By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
Following a mid-week disaster on the road in Vancouver, the Los Angeles Football Club came back in the biggest way possible by handing the Seattle Sounders their first season loss in a 4-1 victory on Sunday at the Banc of California Stadium.
Donning the new vibrant navy blue Parley jerseys for Earth Day weekend, LAFC was unstoppable from start to finish. They held 58% possession, used space to keep the ball in the center of the pitch – creating dangerous plays in the visitor’s box. Additionally, the match saw the return of Lee Nguyen, who missed the last three matches due to an injury; he entered as a substitution for Steven Beitashour in the 89th minute.
Carlos Vela has been on fire this season and last night was no different, as the forward snagged the early lead in the 12th minute for the black-and-gold. The Mexican captain would go on to score his 10th goal of the season in the 55th minute answering Harry Shipp’s goal – which got Seattle on the board, four minutes prior. Last season he recorded 14 goals total and is well on his way to breaking that record. But he wasn’t the only one having a good night.
Mark-Anthony Kaye and Eduard Atuesta had a dominant performance, with both in the heart of midfield. The duo ran the show with a combined one goal and four assists. They were, as MLS’ Jonathan Sigal described, “tempo-setters, disruptive forces, creators and finishers.” With the addition of Latif Blessing, the trio provided LAFC the control it needed.
Of course, we need to talk about Christian Ramirez. His goal might not win Goal of the Week, but what a beautiful play it was. He back-heeled centrally to Kaye, who then sent a through ball straight through the back line and Ramirez curled it home from close range. What is even more admirable, is that not even 10 minutes after making the goal, Ramirez rushed back to the home side’s net to help prevent a dangerous opportunity from Seattle.
Even though Shipp managed to slip past Tyler Miller in the 51st minute, the 26-year-old keeper came up huge twice to preserve LAFC’s undefeated at home streak.
The remainder of the match saw LAFC try to add a fifth goal to the total but Stefan Frei denied Peter-Lee Vassell from a close range – ending the match 4-1.
LAFC won round one of the ‘Best in the West’ battle, remaining atop the Western Conference. The club will travel to Seattle, where the Sounders are undefeated at Century Link Stadium for round two next Sunday.
Featured image: Mark-Anthony Kaye IG // @markthewizzz
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