LAFC looks to snap out of road funk in St. Louis – Orange County Register

Aiming for its first road victory this Major League Soccer season, the Los Angeles Football Club will try on Wednesday to knock off St. Louis City SC, last year’s Western Conference top seed.

In the midst of LAFC’s initial stretch with midweek games, Steve Cherundolo’s team stifled the only conference opponent that was unbeaten following a charter flight, overrunning Vancouver 3-0 on Saturday.

For LAFC’s fourth match in 12 days, it will be at CITYPARK, where the second-year franchise is 3-0-3 and one of four teams without a loss in front of their supporters, joining LAFC, the Galaxy and New York Red Bulls. Overall, St. Louis lost once in 11 regular-season matches, recording seven draws.

After winning away from BMO Stadium for the first time in 2024 with a decisive do-or-die Round of 32 U.S. Open Cup triumph Wednesday, LAFC heads to St. Louis (3-1-7, 16 points) presented with another chance to spoil an opponent’s success while proving something to themselves about putting on a complete 90-minute performance in hostile territory.

“All wins help,” Cherundolo said of the 3-1 victory over the USL champion Las Vegas Lights. “And it’s obviously against an opponent we expected to beat. It’s a different story in St. Louis. They’re a tough team to beat at their place. So, yeah, it’s a more difficult task but every win helps. And now it’s two wins in a row. The team is in good form.”

LAFC took four of six points off St. Louis in 2023, twice shutting out the expansion team. Noting that performance is more important than the actual result at this moment, Cherundolo repeated how much he was looking forward to watching the players execute better than their typical away days thus far.

Taking on a foe that is tactically disciplined and full of energy, one that capitalizes on mistakes and feeds off chaos, the “more you play into that, your chances of getting a point or three decreases,” Cherundolo said. “We need to be sure not to feed into that chaos and try to calm the game down whenever we can, but also try to break them down.”

Resembling last season’s never-ending back-to-back reality, playing more often seems to suit LAFC (5-4-3, 18 points), which is relatively healthy and getting contributions across the roster.

“Guys that haven’t necessarily started all the games at the beginning of the year are coming in and making amazing impacts,” center back Aaron Long said. “We feel good right now. We’re excited to go on the road and get a result here.”

Defender Ryan Hollingshead is quickly recovering from a scary looking incident involving his neck in Las Vegas, and 18-year-old winger David Martinez continues progressing from a stress fracture in his back. The talented Venezuelan has returned to the practice field but not for full training, which should come the latter half of this month if he stays on target to play in June.

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