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LAFC: Carlos Vela brings down Timbers with Magical Performance

LAFC Carlos Vela
LAFC players celebrate their team goal | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 10, 2019

The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) is no longer the new kid on the block. LAFC took on the defending Western Conference Champion Portland FC Timbers in their second consecutive home game to kickoff the 2019 MLS season.

LAFC showed the Timbers how powerful their offensive potential is with a 4-1 thrashing in front of a sold out Banc of California Stadium. The last time the two teams played, the Timbers ended the LAFC 2018 season as they won their playoff game 3-2 last October.

LAFC certainly looked like they were out for revenge, they retained possession of the ball at a 60 percent clip, had seven shots on target, and a whopping 80 percent pass accuracy in the attacking half.

All this means is that when LAFC had the ball at their feet they were constantly pushing the Timbers further and further into their own net.

LAFC Carlos Vela
LAFC captain Carlos Vela celebrates his goal in front of the 3252 section | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 10, 2019

The person driving the engine was the captain Carlos Vela who had perhaps his most complete game with the team, assisting on two goals and scoring one of his own.

Perhaps mirroring coach Bob Bradley’s philosophy to enjoy and move on, Vela had this to say afterwards.

“We’re just starting. We can’t get too high on ourselves. We’ve won two good games but have things to work on.”

The team is more than just one player and part of LAFC’s early success shows how much potential to be one of the best in the league. Mark-Anthony Kaye started the scoring putting the team up 1-0 at the 14 minute mark.

For Kaye it had to have been a sweet moment, having been lost to a leg injury in the middle of last season. He commented on the goal after the game:

“Coming off injury and being able to score two games into the season is a great accomplishment for me.”

Despite giving up a tying goal on a set piece to the Timbers Jeremy Ebobisse, LAFC continued to keep the pressure up in the attacking half. They were rewarded with a goal from Christian Ramirez right before halftime.

A concern coming out of the half was the loss of defender Steven Beitashour who was placed on concussion protocol after a collision.

LAFC GK Tyler Miller makes a save | Photo by Jorge Galvez for LA Soccer Nation | March 10, 2019

Coach Bradley went with midfielder Latif Blessing to man the right-back position, an unusual proposition after Blessing saw few minutes in a fullback position.

Bradley was rewarded though when Blessing assisted on the third LAFC goal by Adama Diomande who scored as a substitute for the second consecutive match at the 68th minute.

Three minutes later Vela scored giving LAFC the win setting them up for their first road game next week.

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