After extreme weather got in the way of that derby matchup against the LA Galaxy for the season opener, LAFC will play their home opener Saturday against the Portland Timbers. It’ll be the first official match at home since that thrilling MLS Cup final win last November. We’ll look at the previous home openers, what we can expect for this upcoming game and more.

Past openers

This will be LAFC’s sixth season in MLS and after finally winning MLS Cup last season, the expectations are higher than ever. LAFC will look to repeat last season’s success after winning MLS Cup and the Supporters’ Shield, and it all starts this Saturday.  LAFC started last season with a bang after beating the Colorado Rapids 3-0 with a Carlos Vela hat-trick. Since its debut in 2018, the club has a perfect record when it comes to home opening games with five wins out of five. Not only have they won all five of their home opening games, but they only have one goal against. This time they will face off against a Portland team that won their opening game 1-0 against Sporting Kansas City.

Match day

It is always important to start the season with a win, but when you are the current champions it is even more crucial. It can set the tone for a big part of the season and it helps the club gain confidence if you manage to get a win on your first game. The club will go in with some new faces and will be missing some familiar ones. The biggest change is probably the departure of Cristian ‘Chicho’ Arango who left for Liga MX champions Pachuca. Arango was crucial since he arrived in LA and quickly became a favorite. Latif Blessing, one of the fans’ most loved players also departed the club and joined the New England Revolution. Blessing was one of the originals who were with the club since its first season. MLS Cup hero Gareth Bale announced his retirement from football and will surely be missed, specially in those big games. But not everything has been sad news for the club. The Black and Gold also made transfers of their own. Players like Sergi Palencia, Stipe Buik, and Timothy Tillman. It’ll be interesting to see how the new signings adapt and perform under Steve Cherundolo.

What can we expect this season?

There are four main titles that LAFC will be competing for this season: MLS Cup, CONCACAF Champions league, U.S. Open Cup and the Supporters’ Shield. The order of importance and focus will depend on the club and on the opinion of each supporter, but we can all bet the club will try to win all four of them. Will they do it? I don’t think so. Winning all four titles would surely be one, if not the best season ever by an MLS team. When I say I don’t think this team will win all four of those titles, it isn’t becase I don’t believe in these players, it’s because doing that Is extremely hard. Not only is it hard for MLS teams to win all titles in a season, it is hard for even Europe’s best clubs. Only 2 clubs in Europa have ever won all major trophies available to them in a season (including Champions League of course). Not only that, but LAFC has never won the U.S. Open Cup and only one MLS team has ever won the CONCACAF Champions League in its current format. In order to compete for all four titles, the team would need extremely amounts of depth in each position. Players who can replace starting players and perform at a similar level. Let’s not forget the team hasn’t signed a striker to replace Arango. Maybe in the summer window the club will make new signings to increase the depth, but as of now, I would bet my money on the team losing at least one of the four titles.


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