The 3252 Breakdown - Vancouver
And we’re back! Sorry for the lack of 3252 breakdown Heart of LAFC fam, I missed you all. LAFC didn’t play amazing, but also didn’t play horrible either. Let’s get back to it and do this 3252 breakdown!
3 Things that went well
Dio running down the wing. Something I haven’t seen before with Dio on the field, but doing a majority of the first half he was shaded more towards the left side of the pitch. He kept on throwing balls into the box, one which allowed Rossi to score and the other Rossi just missed. It was an interesting formation, maybe something we are looking to do with the playoff upcoming.
Pressing on the ball. Every time we lost possession of the ball in the attacking third of the field, someone from the Black & Gold would press to try and get the ball back immediately. It worked about 75% of the time, allowing for LAFC to have more possession and more attacking opportunities. This idea also helped with LAFC’s whopping 73% possession for the game.
We fought till the end of the match. Vancouver didn’t have a sniff of goal in the last 15 minutes of the match, LAFC was just attacking and pushing forward the entire time. Of course, we never got anything into the back of the net, but it was nice to see us pressing at the end and not holding onto dear life.
2 Things that need to be worked on
Passing on the back line. There were a few moments throughout the first half when the defenders, especially on the left side of the field just could not get the ball out of the back. Even Silvia, the experienced defender, dribbled the ball all the way across the 16-yard box with a Vancouver man on him the entire way. We need to learn how to pass the ball forward because the pressure is just going to get more intense as the playoffs wear on.
Poor giveaways in all areas of the pitch. LAFC simply was not crisp in their passing outside of a couple of moments. We took too many dribbles, touches, and had some really bad passes towards the outside of the pitch. A lot of it had to do with LAFC bunching up the middle of the field, not placing bodies on the outskirts. It allowed the Whitecaps to place more men around the ball, causing a lot of our bad turnovers.
5 key moments
That first goal by LAFC was a beauty. Rossi finding space, to finding Vela, who immediately finds Rossi who never stopped his run. Rossi was clinical in his finish past the keeper. Not a bad way to start the afternoon at the Banc.
Rossi’s second goal. Dio coming across the wing and placing a hard ball into the box was beautiful. I also liked that there were a few LAFC players on the near post and even though they all missed the ball, Rossi was at the edge of the box on the far side ready to put the ball into the net.
The Vancouver penalty kick in the 21st minute. Feilhaber had been running hot early in the match. Somewhere around the 10 minutes, LAFC concedes a free kick and Benny lost his mind. Then 10 minutes later he concedes a bad foul in the box. He didn’t need to go hard into Whitecaps player since he was going to have to run away from goal, but Feilhaber had the moment get the best of him. All of the sudden, Vancouver was back into the game.
Vancouver's second goal (read: golazo). A goal that came out of nothing for the Whitecaps and tied up the score. Unfortunately, the goal came from LAFC giving the ball away in our defensive third. Vancouver gets it back, passes it to Mutch who just waltzes into space to take a 25-yard shot. No one closes down on Mutch who decides to rip it and scores into the side netting.
Not so much a moment, but it was at the end of the game with both of our corner kicks with minutes to go. If you’ve read the 3252 Breakdown before, especially towards the middle of the season, you’ll recall that I said corner kicks were our biggest weakness because we could never get the ball on frame. Today, we had two corner kicks that gave us great chances to win the game. Two corners, one shot just off and another at the keeper is exactly what we should be doing when we have those opportunities.
2 key players
Diego Rossi. A brace in the first 15 minutes of the game is pretty awesome! It also allowed LAFC to move more freely in the final third because they were always worried about Rossi getting the hat trick.
Carlos Vela. Oh, Captain My Captain. Vela had a great game, getting two assists and creating chances all over the middle third of the pitch. You knew that Vancouver was scared of him because of how many men they kept on sending to mark him once he had the ball.
In the end, it’s a “meh” day for the boys in Black & Gold. While we don’t win our last home game of the regular season, we are still setting ourselves up nicely for the playoffs. Hopefully, we can go to Sporting Kansas City, win and get that first round bye. It all depends on us, which is exactly what you want going into the last week of the season. Let’s go LAFC!
YOU CAN FOLLOW ANDREW ON TWITTER AT @APDORAN. FEEL FREE TO SEND COMMENTS, SUGGESTIONS, OR IDEAS TO HIM!