It was bound to be inevitable that the Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) would lose a game. But a loss to the previously winless Vancouver Whitecaps sounds some alarms heading into a matchup with the rival Seattle Sounders.
Wednesday’s loss had all the signs of a “trap game.” Coming into the matchup LAFC could count on three straight shutouts by a combined 11-0 score.
There were thing to worry about though. Going into the game coach Bob Bradley had to juggle his starting XI, Bradley put in four players making their first starts in MLS either due to injury or to conserve energy.
The lineup changes may have left the team disjointed. Bradley had to admit as much.
“I didn’t think we started well. Too many guys late on plays, came in second on additional plays.
The poor start was ultimately LAFC’s downfall, 27 minutes into the game the defense was late covering the wing, when the shot came off the post nobody got to the rebound or Inbeom Hwang who scored the game’s only goal off the rebound.
Down early left the team hunting for goals and after the slow start LAFC started to exude their will on the game.
LAFC dominated possession time holding onto the ball 61-percent for the game and despite having the ball longer they didn’t make the most of their chances.
LAFC had 14 shots to the Whitecaps 11 but the Whitecaps created more chances by putting four shots on target to LAFC’s three.
The Whitecaps goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau was the Whitecaps saving grace making three saves, the most important a point blank stop right before half time on a low shot by Peter Lee-Vassell.
Captain Carlos Vela couldn’t conjure up his usual magic and seemed off with his best chances flying past the post in the 69th minute.
Vela had to acknowledge his teams shortcomings postgame.
“I think tonight was not our best night. We started a little bit slow in the game…After in the second half, we tried to push more to have options. But in the end it was not a good day for us.”
If LAFC is going to regain their status as the best team in the league then they’ll have to learn from this game and regroup Sunday against the Seattle Sounders.