“Personally, I don’t care about stats,” said center back and club captain Kendall Waston.
The comment came after being asked about LAFC’s scoring ability.
Through the first six matches of 2019, LAFC, who FC Cincinnati play Saturday night in California, have scored 19 goals – the most through as many matches in MLS history. They also have the league’s two leading goal scorers, Carlos Vela (seven goals) and Diego Rossi (six goals).
Yes, the stats are impressive. But building off Waston’s point, they won’t mean much at kickoff Saturday night. Then, Cincinnati will try extending its away unbeaten streak to three games. In this instance, that means earning a result against the best team in MLS.
“That’s a huge challenge but these are the moments you want to have in this business,” Head Coach Alan Koch said. “You want to go play against a good team that’s feeling very, very confident.
“Why not go there and try doing something special?”
FC Cincinnati sit fifth in the Eastern Conference standings with eight points, and enter the match following a 1-1 home draw with Sporting Kansas City last Sunday.
While the game finished level, the Orange and Blue provided sparks of creativity in the final third and produced multiple chances to score moregoals.
Offensive efficiency will be crucial Saturday night, when attacking chances could be limited against the league leaders. LAFC are unbeaten at home and have only lost at Banc of California Stadium once since the club joined MLS last season.
“It’s a challenge, but to be fair, every game we play in this league is a challenge,” Koch said. “I’ve said this since the very beginning; we are the underdogs. Yeah, we’ve come through a couple games in a very possible way, but we also struggled in some games too.
“This is going to be a tough challenge for us, but we’re excited about it. We’re looking forward to embrace playing against one of, if not the best team in the league right now at their place.”
FC Cincinnati at LAFC
Kickoff: 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Banc of California Stadium
Weather Forecast: Partly cloudy, 69 degrees
TV: WSTR Star64
Local Video Stream: FloFC
Out of Market Video Stream: ESPN+
Local Radio: WDJO (99.5 FM | 107.9 FM | 1480 AM)
Audio Stream: TuneIn App, fccincinnati.com
Player to Watch and his Health Carousel Player Resume:
Opponent’s Player to Watch: forward Carlos Vela
Vela leads MLS with seven goals and four assists. The Mexican international has thrived since he moved to LAFC.
In 34 MLS matches since 2018, Vela has 21 goals and 17 assists. He was named the league’s MVP last month.
- Logan Gdula is currently on loan with Lamar Batista, Triston Blackmon and Shaft Brewer Jr. at Phoenix Rising FC in the USL Championship.
- Batista was also with the Portland Timbers in 2017-18, alongside Fanendo Adi and Alvas Powell, while Darren Mattocks joined in 2017.
- Nick Hagglund played with Steven Beitashour at Toronto FC in 2016 and 2017.
- Emmanuel Ledesma and Technical Director Luke Sassano were with Dejan Jakovic at the New York Cosmos in 2017.
- LAFC’s Walker Zimmerman was with FC Dallas from 2013-17. During that time, he played with Victor Ulloa, while Roland Lamah joined in 2017.
- LAFC’s Jordan Harvey was with Vancouver Whitecaps FC from 2012-2017. He played with FCC’s Darren Mattocks (2012-2016), Kekuta Manneh (2013-2017), Kendall Waston (2014-2017) and Spencer Richey (2015-2017).
- Greg Garza played with Alejandro Guido at Tijuana in 2016.
- Eric Alexander was given his United States Men’s National Team debut under LAFC Head Coach Bob Bradley. Zak Abdel, LAFC’s Goalkeeper Coach, was also with the national team as a coach.
- Mike Sorber, LAFC’s Director of Soccer Operations, was previously an assistant with the Philadelphia Union. There, he worked with Jimmy McLaughlin in 2014 and 2015, and with Corben Bone in 2014.
- Mark-Anthony Kaye played for FCC’s USL-arch rival Louisville City FC in 2016 and 2017.