The 3252 Breakdown - Orlando
And we're back! Sorry for lack of 3252 breakdowns Heart of LAFC fam. Life got crazy! But what a ride we are on right now! Let's breakdown yesterday's game against the Lions from Orlando.
3 THINGS THAT WENT WELL AGAINST ORLANDO
1.Possession. Possession. Possession. Your LAFC held the ball for 63% of the game, tied for the second most time in possession for the season. I’ve found that when we hold the ball for vast majority of the game, we always takeaway points. Not bad!
2.Sing it with me now: Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Shots! Everybody! 19 shots total, but more importantly, 13 shots on target! There is nothing that I hate more than watch high offensive power soccer teams trying to walk the ball into the net. You have to take shots in order to have opportunities to create space for those easier plays. 13 shots on targets is the second most this season, only behind the comeback in Montreal.
3.We were practically even in the attacking thirds of the pitch. I’ve been tracking our attacking sides all season (left, middle, and right) thanks to WhoScored.com. I’ve found that when we stay even, being around 33%-36%, on all three attacking sides, we win almost every game. Other teams might try and close off one of these areas, but we have too good of players in other areas of the pitch to shut off our offense completely. More runs equal more chances which equals more goals.
2 THINGS LAFC NEED TO WORK ON
1.Gave away too many fouls around the edge of the box. Orlando almost put one of these chances in net at the start of the second half, but Miller pushed it away beautifully. Against a better team like Atlanta, you know that a few of those fouls is going to end up being a goal.
2.This is being really nit-picky, but we need to work on taking more shots outside of the middle of the pitch. Like the attacking lanes that I talked about above, when we have more equal distubrution, we end up winning more games. Sounds inside since we won 4-1, but we have to keep our opposition on their toes or else they are always going to crash the middle and we are going to have a hard time getting a shot off.
5 KEY MOMENTS OF THE GAME
1.Dio’s first goal to get the game going. LAFC had created so much pressure during the opening 26 minutes, but just couldn’t get the ball into the net. Like any good striker, Dio is always hovering in front of goal just waiting for his moment. Mark Antony Kaye finds Dio right next to him, and it just seems like every time Dio goes for goal, the ball ends up in the back of the net.
2.LAFC’s second goal in the 32nd minute. Let’s take a moment to talk about how great this goal was. Lee Nguyen has the ball on the far side of the center circle with 2 Orlando players starting to collapse onto him. He looks up and finds Kaye, alone in the middle of the pitch. The pass to Kaye cuts through two Orlando players and Kaye can easily turn up field towards goal. Kaye takes 2 touches and finds Kovar sprinting towards goal on the near side of the penalty box. Kaye passes also cuts through two Orlando players, leaving no one between Kovar and goal. Kovar runs, looks up and one times a perfect pass across the 6 yard box to a sprinting Blessing who just has to touch the ball into the back of the net. One of the top 10 goals of the year in my opinion, only because of how great of a team goal it was. It took 4 players, 5 touches, and 6 seconds to go half the field to put the ball into the net. Ah-ma-zing.
3.59th minute when Walker Zimmerman goes for what looks like a slide tackle but in reality, was a slip on the turf. When I saw this in real time, I was in shock that Zimmerman would try and go for a slide tackle in that area, especially with his cleats up. Watching the replay (and having the ability to start and stop), Zimmerman is obviously trying to cut back towards Kljestan, but just straight up lost his footing. Kljestan does exactly what he is good at, driving towards goals and scores one in front of Ciman and pass Miller. I starting to hope that we were not going to collapse again like we did earlier in the week against Houston.
4.63rd minute sub of Carlos Vela coming into the game. Even though Vela didn’t make a huge impact in the game, but it was really really really cool to hear the rightly deserved ovation for his World Cup performance. Full disclosure: I am a die-hard USA fan and I really don’t like the Mexican national team. With that said, I found myself rooting hard to Vela to do well on the team, and I felt like he was one of the best players for Mexico during this campaign. I was pretty proud to tell people to that he played for my team, LAFC.
5.The last goal, Blessing to Rossi. While Dio’s second goal of the game was nice, the perfect attacking flow of Blessing running up the right side and creating a perfect pass to Rossi down the middle was exquisite. It has been a real joy this season watch LAFC create chances with their speed and use to space in front of the goal. If you’ve been watching the World Cup, you know how deadly a counter attack can be, and this goal is pretty much a great example of that. After this goal, I knew that we were going to keep the 3 points.
2 STAR PLAYERS
1.Tyler Miller. I’ve been harsh on him via Twitter and in other 3252 articles, but he played really well on Saturday. Good positioning, had his feet set during shots, and made some great saves. Without him being in peak form, Orlando would have made this game a lot closer than 4-1.
2.Adama Diomande. I posted on Twitter during the Houston game on Tuesday after Dio scored wondering if he was the best in-season signing we’ve had. Now, a full 5 days later, it’s hard to think why I had any doubt. Two more goals on Saturday have fully shown how great he is in this system. Since he has joined LAFC he has: played in 7 league matches, scored 9 goals, had 2 assists, and won MLS player of the month. Dio has been involved in 50% of our goals in the last 7 league matches. That is literally mind- boggling. Bob Bradley is going to have to keep Dio in and ride this scorching hot streak that he is on right now.
Hopefully we can stay hot, especially with our World Cup hero's back in action. Big week in LAFC history coming up with Portland in league and US Open Cup. Stay Golden!
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