u15 - 04 LAFC vs 04 LAG (5/18/19) predicts and discussion: El Trafico de Academia Parte Tres ...

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  1. Kante

    Kante

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    The final u15 LAFC (home) vs u15 LA Galaxy (away) 2018-19 match – aka El Trafico de Academia Parte Tres/ De fin de 2018-19 - is coming up this weekend, and, heads-up upfront, this is a longer post.

    Last u15 LAFC/LAG match result in December was 4-1 LAFC, while the predict said 5-1 LAFC.

    That kind of flagrant inaccuracy is unacceptable…


    (btw, here's a link to write-up from LAFC's pov from last match-up https://www.lafc.com/post/2018/12/09/academy-takeaways-u14-u15-wins-over-galaxy - a little over the top ... the phrase "almost telepathic precision" was used to describe LAFC u14/u15 passing... but still a decent read. and to go full LAFC fanboy - here's LAFC video from last LAFC/LAG match: )

    So, here’s the predict for the last u15 El Trafico of 2018-19: LAFC 2 vs LA Galaxy 1.

    Why will LAFC “only” score two goals?

    1) After making adjustments at the beginning of 2019, LA Galaxy is likely now one of the better defenses in the country.
    Since losing to LAFC in December, LA Galaxy made adjustments that started to pay out in February, and now has – across both home and away games – only allowed .6 goals per match with six shutouts in ten games, which puts them up with some of the best defenses in the country.


    This includes defensive-driven wins against the Nomads, FCG, and the Strikers. By way of comparison, in the ten games prior to December’s match against LAFC, LAG allowed an average of 2.4 goals per game.

    Of particular note for the upcoming match, LAG has four shutouts in all four of their last four away games.

    2) LAFC’s offense has declined consistently over time since the beginning of the season but they may have fixed this…
    LAFC offensive trend from the beginning of the season shows a remarkably consistent decline over time through to their loss to FCG in late March.


    But, LAFC seems to have corrected over the last four matches. If they hadn’t made the correction, this match would be forecasted a 1-1 tie. However, incorporating LAFC’s results over their four matches, the algo says that LAFC will score two.

    It should be noted, though, that three of these last four opponents are in the bottom half of the standings. The fourth opponent was SD Surf in early April where
    LAFC won 4-1. By way of comparison, LAG tied SD Surf 2-2 a month later.

    Why will LA Galaxy score, and why only one goal?

    1) LA Galaxy’s offense has been consistently solid since the December match against LAFC
    After getting shutout by the Strikers at the end of October, LAG made some adjustments (there’s a theme here) and has been remarkably consistent since then, with VV clearly a key to their scoring. Wouldn’t put their offense at “one of the best in country” level but would put them at very good. Alas, “very good” against LAFC does not get the win.


    For reference, LA Galaxy was able to get one in the back of the net in the December match at the 30th minute by VV to tie the score 1-1 until right before half.

    2) LAFC’s defense is and has been “one of the best in the country”.
    Anchored by recent YNT call-up AL, LAFC’s defensive line has been remarkably consistent for the whole season, and it looks like AL will be back in time for the match against LAG.


    They don’t make many mistakes and while LAG’s VV will present a challenge, LAFC will be able to handle him for most of the game.

    Here are keys to the game:

    Many of these are similar to last match, but a few differences are important.

    1) Does LAFC score in the first ten minutes?
    This season, LAFC has outscored opponents 12-2 in the first ten minutes. Across all levels of play, early goals make things easier. Getting through the first ten minutes with the score 0-0 will be key to enabling LA Galaxy to keep the match manageable. And an area of excellence for LAG this year is that – across 24 matches to date – LAG has only allowed one goal in the first ten minutes of a match.

    2) What happens at the beginning of the 2nd half?
    LAFC u15 looks like they’ve made a point this year to come out with full goal scoring shock and awe right at the beginning of the second half, and have outscored opponents 21 to 5, and the 21 goals is more than 20% of their goal.

    The beginning of the 2nd half is not great for LAG with LAG scoring six goals vs allowing six goals in that time period.

    3) How does/can LAG defense contain LAFC’s ball movement?
    LAFC has four players with double digit goal totals, and a couple more with high single digit goal totals. Haven’t seen a lot of LAFC u15 matches, but most often this kind of distributed goal scoring is a function of consistent, fast team ball movement. It takes a tough, disciplined team defense to stay focused against this kind of attack, not chase and then maintain effort/intensity/focus across the full length of the match.

    4) How does LAG’s VV perform, and can he figure out how to include - and make better – other LAG players?
    LA Galaxy's VV has had a solid season with LAG since moving over from the Strikers, averaging more than one goal per game and getting a call-up to the initial u15 camp. He is a solid contributor and generates more than one third of LAG’s total goals. However, this also which him a relatively simple defensive problem to solve. LAG’s plan – largely successful – in 2019 has been to defend well and wait for VV to score. Against a team like LAFC, more will be required.


    So, key questions: 1) will VV be disruptive enough to attract more than his fair share of attention from LAFC’s defenders? and 2) can he then find the open LAG players in space?

    5) LAG’s last two matches have been below their 2019 improvement trend line, so which team will show up – Jan thru mid-April 2019 LAG or last two weeks LAG?
    Per commentary from folks at the match, LAG vs SD Surf was very tight with LAG doing well in the first half and SD Surf doing well in the second half.

    The algo had forecasted a pretty clear 2-1 result in favor of LAG, so that 2-2 result was below what was expected. But, SD Surf is also a solid team so, OK, fair.


    Having said that, LAG just posted a 1-2 loss on Wednesday (5/15) to the Pats. The algo had that match conservatively at 4-1 LAG.

    Not a great lead-in for LAG with the LAFC match coming this weekend. But could also see where LAG might more focused on the weekend than playing the Pats yesterday.

    __________

    All said, should be a great match and tighter than in December.


    It’s also important to remember that even though there will be several actual or potential national team players – maybe even a few possible future pro players – on the field, the boys on these two teams are only 14 and 15 years old.

    Best of luck to both teams!

    USSDA is listing the u15 LAFC vs. LAG match at Cal State LA on May 18th with a game start of 5pm. Parking is about ten minute’s walk from the stadium. (note: last time the game start was changed to later in the evening, so might make sense to check back in w/ the USSDA website on Friday)


    FYI, there’s great coffee/snack place about five minutes over the hill from Cal State LA for either before/after the match. Looks a little sketchy on the outside but is super cool inside and worth some business. - http://www.holygroundscoffeeandtea.com/


     
    Last edited: May 17, 2019 at 3:50 AM
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