The 3252 Breakdown - NY Red Bulls
Well, that wasn’t the greatest way to spend a Sunday afternoon, now was it? Let’s breakdown the game with the newest 3252 breakdown.
3 THINGS THAT WENT WELL
1. LAFC actually stretched the field really well against New York Red Bulls. This might have been the most back and forth game we have played for a full 90 minutes. Red Bulls had several breakaways, as did LAFC. In reality though, LA had a couple more opportunities on the counter, but for some reason, the offensive players took way too many touches before firing the ball towards the net. Red Bulls collapsed down on the attackers before they could get a shot off.
2. The defense made some amazing runs back in order to put New York off pace. There were a few moments in the middle of the second half when the score was still level that NY was trying to start a new counter or possess the ball a little bit more. LAFC’s defense stepped in multiple times to put pressure on them and caused a lot of turnovers. This helped LA keep the game close during the course of the game.
3. The ball movement by LAFC in the final third of the pitch. It was nice to see the amount of creativity that Black & Gold were providing. Vela had a few backheel passes, Rossi passed the ball around, and Lee Nguyen found men on the outer sides of the box. It was good to see LAFC not just relying on passing it to only Dio or Vela.
2 THINGS THAT NEED TO BE WORKED ON
1. Bringing Vela into the game more. He was more or less non-existent during the course of the match. He had a few good runs in the second half and had a golden opportunity to shoot the ball late, but other than that, he didn’t do much. There might have been more things off the ball that I didn’t see during the match, but overall, it was a really quiet game for the Mexican international.
2. Corner. (Bloody). Kicks. I honestly don’t remember the last time we were able to not only score, but to put a shot onto goal from a corner. It’s supposed to be a free cross into the box, yet every time LAFC has one, it’s just popped straight into the air and cleared away from by the defense. It’s started to get ridiculous we can’t even shoot from them.
5 KEY MOMENTS FROM THE MATCH
1. Diomande’s open header miss in the 17th minute. LAFC moved the ball really well on the right side of the pitch, with Beitashour sending in a perfect cross to the 6-yard box for Dio. Dio had plenty of time to take it down and one-time it off his boot, but he got too cute with it and soared the ball wide with his head.
2. New York’s opener in the 39th minute. Tyler Miller had an okay game, but really had an awful couple of minutes towards the end of the first half. First, to get a yellow card in the first half due to time wasting is a pretty rare feat. I’m not surprised by it, since he is always taking 10+ seconds to kick a goal kick, but you know the referees have that in their scouting report before each game. Then, 90 seconds after the yellow, he saves a shot but doesn’t collect the ball, and NYRB is right there to slot home the rebound. I’m not going to call for Miller’s head because I think he has grown a lot in the last couple of months, but I would love to see the backup keeper once in the coming games.
3. LAFC’s opener in the second half by Mr. Diego Rossi. Even though Vela had been quiet, he still found a way to make an impact in the game. Vela makes a good run down the middle of the pitch and easily finds Rossi with a perfect pass through the defensive line of the Red Bulls. Rossi is cool and collected and places the ball past the keeper to level the scoring.
4. A last 10-minute collapse. Again. I wrote a nice article about this (if you haven’t read it, go check it out after you finish this one) but LAFC has had a habit in screwing up the last 10 minutes of games and allowing points to be stolen. After El Tráfico last week, I tweeted that LAFC’s leaders needed to be stronger mentally in order to see out games. That still has not changed and we gave away points again. LAFC was caught flatfooted against one of the best strikers in the league and NY burned us. Miller made a good effort to save the shot, but there was going to be a less than 1% chance that was going to happen. The Red Bulls take the goal and 3 points.
5. Not from game, a key moment nonetheless. We are now officially in 4th place in the West and only 2 points off from the drop of not making the playoffs. As a fan, I’m starting to get worried. Teams are starting to figure out how to play LAFC and we are not making a huge adjustment to change our structure or game plan. If we don’t change, I can’t guarantee we are going to make it October/November, something that was inconceivable a couple months ago.
2 PLAYERS OF THE GAME
1. Diego Rossi. It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to talk about Rossi, but he played out of his mind today. He had some great runs down the wings, had a few chances in front of goal, and of course scored the goal for LAFC. It looked like he had a lot of confidence against New York, hopefully something that will continue into the end of the season.
2. NYRB Daniel Royer. Two goals against LAFC is hard to do, especially when it comes from one person. He was in the right place at the right time on both goals, never giving up on either plays. An unlikely person to get 2 goals, but you have to give some credit when it’s due.
With 4 more games in the next 14 days, it’s going to be imperative that LAFC have a good stretch of games. As long as we can win at home, we are going to be fine for the playoff run. And hopefully the team can recover before Wednesday, so we can go to our first US Open Cup final! Until then, cheers and stay golden!
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