the last team to beat them is coming across town to Banc of California Stadium on Sunday. But before they try to rid themselves of their El Trafico hex, LAFC have the San Jose Earthquakes to deal with in a mid-week match on Wednesday night (10:30 pm ET | UniMas, Twitter in US; MLS LIVE on DAZN in Canada).
Both games are at home so travel won’t add to the grind of three games in eight days. The Quakes' unique style is a different story.
“We know San Jose’s style and we know they’re a tough team to play against and they’re going to work hard from the first minute to the 90th minute,” LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller said. “We played them early on in the season before they had things figured out and had a good result up there, but lately they’ve been playing well.”
First-year manager Matias Almeyda was still learning his roster when LAFC beat his San Jose squad 5-0 in their first meeting back at Avaya Stadium this March. Their second meeting — LAFC's 3-1 triumph over San Jose at The Banc in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup in June — was far more competitive, with the Quakes even taking an early lead on the road.
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It was that latter encounter that has likely lingered with LAFC as they prepare for their third meeting.
“They’re playing a playing style that nobody else plays in MLS,” LAFC forward Adama Diomande said. “It’s always difficult. We know our own playing style and know how to play our game, so we’ll be ready for it.”
That’s the same message Bradley will have for his team leading up to Wednesday’s kick.
“Matias Almeyda has done a really good job," he said. "We’ve had two games with them. We know what it’s like when they’re tight man-to-man and you have to find different ways to move and open up space.”
Of course, as Bradley has preached all year, his squad has more than enough talent to make any opponent adjust to them, even one with unique tactics like Almeyda's.
“Teams have to try to stop us,” Bradley said. “We believe in the way we play.”