Los Angeles, California (April 21, 2019) — A sunny Easter Sunday in the heart of Los Angeles, set the stage for a Western Conference clash. Two of the league’s best, and familiar foes, faced off.
Los Angeles FC looked to rebound from a tough midweek defeat to the Vancouver Whitecaps, while Seattle hoped to remain unbeaten. The league’s top scoring team in LAFC went against the best defense in Seattle. However, something would have to give.
Los Angeles FC Back on Track after rout of rival Seattle Sounders
Hype for this match didn’t need to be created.
Both squads knew what was at stake. Bragging rights, a spot at the top of the Western Conference and for Seattle a chance to finally beat Los Angeles FC. The match started out all Los Angeles, as the home side quickly found space along the wings, providing opportunities for those in and around the box.
It wasn’t long before the man in form, Carlos Vela, got on the end of a perfect Mark-Anthony Kaye through ball, using his famous left to give LAFC the lead in the 12th minute. The black and gold continued to maintain possession and find open space. Shortly before halftime, Eduard Atuesta got some help from poor defending by Roman Torres. He found space to send in a rocket, extending the LAFC lead to two at the half.
The second half started out all Seattle, as the visitors began to attack and press more. That pressure would pay off early, when some great passing and a defensive slip from Jordan Harvey led to a wide open chance for Harry Shipp, who put it past Tyler Miller. Only a goal down, it seemed that it was game on.
However, that momentum was put to a halt.
A mere five minutes after the Seattle goal, Carlos Vela found his second, giving his team a two goal advantage. Just moments after that Christian Ramirez, who has had a rough few matches, found success and a goal of his own. From there, it was all textbook for LAFC as they maintained possession, limited chances and rode out the convincing victory.
— LAFC (@LAFC) April 22, 2019
- Attack Like None Other: Twenty-five. That is how many goals LAFC have scored so far this season. With an MVP candidate wearing the captain’s band and leading the attack, this team has forged an attack second to none in the MLS. They’re seemingly able to score at will, they made easy work of the league’s better defenses. This match proved once again that on their day, there is nobody that can match attacking power with Los Angeles.
- Lack of Depth: If there is one negative to this almost perfect Los Angeles squad it would be their depth — specifically on defense. The midweek match saw three of four defenders rotated out. During that match LAFC failed to stop a nose bleed, let alone an opposing attack. Today, they had the regulars back in the lineup and looked impenetrable. A difference that drastic is a bit concerning. It means that LAFC could be one injury away from having another great season come crashing down. For now, enjoy the build of momentum. However, it is always better to improve when you can, and not when you need.
- Superman in Super Form: Carlos Vela. What is there to say about the MVP candidate other than, at this point, he is clearly the best player in MLS? The Geppetto of the squad, he does more than score; he controls the match. He finds space and then uses that space to set up teammates. The journey that Vela has been on during his soccer career has been a rollercoaster but he seems to have found a true home in Los Angeles. The joy he plays with permeates throughout the pitch, infecting those around him, providing a sense invincibility. He can do no wrong at the moment. With him in this type of form, there is nobody this team can’t beat.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) April 22, 2019
Los Angeles will be getting reacquainted with their Western Conference foes as they prepare to face off again in a week’s time. This time leaving the friendly confines of The Banc behind, LAFC look to continue their quest for silverware. Vancouver loss aside, LAFC have been just as good on the road this season, outscoring opponents 11-3. Another rout would be improbable, but not at all a surprise for the league’s best team.