Los Angeles FC-Dynamo Preview
Bob Bradley again acknowledged he made a mistake in subbing Carlos Vella off early in LAFC's season-opener, even though the Mexico striker is still out injured.
LAFC star Vela lasted just 22 minutes before succumbing to an apparent quad issue in a 2-0 win over Austin FC earlier this month, though Bradley later conceded he may have been too quick to make a judgment.
Even though Vela is still set to be out when LAFC face Houston Dynamo on Saturday, Bradley - who is at least able to welcome back Diego Rossi - reiterated he may have made a mistake.
"You say things at the moment to make situations easier. We're all good," Bradley said amid speculation over Vela's future.
"We don't need to spend too much time talking about how things got done in the game. In certain moments it's easier to say I blew it, no problem. We're hoping to get Carlos back as soon as we can.
"My conversations with Carlos are [about] trying to find the right way to work together with our team. I don't know anything about where it stands in terms of contract negotiations."
Houston lost 2-1 to Portland Timbers last time out, though coach Tab Ramos has been impressed by the start Tyler Pasher has made to his Dynamo career - the forward having joined from USC side Indy Eleven, who he scored 10 times for in 2020.
"I think he's going a little bit faster than we expected. I really expected to have Tyler playing maybe 20, 25 minutes per game, but he's been a starter, played every minute so far," said Ramos. "I think he's had a lot of good moments in the first two games."
Houston Dynamo - Tyler Pasher
Pasher created a team-high two chances against Portland, while also registering two effort on goal - only Ariel Lassiter (three) managed more for Houston. All the 27-year-old needs now is a maiden MLS strike to get him fully up and running.
Los Angeles FC - Diego Rossi
"You can see in his training that he's missing being on the field," said Bradley of last season's MLS top scorer Rossi, who has missed the opening two matches of LAFC's season due to a hamstring injury. He is back in the fold for Saturday, though, and his quality could prove decisive.
-LAFC have won four of their six matches against Houston (D2), scoring multiple goals in all six matches.
-Rossi has scored in each of the last four meetings between the teams, the third player to score in four consecutive games against the Dynamo (Diego Valeri in 2016-2017, Dom Dwyer in 2014-2015).
-The Dynamo's opening week win over San Jose Earthquakes is their lone victory in their last nine MLS matches dating back to the end of last season (D2 L6). They have managed just two wins in their last 16 matches (D5 L9) following a three-match winning streak last August-September.
-LAFC have lost seven of their last nine away matches (W1 D1), including playoffs after losing just two of its previous 13 on the road (W6 D5). Only FC Cincinnati (three) collected fewer away points than LAFC (four) during the 2020 regular season.
-The Dynamo have gone nine straight matches without a clean sheet. Since the start of the 2019 season, Houston has kept just six clean sheets, the fewest among teams that have been in MLS that entire time.
Updated April 30, 2021