11 – Players away
Both Orlando City and LAFC will be approaching Saturday night’s game short-handed. Orlando are missing five players on international duty, with Tesho Akindele, Will Johnson, and Kamal Miller all headed to Canada, Sebas Mendez to Ecuador, and Carlos Ascues to Peru for the first time in three years. Not to be outdone, LAFC are sending six players away, including midfield stars Mark-Anthony Kaye (Canada) and Eduard Atuesta (Colombia U23s), summer DP signing Brian Rodriguez (Uruguay), and top center back Walker Zimmerman (USMNT).
10 – Points from history
LAFC have staked a claim to the best regular season in MLS history in 2019. The presumptive Supporter’s Shield winners are 11 points clear of Philadelphia for the best point tally in MLS, and need 10 points in their final six games to break the 2018 New York Red Bulls’ all-time points record of 71. LAFC have both the best offensive and defensive records in the league, and their +44 goal differential is 27 goals better than second place Atlanta United (+17). In fact, the 19th-best GD in the league, Colorado’s -9, is closer to Atlanta than Atlanta are to LAFC.
42 – Vela’s Record
LAFC’s superstar Carlos Vela has taken MLS by storm, putting together arguably the best regular season in league history. Vela’s 42 total goal contributions—27 goals and 15 assists—are a new MLS record, breaking Sebastian Giovinco’s 38 from 2015. The Mexican international is also five goals away from breaking Josef Martinez’s single-season goals scored record of 31. It remains to be seen if he’ll get the chance to add to his tally against Orlando, though—Vela is questionable for Saturday night’s game with an injury.
14 – Not bad for a second option
Vela gathers most of the headlines for LAFC, but his opposite number on the other wing isn’t bad either. Uruguayan youth international Diego Rossi has 14 goals in 2019, which has him tied for fourth in the league with NYCFC’s Heber. LAFC are the only team with two players in the top five in the league in goals. Rossi is expected to be available for selection on Saturday.
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