By Keira Smith // @keiramunsmith
Sunday, May 13: 2-2 Draw
Mia Hamm introducing Olie!! #LAFC #MLS pic.twitter.com/t7APbKLT4H
— John E. Rojas (@jrojasa75) May 14, 2018
Mia’s Magical Falcon versus the Pigeon
No, I promise this won’t be a drool fest about everything Los Angeles Football Club does right. Humor me for a minute and I’ll quickly move on. As a New York City Football Club fan, I’m a bit green with envy.
Banc of California Stadium is beautiful – located in actual downtown Los Angeles, a mere walking distance from the USC campus. The supporters’ section holds over 3200 supporters. They have a live falcon. (Hey, I’m into birds of prey. Don’t judge.)
The soccer-specific stadium has real grass. The uniforms are timelessly stylish worn by talented, young international players and they are part-owned by sports phenoms Mia Hamm, Magic Johnson, Nomar Garciaparra, and well-known actor Will Ferrell. I was nervous that the new cool kids in town were going to defeat us.
My Chad Smith go juice 😂https://t.co/GuCAV3HycI
— ⓐⓕⓐⓢⓣⓕⓘⓡⓔ (@afastfire) May 13, 2018
I hope that some newbies to soccer and detractors of the sport caught some of this match as it was a nail biter with possession ping-ponging from end to end and it was also a fun watch. From David Villa‘s 402nd goal which was an easy-peasy header rebound off a penalty shot to take the lead 1-0 to Ismael Tajouri- Shradi‘s game tying rebound rocket minutes after being subbed in, the vibe was positively SoCal. The sun was blinding and the chanting was relentless and intense.
Tajouri-Shradi equalizes for NYCFC! 2-2! pic.twitter.com/mL1ownNpmp
— Total MLS (@TotalMLS) May 14, 2018
Major props go out to the almost perfect play of LAFC’s Laurent Ciman and Latif Blessing who dished out trouble for NYCFC from the first whistle. New York City clearly evolved in their strategy of maintaining possession in tight spaces and constantly trying to thread the proverbial needle to maintaining possession but mixing in deep long low balls and high crosses to penetrate LA’s defense. This game could have gone either way with plenty of missed finishers, great saves, and clearances by both teams.
- Tajouri-Shradi is back and scored his fifth goal in as many games.
- Villa is back in major hustle mode, applying pressure in every corner of the field and was potent in the counter attacks.
- Goalkeeper Sean Johnson made some ridiculously incredible saves.
- One of the goals LA was credited for was an own goal off a deflection by defender Sebastien Ibeagha. Ouch.
- We still have no stadium of our own.
- Will we move forward utilizing this new strategy mixing in long balls or will we go back to our short pass possession method?
- Is Anton Tinnerholm injured?
- Why are we not more dangerous off set pieces?
“Can’t stop, addicted to the shindig. Chop Top, he says I’m gonna win big.” – Red Hot Chili Peppers
Featured image: nycfc.com
Follow and chat with me on Twitter // @keiramunsmith
Check us out on Instagram @mlsfemale