By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1
Vela leads LAFC to 2-2 Draw in New York
Last weekend, the luck of the Irish was on LAFC’s side as they earned a hard-fought point on the road in a 2-2 draw against New York City FC on Sunday.
Carlos Vela continues to be the most influential player by keeping the ball moving, bagging a pair of goals to extend LAFC’s undefeated streak for a remarkable start of their 2019 campaign.
Missing Lee Nyguen and Steven Beitashour due to injuries, LAFC pushed through. An uneven playing surface proved to be problematic for the first half but LAFC adjusted to regain more control in the midfield; it was less effective. But the strategy wreaked havoc for NYCFC.
Click here for the full recap
But the main story is the supporters who traveled to the match. Around 200 to 300 supporters’ chants were loud and clear on FS1’s broadcast for the full 90 minutes. It felt like I was back at the Banc.
Loans. Loans. Loans.
Last week, LAFC announced they have loaned four players to USL side, Phoenix Rising FC – defenders Tristian Blackmon and Shaft Brewer Jr., midfielder Javier Perez, and forward Josh Perez.
According to the club statement: “Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the loan agreements, LAFC retains the right to call the players at any point during the MLS regular season, subject to MLS roster compliance guidelines.”
Blackmon, Brewer Jr., and Perez have spent time with Phoenix last season. This will be Javier Perez’s first loan in the USL Championship.
It’s a player’s dream to receive a call-up for national duty. And for LAFC, several players’ dreams became a reality as Christian Ramirez, Peter-Lee Vassell, Mark Anthony Kaye, and Mohamed El-Munir have been called in to serve their national teams, respectively.
All five players will miss this weekend’s home match against Real Salt Lake.
Here’s the breakdown:
Christian Ramirez – United States of America
The Santa Ana native is no stranger to the United States Men’s National Team after spending time in the January camp with fellow teammates, Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman.
His past performances, which were highlighted by scoring a goal in the 3-0 win over Panama, earned him another call-up when USMNT’s head coach Gregg Berhalter released the roster for upcoming friendlies against Ecuador and Chile.
Ramirez did not appear in the USMNT’s 1-0 win over Ecuador on Thursday night in Orlando, Florida. But he could have a chance to appear as the USMNT takes on Chile on Tuesday, March 26 in Houston, Texas.
Peter-Lee Vassell – Jamaica
The 21-year-old has made two substitute appearances for the black-and-gold this season. Jamaica faces El Salvador on March 23 in Concacaf Nations League play.
The Reggae Boyz currently have three wins in the competition.
Mark-Anthony Kaye – Canada
After missing the remainder of 2018 due to an ankle injury, Kaye started in the first two LAFC matches.
Kaye will join the likes of Alphonso Davies, Jonathan Osorio, and Cyle Larin the 23-man squad. Canada faces French Guiana on March 24, needing a win to secure its place in the 2019 Concacaf Gold Cup.
Mohamad El-Munir – Libya
El-Munir has appeared on the roster for the first three matches but has yet to make his club debut. Libya is set to take on South Africa on March 24 in Group E of Africa Cup of Nations qualifying.
Josh Perez – US U-23 squad
The United States’ Under-23 Men’s National Team will play its first matches of the 2020 U-23 cycle with a pair of friendlies in San Pedro del Pinatar, Spain; the first under newly named manager Jason Kreis.
Included on the twenty-three man roster is LAFC forward Josh Perez, who joined LAFC in August before going on loan to Phoenix Rising FC where he remains so far this season.
The Olympic hopefuls will face Egypt on Friday, March 22 and the Netherlands on Sunday, March 24. Both matches are set to kick off at 12 p.m. ET at the Pinatar Arena in San Pedro del Pinatar.
- Walker Zimmerman joins the podcast family with his brand new podcast, “The Locker Room.” In his first episode, Walker sits down with former teammate, Aaron Kovar.
- Defenders of the Banc podcast co-founder creates the “Golazo” scarf that launched in LAFC HQ this week.
- Can’t make it to a game at the Banc? Have no fear. LAFC released the full list of official bar partners for the 2019 season.
Photo credit: @LAFC
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