LAFC should not play their LAFC2 team on Tuesday against the LA Galaxy. While it may seem a bit logical, there have been a lot of doubts about whether they should do it. This has to do mainly with the fact that LAFC has a very full schedule, especially with the Concacaf Champions League Final coming up. And while the LAFC2 kids did a wonderful job against Monterey Bay in the previous round, this is not the same.
Yes, the first team indeed needs a break from all the games that they’ve played, basically 2-3 times a week since the beginning of April, but it is at the expense of being one of the best. The US Open Cup is one of the two trophies that LAFC is yet to win, and it should be a priority, especially against the LA Galaxy. A Galaxy team that is last in the Western Conference but that always shows LAFC a tough time; it is a rivalry, after all. I don’t see the LA Galaxy playing their youngsters in this game; after all, this could be their best shot at winning a title this season. Playing the kids against the Galaxy could not only cost LAFC the cup, but it could also expose some of the youngsters. By no means am I saying they are bad players; on the contrary, I am just unsure if they are ready for these types of games.
The best thing to do is to line up a mixture of first-team players and some LAFC2 players. Players like Erik Dueñas, Nathan Ordaz, and Christian Torres can be very helpful, surrounded by players like Bogusz, Palencia, Cifuentes, and more.
Tough Time in the Cup
LAFC is yet to win the US Open Cup in 5 attempts, last year falling 3-1 to the LA Galaxy in the round of 16 as well. This upcoming game is more than just a cup game; it is a rivalry. It doesn’t matter if the Galaxy are in trouble or if you have the Champions League final the week after that; this is about how ambitious and how far this team can go across all competitions.
The mentality should be to go after all trophies every year, no matter what; that is what differentiates the great teams from the historical ones. Not to mention you can always rest the first-team players during some MLS games; you can afford to lose some points there. The priority right now should be Concacaf and the cup game; you have plenty of time in the league to make up for lost points.
Squad Depth Will Be Tested
This is also a great opportunity to see actually how good of a roster LAFC has. We all know how good Vela, Bouanga, Ilie, and the rest are, but do we really know how far we can go with players like Palencia, Bogusz, and Biuk? This is the time for them to demonstrate what they can do and show just how good our depth is.
Bogusz has scored one goal in five matches, while Biuk also registers one goal in 11 games. These are the weeks where depth is tested. It is also a great opportunity to continue giving minutes to Dueñas, Torres, and Ordaz, who has been killing it with LAFC2 and made his MLS debut this week against Sporting Kansas City.
The cup may seem like a burden for many fans, but it shouldn’t. All trophies are important and should be taken just as seriously. We cannot throw away this competition, big clubs go after all trophies all the time, and LAFC was born to be big.