Dynamo gear up for league’s ‘best team’ in LAFC

Fresh off having their six-match winning streak snapped, the Houston Dynamo on Sunday must face Western Conference-leading Los Angeles FC, who are on quite a roll themselves.

The Dynamo (8-7-6, 30 points) lost 3-2 in their visit to Real Salt Lake on Wednesday despite getting an early goal from Ibrahim Aliyu and another second-half equalizer on an own-goal created by Hector Herrera’s shot.

Though Salt Lake definitely enjoyed the majority of the night’s opportunities, both Sebastian Ferreira and Brad Smith had chances in second-half stoppage time to steal a point.

So while it was a disappointing result, it’s also the kind that coach Ben Olsen says will make his side eager to hit the field again.

“We’ve got, arguably, the best team in the league coming here, and it’s nice to be able to refocus very quickly for that,” Olsen said. “It won’t be hard to get up for them and understand the challenge ahead. We’re disappointed at the result … on Wednesday in Salt Lake. But we threw some punches.”

LAFC (13-4-4, 43 points) defeated their biggest rival, the LA Galaxy, 2-1 before more than 70,000 at the Rose Bowl on Thursday. They also extended their unbeaten streak to 10 matches.

Kei Kamara, who recently passed Landon Donovan to move alone into second place on the MLS career goal scoring list, netted his third goal of the season for LAFC and the 147th of his career, and Denis Bouanga converted from the penalty spot for his 14th of the season to double LAFC’s lead before halftime.

The Galaxy had more of the ball throughout the match and better chances in the second half, but they were defeated by their city rivals for the second time this season.

“Possession is one of the statistics that the Galaxy has traditionally been good in, and we are not,” LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo said afterward. “I think we’ve proven over the past couple years, and other teams around the world have proven that that’s not the only statistic that matters.”

LAFC also stands three points above RSL and two ahead of the Galaxy in the Western Conference standings. But the Black-and-Gold have lost in their last two trips to Houston and are winless in their last three.

–Field Level Media