LAFC is in the midst of one of their craziest weeks in franchise history. A draw last Saturday, a win on Wednesday, and a premier showdown on national TV on Sunday. 3 daysin 9 daysis a lot! But our young team continues to shine, showing everyone around the league that we are one of the better teams in MLS, and we are going to continue to grow our wings and soar!
Wednesday’s game against Minnesota United FC was an intriguing game from the onset. The main question going into the game was if LAFC could recover after a very physical match against FC Dallas. Could LAFC come out and dominate the possession again? Or would they fold like a house of cards since they don’t have the experience of a MLS team?
Well, it’s fair to say, we came out hot.
Right away, LAFC is driving towards goal. Rossi is just too quick for MUFC, creating havoc. He’s driving and crossing the ball with pace, it’s just unlucky that it wouldn’t meet the boot of an LAFC player. The Black & Gold kept the pace up, knowing that at some point the goal would come, and wouldn’t you know it, Atuesta gets his first ever MLS goal. Rossi finds him right in the middle of the box, and Atuesta takes one touch and slots it safely into the back of the net. Cool, calm, and collected. Exactly what you look for in a goal scorer, right?
LAFC kept their foot firmly on the gas petal, continuing to push the pace and move the ball forward. Just five minutes after goal number 1, Vela is trying to add his name to the scoresheet. He creates an opportunity, finds an open spot and takes his shot, but it’s blocked straight up into the air. I’ve watched enough games in my life to know that a vase majority of the time, the defense is going to control it and clear it out. But that doesn’t happen to this team. Blessing makes an amazing effort to flick the ball towards the middle, which finds Kaye, who finally slots home his first of the season. After Kaye missed two golden chances to put away FC Dallas last week, he doesn’t miss this week, scoring the goal of the month thus far.
LAFC stayed in the driver’s seat for the rest of the game, never really allowing MUFC chances to climb back into the game. 58% possession and 29 shots on goal will do that. If you dig into the stats at whoscored.com, you’ll find that 6 of our starters played a majority of the game in the attacking half of the pitch, while MUFC only had 3. We controlled the game again, and got our fourth clean sheet this season and now moved to a +6-goal differential.
Right now, it’s hard to be upset with LAFC. We are an expansion team that has gone five games unbeaten, started to turn the Banc into a fortress, made ourselves the talk of the soccer nation, and we are getting better and better each game. And just think, when we have a proper midfield with both Nguyen and Horta, just think how much more fun this team is going to be!
I’ve been seeing a lot people on social media saying things along the lines of “We really don’t know how good LAFC is because they haven’t played any team that is ‘good’. Once they play a good team, they will crumble.” Well, guess what? Better teams SHOULD be beating lesser teams. If we are going to be one of the best teams in the league, we have to beat teams that are lesser than us. If this is the mindset Bob Bradley is going to have with this team, I’m all for it; let’s gun for the Supporters’ Shield, MLS Cup, and US Open Cup! Why not?
Again, LAFC needs to rest up quickly, because the new game of the season is upon us. 2nd place in the East going against 2nd place in the West. NYCFC are geared up for a deep run this year, and I know this is game is going to speak to the mentality of LAFC. Let’s rest those voices, hands, and legs, and bring the fire on Sunday! Go LAFC!
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