Tag Archives: Brian Rodriguez

LAFC earns point at home in third straight draw

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club played Toronto FC to a 1-1 draw in a high-intensity match after returning a two-game road series on Saturday night at the Banc of California stadium.

Although it wasn’t their best performance, the match gave us a glimpse of the DP trio (Carlos Vela, Brian Rodriguez, and Diego Rossi). And we finally saw Diego Palacios on the bench for the first time since signing with the club last month.

Mark-Anthony Kaye tried a through ball just two minutes after the whistle, but Vela was caught offside – setting the tone for the match.

Moments later, Vela challenged Michael Bradley in a game of keep away. The captain defeated the younger Bradley but still couldn’t get through the backline to create a chance.

Toronto FC’s Tsubasa Endoh claimed the lead in the 19th minute after sending in a low cross into the corner off Jozy Altidore’s cross from inside the box.

The miscommunication between defenders continued when Jordan Harvey and Eddie Segura missed a chance to pass; that eventually led to Toronto getting around LAFC’s defense and opening up a dangerous scoring opportunity.  In the 30th minute, Marky Delgado took a shot from the right side of the box that was blocked by a sliding Walker Zimmerman.

Trailing by one – Rossi initially answered the young Japanese midfielder’s goal with the equalizer in the 33rd minute, burying a perfect through ball inside the near post. But as the script goes, his goal was called offsides.

Missing our normal dynamic midfield, the first half was met with a disorganized mess as LAFC struggled to dismantle Toronto FC’s tough defense.

Tristian Blackmon replaced Steven Beitashour at right back as a halftime substitute.

The substitution was a good move for the Black & Gold as they dominated possession and bumped up their shot total to 11, keeping Toronto’s keeper Quentin Westberg on high alert. However, LAFC continued to struggle to find their way around Toronto FC’s defense – that constantly adjusted to match the hosts’ combination plays.

Lee Nguyen came on to replace Zimmerman in the 75th minute moving to a three-man back line.

LAFC’s inaugural captain Laurent Ciman was greeted with applause from the crowd when he made his return to the Banc; coming on for Toronto the next minute.

In the third minute of stoppage time, Latif Blessing drew the penalty after Chris Mavinga scissored him in the chest inside the penalty area. Referee Ted Unkel initially awarded only a corner but changed this ruling after using VAR review.

The captain stepped up to convert the penalty, scoring his 29th career goal, and giving the home side a point in their third-straight draw of the season.

Despite leading the Supporters’ Shield, the Black & Gold are winless in their last five games while drawing four, and could not officially clinch the overall top seed this past weekend.

But not all hope is lost.

According to LAFC’s Digital Manager, Vince La Rosa, LAFC’s new magic number is three and they have two solid chances to secure the Supporters’ Shield on Wednesday.

Next up, the club will host former player Christian Ramirez and the Houston Dynamo on Wednesday, September 25th.

Featured Image: LAFC

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Catching up with all of LAFC’s recent roster changes

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

It has been a very busy few weeks for the Los Angeles Football Club as the MLS secondary transfer window officially closed last night. The club wasted no time in making some serious roster moves with unanswered rumors still floating around.

LAFC released both Shaft Brewer, Jr. and Christian Ramirez; securing Eddie Segura from loan and offering him and Latif Blessing a contract extension. LAFC also added forward Brian Rodriguez and defender Diego Palacios to the already powerful roster – where he will join Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Adama Diomande.

Here’s the full breakdown:

Shaft Brewer Jr.

The first roster move came as Shaft Brewer Jr. and the club mutually agreed to part ways on July 28.

Brewer Jr., 19, was initially acquired by LAFC in March of 2018, in a trade with FC Dallas. He would go on to make four appearances, with one start for the black-and-gold, the loss against the Vancouver Whitecaps.

Shaft spent most of his time on loan with USL side, Phoenix Rising FC. During preseason, it looked like he would take on more of a role with the senior team but never broke through.

Eddie Segura

LAFC secured defender Eddie Segura from Colombian side Atletico Huila on a permanent basis following a six-month loan. He is on a multi-year deal.

Segura has proven to be a great defensive fixture for the club; as he remains only one of three players on the roster to appear in every game across all competitions in 2019. Partnered with Walker Zimmerman, Segura is also the only new starter to the roster this season.

This is very exciting news as the 22-year-old continues to develop and looks to be a foundational piece for the club moving forward.

Latif Blessing

Latif Blessing is staying in LA. Earlier this week, the 22-year-old attacker signed a new multi-year contract extension until 2022.

Similar to Segura, Blessing is also one of three LAFC players that has seen action in every contest across all competitions this season and has been vital to the midfield. In his second campaign with the black-and-gold, Blessing has logged in 23 appearances, with 19 starts, tallying three goals and five assists in 1,792 minutes.

“I know I speak for fans and staff alike that Latif has won everyone over with his infectious energy play, and he is well-deserving of his new contract,” said EVP & general manager John Thorrington in a team statement. “His game continues to grow, and we know he will play an integral part in the club’s success on and off the field moving forward.”

It’s no secret there was some doubt surrounding Blessing after he posted a few cryptic messages. Hopefully, this new deal will satisfy him and the fans.

Christian Ramirez

In true deja vu form, the club agreed to trade forward Christian Ramirez to the Houston Dynamo. Ramirez joined LAFC on a deadline-day trade last year during the 2018 summer transfer window from Minnesota United FC.

According to the official statement from LAFC:

“The club acquired $250,000 in Allocation Money ($175,000 in General Allocation Money and $75,000 in Targeted Allocation Money) from the Houston Dynamo in exchange for the forward. Additionally, the club could receive $75,000 in GAM if Ramirez meets certain performance metrics with the Dynamo. LAFC also retains considerations for a percentage of future sell-on fees for Ramirez.”

The 28-year-old logged in 16 starts making a total of 24 appearances during his tenure with the club – recording six goals and two assists.

It’s a shame to see a promising player like Ramirez be released. He is a very hard-working player and was a great answer when Diomande was out with an injury, however, he missed huge scoring opportunities earlier this season.

Brian Rodriguez

After much speculation and several hints given – thank you Embassy of Uruguay – Brian Rodriguez is officially black-and-gold.

In a record-breaking sale of $11.5 million, Rodriguez is the third most expensive signing in MLS history.

The club agreed to terms with forward Brian Rodriguez as a Young Designated Player. Rodriquez arrives from Club Atlético Peñarol of Uruguay’s Primera División and will be added to LAFC’s roster “pending receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and P1 Visa.”

LAFC’s digital manager, Vince La Rosa described Rodriguez as a “willing presser,” “playmaker” and someone who is very energetic on the ball containing the ability to play off with either foot – making it very difficult for defenders to catch him.

In addition to acquiring Rodriguez, LAFC confirmed they have entered a significant partnership with Peñarol. Including, an exhibition match between the teams in 2020, and an exchange of coaching, academy and player resources.

Diego Palacios

Diego “El Chiqui” Palacios is black-and-gold!

The club announced on Monday they acquired the 20-year-old defender using Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) beating out Spanish giant FC Barcelona before the transfer window closed.

Diego joins LAFC from SD Aucas of Primera Categoría Serie A in Ecuador after spending the 2018 season on loan to Willem II of the Eredivisie, the top league in Holland.

“Diego is an impressive young player who has drawn interest from some of the top clubs in the world,” LAFC EVP & General Manager John Thorrington said. “We are excited that Diego has chosen to come to Los Angeles to develop and grow in the next stage of his career.”

If Palacios is match ready in time, we could see him as a potential substitution for Jordan Harvey with Mohamed El-Munir still out on injury.

“Diego is a young, talented left back and we’re really excited because we think he’s another player that fits well with everything we try to do,” said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley.

Diego Rossi (Rumor)

So far, so good. Rossi is staying in Los Angeles. Reports have surfaced that Italian side Fiorentina is pushing hard for the 21-year-old attacker offering around $16.8 million.

Rossi is a very significant player for the black-and-gold. He is currently fourth in the league with 13 goals and second for 35 shots on goal. In addition to five assists and 1971 minutes, thus far.

What do you think about these roster changes?

Featured Image:  Brian Rodriguez (IG)

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