The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) welcomed the New York Red Bulls to Banc of California Stadium for the first time in their MLS history on a pleasant summer night.
The only time the two teams had met was a year ago when the Red Bulls sent LAFC out of the Big Apple with a loss.
Los Angeles was looking to repay the Red Bulls by showing them why they are the best team in MLS this year.
Both teams came out firing in the first half providing plenty of fireworks as both teams attacked and scored goals in bunches.
LAFC scored a rare set-piece goal off a free kick in the 23rd minute as defender Jordan Harvey got his head on Carlos Vela’s kick. Just two minutes later Latif Blessing scored for the second game in a row when he was able to get to a rebound in the box before the Red Bulls, putting the ball into an empty net.
The deficit forced the Red Bulls to up the pressure and it worked in the 42nd minute when Cristian Casseres beat LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller from outside the box.
Right before the half, the Red Bulls broke free on a counter and with better numbers put in the tying goal on a shot that Miller deflected into his own net stunning the LAFC supporters.
At the half, the Red Bulls were out playing LAFC getting nine shots off to just five for LAFC something that has happened all of three times this season in first halves for LAFC.
Coach Bob Bradley addressed the defensive breakdowns right before post-game stating:
“The first goal, we were defending, the ball came out and Latif [Blessing] received, they closed him down fast and he lost it, so at halftime he’s disappointed with himself but that happens in football. “
In the second half L.A. again scored in bunches taking the lead in the 61st minute thanks to a Vela penalty after Atuesta was brought down in the box. It was Vela’s 37th goal in the MLS setting a record for Mexican-born players in the league.
Los Angeles put the game on ice in the 72nd minute, again from a Vela free-kick this time defender Eddie Segura put his head on the ball scoring his first goal of the season.
With a second assist to go along with his goal, Vela tied a single-season record for most combined goals and assists held by Sebastian Giovinco.
After the game Vela described his feelings about the record:
“I think for me that record is more important than just goals because in the end, I’m not a striker, I’m not just scoring goals, I’m not always just in the front waiting for the ball. I’m trying to involve all of my teammates, I’m trying to help them, I’m trying to make some plays for them. So that’s more important because I like to make assists too. This is a good record and I’m trying to do my best.”
Another win for LAFC and another opponent leaving Los Angeles with a loss. LAFC continues to be the team to beat in MLS as the season marches on.