Los Angeles FC will look to shrug off a disappointing last-gasp loss and return to their winning ways when it hosts enigmatic Vancouver Whitecaps FC in a Western Conference tussle on Saturday evening.
LAFC (6-5-3, 21 points) heads home after a 2-1 loss at Portland on Wednesday in which it gave up a goal two minutes into the match, answered promptly, but then conceded the game winner three minutes into second-half stoppage time.
LAFC is one of just two teams (New York Red Bulls) without a point from a losing position this season.
Carlos Vela scored LAFC's lone goal in the loss to Portland, his first goal on the road since September 2019 at Minnesota United.
"A terrible game to lose," LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. "You know the overall, if you take the beginning out and then the end there, we play well, but that's not how it works. You can't start that poorly.
"And then if you've got a team on the ropes, you've got to finish them off. You've got to get the second goal -- that's an area where this year we've just not been able to do that enough times. A terrible loss."
The Whitecaps (3-7-4, 13 points) will try to improve on a scoreless draw with Houston on Wednesday in Sandy, Utah, in which Vancouver didn't record a shot on goal. It was the Whitecaps' first scoreless draw since July 2019 against Minnesota United.
Vancouver was playing its second game in four nights but coach Marc Dos Santos said his team was ready and should have won the match.
"We had a good intensity in the first half. We didn't look like a like a team that played 72 hours ago versus a team that rested for 13 days," Dos Santos said. "The expectation was to win. And we had a very big belief in the locker room that that could have happened.
"We had a disciplined game that lacked some things in the final third to allow us to score. They're disappointed, the players, for not getting that extra thing to win the game, but they're not in a bad place."
The Whitecaps have picked up points in their past two games (a win and a draw) but have earned only four in their past 10 matches.
Vancouver is winless in 12 straight away matches (three draws, nine losses). LAFC is unbeaten in three home matches against the Whitecaps (two wins, one draw), including scoring six times in each of the last two meetings at Banc of California Stadium.
--Field Level Media