LAFC opens up '18 MLS campaign with franchise's first win
10 minutes is what was needed for the Los Angeles Football Club to score its first league goal in its inaugural season. The Bob Bradley-managed team hit the post only after three minutes, and Diego Rossi, who turns 20 years-old the day after his first MLS match, sent a cross into the box to another youth player in Latif Blessing, who headed the ball onto the post. Rossi immediately showed his class with a superb finish from an assist from arguably the club’s best player, Carlos Vela.
The Los Angeles club did show its lack of experience with plenty of lost balls and players struggling with a sense of direction when a teammate had the ball. After Rossi’s goal put Los Angeles up after, Seattle played like the more established club, putting pressure and coming close to tying a few minutes after L.A. took the lead.
Seattle was missing several of its key players, including the joint top goal-scored for the United States Men’s National Team, Clint Dempsey. With the vast number of opportunities that Seattle was able to create, Los Angeles was lucky to hold on to its 1-0 lead at the half and the score of the match never changed. The Sounders finished with seven shots on target to LAFC’s one shot.The second half was posed with little threat from Los Angeles, but they were able to hold on to defeat the Sounders on the road. For this Los Angeles team to succeed, the defense will have to clean up several of their mistakes and the midfield was a clutter, showing their lack of experience together. The bright spots for L.A. is the chemistry between Rossi and Vela, and they will have to have moments of brilliance for the team to flourish.
LAFC is lucky to have secured a win, however they did so against one of the finalist of the 2017 MLS Cup on the road and these early points will be remembered when the season winds down. They will have to wait a few more weeks for their home opener and the unveiling of their stadium to home fans, but this will allow Bob Bradley to make the adjustments this club will need. Los Angeles will now go on to face Real Salt Lake next, and we will see how the expansion club responds.