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MLS Week 8, Mexicans Abroad: What we learned

Seattle Sounders FC v Los Angeles FC Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

After suffering an ankle injury last week against the Los Angeles Galaxy, Marco Fabian was out this week for the Union. Meanwhile, Los Angeles FC tried their luck against two Pacific Northwest sides, earning two completely different results. Here’s what we learned from Week 8.

Marco Fabian escapes serious injury

Marco Fabian’s injury doesn’t appear to be as serious as it was first feared. According to the Philadelphia Union, the Mexican forward suffered a left ankle sprain against the Galaxy, and rather than a months timeline, it seems like it will be just weeks. This is all great news for Fabian, who has sustained a rocky start to his Major League Soccer career despite already having scored twice this season.

For now, his team didn’t really need him, cruising to a 3-0 win over the Montreal Impact on Saturday to notch their fourth win in their last five.

Jonathan Dos Santos once again key for the Galaxy

Jonathan dos Santos played another vital role for the Galaxy, assisting in Diego Polenta’s late winner as the five-time MLS champs made it five wins in a row on Saturday with a 2-1 win over the Houston Dynamo.

From the start, it wasn’t an easy game for the Galaxy, and it was obvious that the Dynamo came to Los Angeles to play. Wilmer Cabrera’s side has been one of the more consistent sides in MLS this season, and they came very close snatching a point. It wasn’t until the 88th minute that a a Jonathan dos Santos corner kick found the Uruguayan Diego Polenta inside the box for what turned out to be the match’s game winner.

Although this was only Jonathan dos Santos’s first official assist of the season, he has been terrific for Guillermo Barros Schelotto’s side. He won’t immediately jump out on the stat sheet, but he doesn’t need to when he is as influential as he has been all season. For now, Jonathan and company are riding their longest winning streak since 2014, and along with rivals Los Angeles FC, are currently the two best teams in the West.

LAFC are not perfect but they are still the best in the West

Speaking of Los Angeles FC and being the best in the West, the black and gold bounced back from a 1-0 defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps and demolished the Seattle Sounders 4-1 to remain top of the Western Conference with 22 points.

LAFC looked completely deflated in their midweek match against the Whitecaps. Whether it was the BC Place turf or the heavy rotating coach Bob Bradley did ahead of the match, the fact of the matter is they looked far from their best.

Their game against the Sounders, however, was a completely different story. Facing one of the elite teams in the Western Conference, LAFC scored early and never looked back. As ever, Vela was huge for Los Angeles, scoring two of their goals, including two brilliant finishes in each half.

The Vela goal count is now up to 10 goals, three above his closest competitor Zlatan Ibrahimovic. When asked at the end of the game if he feels any pressure of beating Zlatan to the Golden Boot, his reply was simple, “the only pressure is on myself”. Obviously, it was the right way to answer the question, but it also spoke of just how focused Vela is in making LAFC the best team they can be. They’ll certainly experience a few hiccups here and there (see Vancouver above), but to his testament, LAFC right now are looking like the league’s best.