Despite having the man advantage, LAFC crawled back to win 5-3 after going down 3-1 at halftime.
The victory was the club’s fourth away win this season and they return home Sunday April 29 to take on the Seattle Sounders.
While the victory was unnecessarily difficult, here are three observations I witnessed during the match.
1. The offense keeps scoring at will
While the other team in Los Angeles are finding goal-scoring difficult, LAFC are scoring goals at will. They’ve scored 16 goals so far (that includes goals vs. Montreal), which is joint-third most in the MLS alongside NYCFC.
Even defenders are getting in on the action. In the 23rd minute, ex-Impact centerback Laurent Ciman hit a vicious free kick in the top left-hand corner to tie it up at 1-1.
Benny Feilhaber scored his second goal of the season just after the start of the second half as he curled his shot in the top right-hand corner.
They tied as defender Jukka Raitala tapped the ball back in his own net.
LAFC would then go ahead as Carlos Vela converted a penalty that Evan Bush got a touch to, but rolled into the back of the net.
Latif Blessing gave the away side insurance as he hit home a loose ball that went through the legs of Bush.
LAFC are an exciting team to watch, and it’s because of their high-octane offense.
2. The defense is going to need more time to gel
While LAFC are scoring goals for fun, their defense hasn’t been up to the task.
Compared to their 16 goals scored, they’ve conceded 13 goals and their goal difference is +3.
Before the match, they conceded nine goals in two matches, four against the Galaxy and 5 against Atlanta United.
Against Montreal, the defense got torn apart in the first half.
For the first goal, Walker Zimmerman let a runner get to the back post, which forced Tyler Miller to make an intervention, but no one was there to cover Ignacio Piatti, who hit home the rebound.
For the second goal, Piatti exploited open space between Zimmerman and Ciman as he flew right by the both of them which also forced Miller to make a challenge which a penalty was awarded to the Argentine.
Finally, for the third goal, while Montreal had 10 men, a ball over the top put Piatti though on goal and he slid it past Miller to get his hat-trick before halftime. There was no communication between both Zimmerman and Ciman.
Conceding 12 goals in three matches isn’t the hallmark of a top team, but developing chemistry in the defense does take time.
For LAFC, they will need their defense to strike up an understanding between each other as soon as possible if they want to compete for the MLS Cup in their first season as a club.
3. First goal for Marco Urena is still elusive, but was key in the victory
While he missed a penalty in the first half, Marco Urena put in another excellent performance against Montreal.
He drew the foul that led to Ciman’s goal, he held the ball up well and assisted Feilhaber for the second, and he directly influenced the 5th goal in the match as he fired a shot at Bush’s legs and Blessing pounced on his mistake.
He now brings his assist total to five this season.
The goals will come for Urena. He puts himself in good positions to score and it would be fitting if he can grab the first goal in the first match at The Banc of California Stadium.
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