On Wednesday, Vancouver Whitecaps head coach Marc Dos Santos faces
LAFC for the first time since he left the MLS club after its first season to take charge of the 'Caps.
The 42-year-old Canadian was an assistant coach under Bob Bradley for its first year in MLS. He says LAFC was very special and important for him, but he has moved on and is concentrating on rebuilding the Whitecaps, who are 0-4-2 and have the worst offense in the Western Conference with just five goals in six games.
"I'm very close to the people there," he said, "but it's an obsession for me to make the Vancouver Whitecaps grow."
The Whitecaps' offensive woes contrast with LAFC's record start. It has scored 21 goals, the most by an MLS team for the first seven games of the season. Carlos Vela, whom Dos Santos worked with in 2018, leads MLS in both goals (8) and assists (5).
"Carlos is Carlos," said Dos Santos. "Carlos is special, and it has nothing to do with me."
He said he is not surprised at all with LAFC's 6-0-1 start.
"By being there," Dos Santos said, "that's the club that I would say in MLS does everything right. I was able to be there that expansion year to see everything in the growth. They had a good year for an expansion team in terms of the choice of players. They have the ideal DP for that market in Carlos Vela, a stadium in the heart of LA, an incredible fanbase in the 3252 that actually make a big difference in their stadium. Good people in the club who work very hard every day."
He said LAFC has become the standard in MLS.
"That's the reality -- we can't be here lying," he added. "It's a club that's doing everything right. And we in Vancouver and every other club have to look at them and say, 'That's the example. How close can you get to that?"