9:30 p.m. at Los Angeles FC • FSN Plus, 1500-AM
The very best awaits in L.A.
Preview: Five days after it lost to defending MLS champion Atlanta United for the U.S. Open Cup, Minnesota United faces 2019’s best league team when it plays Sunday night at LAFC. It’s the start of a seven-game sprint to “Decision Day,” the season’s final day, Oct. 6 at Seattle, with playoff implications on the line in each and every remaining game. The Loons entered the weekend tied for fourth (12-9-6) in a tight Western Conference race. LAFC is the runaway leader in the Western Conference, its 19-3-5 record and 62 points in just its second season nearly 20 points ahead of second-place Real Salt Lake and well ahead of Eastern leader Atlanta United and its 48 points.
Loons update: United coach Adrian Heath expects starting right back Romain Metanire to be fine for Sunday’s game after he missed Thursday’s training because he was ill. … Loons players Robin Lod and Rasmus Schuller (Finland), Jan Gregus (Slovakia) and Kevin Molino (Trinidad and Tobago) will leave for national-team duty after Sunday’s game for at least a week each. Americans Hassani Dotson and Mason Toye will leave, too, to join the U.S. Under-23 men’s team that will play Japan in Chula Vista, Calif., on Sept. 9 on the road to Olympic qualifying. Five of the six started in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup final in Atlanta.
Injuries: United MF and captain Ozzie Alonso is out (thigh) after playing on his injury into the second half in the Open Cup final. The early leader for league MVP, LAFC F Carlos Vela, is questionable (hamstring); he has 27 goals, in sight of Atlanta’s Josef Martinez’s MLS-record 31 goals scored last season. LAFC MF Javi Perez (ACL) is out, and MF Alejandro Guido (quad) is questionable.