Trapped into their own game
By: Andrew Doran
If the supporters and media know that a midweek game is going to be a trap game, and the players play like it was a trap game, can we officially call it a trap game?
The Los Angeles Football Club’s had their first midweek game of the season, and they ended up getting trapped by their opponent, the Vancouver Whitecaps. LAFC lost their first game of the season 1-0 at BC Place to a team that is woefully behind them.
LAFC simply could not get their style of play going from the opening whistle of the game. Vancouver came out aggressively and gave LAFC a taste of their own medicine. The Whitecaps pressed every time LAFC had possession of the ball, which ended up leading to the Whitecaps winning the ball back in the middle of the pitch and passing the ball over the top of the backline of the defensive back four for LAFC. With three new starters, Shaft Brewer Jr, Niko Hämäläinen and Danilo Silva, LAFC had no answers to counter Vancouver's attack.
It ended up leading to Vancouver’s winning goal at the 27th minute of the match, coming off the boot of Hwang In-beom. While Tyler Miller had a good game for the Black & Gold of LA, there was nothing he could do about the game-winning strike.
Throughout the first half of this game, LAFC looked like they were sleepwalking through the proceeding. The team lacked shape and creativity moving the ball forward into the attacking third of the pitch. Christian Ramirez, for as hot of a start he had the beginning of the season, he has become invisible at the top of the line. This is only hurting LAFC, especially with Adama Diomande out with an injury right now.
While LAFC had a better second half, there was still little to no creativity in the game. While there were a few questionable calls by the referee in the game, it did not affect the outcome of the game. LAFC lacked the answers, drive and passion that supporters have been used to seeing during the course of this season.
Is the ceiling caving in on the Black & Gold? The basic answer is no. But, if LAFC doesn’t find a way to get the ball forward, even when they have over 60% of the possession during the course of the game, they will be hard pressed to beat better teams. Better teams like the Seattle Sounders, who come to Los Angeles for the game of the week (and possibly the year) on Easter Sunday.