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First Touches is ready to put on an extra pot of coffee and stay up past its bedtime on Sunday, as the Loons travel to the friendly confines of Banc of California Stadium to face LAFC. Come for the surprisingly-dominant historical notes, stay for the news about Minnesota’s goals.

Stats and Notes

  • Of the six times that Minnesota has played LAFC since they joined MLS in 2018, the Loons have lost just once, a 2-0 loss in the very first match between them. To phrase it another way, LAFC haven’t beaten the Loons since May 2018.
  • This, of course, includes their trips to Los Angeles, which featured a memorable 2-0 win in 2019 when LAFC was comfortably atop the Western Conference and had not lost at home all season long.
  • Both 2021 fixtures between these two teams ended in draws, with Minnesota coming from behind in both to salvage a point. In Los Angeles, this featured Hassani Dotson’s 95th minute equalizer. Get well soon, Hassani.
  • LAFC currently leads all of MLS with 19 points and a 6-1-1 record through eight games; they led all eight of their fixtures by xG.
  • After a week with six goals in the league, Minnesota is now one of just six teams with a goal difference of +5 or better.
  • 19 goals on the season puts LAFC second in the league to Austin; they’re tied with Charlotte and Columbus for most goals from outside the 18-yard box with four.
  • Minnesota has still allowed just six goals on the season, good for a tie for fourth best in the league.
  • Carlos Vela is one of just six players in the league with three or more goals and three or more assists this season; Vela’s four goals are tops for LAFC this season.
  • LAFC has had twelve different goal scorers this season.
  • Bongokuhle Hlongwane recorded his first two assists of the season and of his MLS career in Saturday’s win over Chicago.
  • Kervin Arriaga scored his first goal in MLS and for Minnesota in the win over Chicago.
  • Minnesota’s 56.4% possession against Chicago was their highest such mark in a game this season.
  • Minnesota scored each and every one of the three shots on target in Saturday’s game.
  • Emanuel Reynoso was named to the MLS Team of the Week this week after a goal and an assist in Saturday’s game. After no goals or assists in his first four games of the season, he’s up to two goals and three assists in the last four.

Minnesota Connections

  • LAFC forward Carlos Vela’s brother, Alejandro, played for Minnesota United during its NASL tenure. He made eight appearances for the Loons in 2015.
  • Tyler Miller played for LAFC during the club’s inaugural season in 2018 and in 2019.
  • Marco Farfan spent his first five years in the league with the Portland Timbers, overlapping there with MNUFC Assistant Coach Sean McAuley from 2016–2018.
  • Maxime Crepeau and Dayne St. Clair have played for the Canadian men’s national team together.

MATCH INFO

Minnesota United FC vs. LAFC
Banc of California Stadium | Los Angeles, CA
05.01.22 | MLS Game No. 9
9:00 pm CT (FS1, FOX Deportes, SKOR North)