Still trying to get team leader and former MLS MVP Carlos Vela up to speed, Los Angeles FC will play host to FC Dallas on Wednesday during a busy week across the league.
LAFC (2-3-3, 9 points) and FC Dallas (1-3-4, 7 points) are both coming off 1-1 ties on Saturday. Jose Cifuentes scored a goal in LAFC's tie with the Houston Dynamo, while Ricardo Pepi found the back of the net as FC Dallas played even with Minnesota United.
Vela had the assist on Cifuentes' goal from a corner kick, but he played just 64 minutes as he continues to return to full speed after a second season of injuries. His MCL injury from last year was followed by a quadriceps injury earlier this season.
Vela likely will be held under 90 minutes in the current three-game rush that started with the Dynamo game and will conclude with a game at Sporting Kansas City next Saturday.
"The goal is to get Carlos back to his best level," LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said. "Carlos can always play more minutes where he stands a little bit more, waits for the ball. But we know that that's not the best version of Carlos."
While LAFC is a disappointing 1-3-1 over its last five games, FC Dallas is 0-2-3 over its last five. Pepi's goal in the 68th minute Saturday on a left-footed blast, his second of the season, countered a first-half goal from Minnesota United.
All four of FC Dallas' ties this season have come at home.
"It's good to show that fight and come back in the second half and show the maturity to push through the game, but at the same time, it's a lot of frustration," goalkeeper Jimmy Maurer said, according to the Dallas Morning News. "There's just too many times we're not putting a complete game together and too many times we're not taking a full three points at home."
--Field Level Media