Tag Archives: LAFC

San Sisniega: LAFC advances to U.S. Open Cup Quarterfinals in 3-1 Win over San Jose Earthquakes

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club returns to the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals after knocking out the San Jose Earthquakes in a 3-1 victory at the Banc of California stadium on Thursday night.

Why change what’s not broken? Head Coach Bob Bradley fielded the same lineup as last week with only one change – that being Adama Diomande and Christian Ramirez switching places in the starting XI. But it was a move that would greatly benefit the team during the second half.

With Tyler Miller away on international duty, Pablo Sisniega made eight saves, including a key stop on a close-range shot in the 63rd minute to keep San Jose out. The keeper earned his second-straight start and put his Olympian lineage on full display with another stellar performance for his first appearance at the Banc.

The match kicked off to a rocky start for the black-and-gold as the Quakes outran Jordan Harvey to break through the defense and find a solo Vako who beat Danilo Silva for the early lead for the visitors in the 7th minute.

LAFC continued to struggle to break down the Quakes giving Cristian Espinoza the chance to run the ball down clear to the opposite end of the field to find Chris Wondolowski at the box – Wondo sent the strike off the cross into the net. But the goal was ruled offside.

Trailing by one, the black-and-gold rushed to find the equalizer. Lee Nguyen played the ball ahead to Diego Rossi, who slipped in behind Andrew Tarbell for a cheeky finish – leveling the match in the 35th minute.

LAFC was quick to knock on San Jose’s door after the restart keeping Tarbell alert as they searched for the third goal of the night. From Latif Blessing‘s chance hitting the crossbar to Vela’s shot going wide – the club produced several chances but still had trouble converting.

Just as the ref put Diomande’s number on the board to sub him out for Ramirez, the striker took Rossi’s through ball, got past Tarbell and doubled the score with a perfect strike on an open net in the 60th minute.

The Mexican captain tried to connect with Ramirez just inside the penalty area. But the ball deflected off San Jose’s player to miss the forward by inches.

San Jose proved they are a different team this year as the match intensified with Espinoza and Wondolowski attacking the goal. However, Sisniega, the Mexico City native, came up huge to deny the Quakes twice.

Rossi sent in a screamer in the 84th minute but it deflected just off the inside of the crossbar. But within seconds, LAFC would find themselves back on San Jose’s doorstep after a Marcos Lopez free-kick went back to the black-and-gold.

Eduard Atuesta worked the ball in the midfield and passed it to Tristian Blackmon through traffic. Blackmon ran it down the center connecting with Vela, who cut around San Jose’s defense and slid it home past Tarbell in the 85th minute; securing the 3-1 victory for the black-and-gold.

The club will host the Portland Timbers in the next round on July 10. But first. LAFC returns to MLS action in a two-game road trip next week as they travel to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park to face the Colorado Rapids. And then east to face Sporting Kansas City five days later.

Featured Image: LAFC

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LAFC Weekly Roundup: USOC Round Of 16, Loans, Horta Leaves, Gold Cup Update, Gold Links

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Survive and advance

LAFC gets revenge once again at Rio Tinto Stadium as they knocked out Real Salt Lake of Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup in a 3-0 win advancing to next round. Carlos Vela, Lee Nguyen, and Adama Diomande scored all three goals of the night.

While four players: Tyler Miller, Walker Zimmerman, Peter-Lee Vassell, and Mark-Anthony Kaye; were away for international duty, the match saw Pablo Sisniega and Rodolfo “Fito” Zelaya make their club debuts helping LAFC stamp their ticket to the next round.

Full match recap here.

Next up. The black-and-gold will host the San Jose Earthquakes in the Round of 16 of the U.S. Open Cup at the Banc of California Stadium on Thursday, June 20.

Batista and Jaković loaned out

Last week, LAFC loaned defender Lamar Batista to USL side, FC Tucson. This will be the 21-year-old’s second loan this year, as he appeared in two matches with Phoenix Rising during a brief loan stint.

Additionally, the club loaned defender Dejan Jaković to USL side, Las Vegas Lights FC. The Canadian, who appeared in 15 matches during the inaugural season, has yet to see any playing time this year.

Per the Right of Recall incorporated in the loan agreement, LAFC retains the right to recall Batista and Jaković at any point during the MLS regular season.

Bye, Horta

On Monday, the club announced it had transferred André Horta to Portuguese side, SC Braga; opening up a DP position on the roster. Returning to the club where he started his career, Horta is set to rejoin his brother and play on the same team again.

Horta first joined the team during last year’s summer transfer window from SL Benfica, appearing in 15 regular season matches, making five starts.

Who do you think will replace him?

The Italian Job

We’re getting another player? Well, maybe not this time.

Late Monday night, a rumor began circulating that LAFC was close to reaching an agreement with Italian International defensive midfielder, Daniele De Rossi. But LA Times’ reporter Kevin Baxter was quick to shut down rumors. And LAFC’s digital manager Vince La Rosa also chimed in to back up his statement.

Player’s Salaries Released

The MLS Players’ Union released their annual list of salaries for all players in the league. Including LAFC, whose full amount, according to the list, was over $13,000,000 across the roster this year.

In an article by Angels on Parade, they broke down the full salary for each player and discussed which player they believe is still underpaid, stating:

“Tyler Miller looks like the obvious choice. He did get a raise compared to last season, but it was a raise of less than $10,000. He’s solidified his status as a starter. He’s on the USMNT roster for the Gold Cup. The guy shouldn’t have to pick up the check this season.”

And I agree.

Carlos Vela is the fourth-highest player in the league with a base salary of a cool $4,500,000 and guaranteed compensation of $6,300,000. The now-departed Horta came in at second, while Diego Rossi was the third millionaire on the team.

Miller and Zimmerman join Gold Cup Roster

Tyler Miller and Walker Zimmerman have officially been added to the United States Men’s National Team roster for the 2019 Gold Cup. The duo appeared on the bench for the USMNT’s pair of final friendlies as they hosted Jamaica and Venezuela.

With Zack Steffen in goal both times, Miller remained on the bench. However, during the friendly against Venezuela – Zimmerman started the second half as a substitute with the team down 3-0 for his third senior appearance. Walker immediately picked up a caution for a foul in the 48th minute, but it didn’t stop him from becoming more involved on the pitch.

The USMNT open their Gold Cup slate on Tuesday, June 18 against Guyana in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Gold Links

Featured Image: Erick Gonzales

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A new rivarly begins: LAFC crashes party in Portland, 3-2

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club ignites new rivalry with a 3-2 win on the road against the Portland Timbers during the grand re-opening of renovated Providence Park.

Carlos Vela, Diego Rossi, and Latif Blessing helped christen the newly renovated stadium before two of Timbers’ own added to the goal count. Around 750-1,000 traveling supporters made the trek to Portland to support LAFC.

And the Mexican captain didn’t disappoint as he got the early lead for the visitors in the 6th minute thanks to an error from Jeff Attinella – scoring his 16th MLS-career goal.

For a brief period of time, both teams kept slipping on the fresh new artificial turf but the black-and-gold used that to their advantage to stop Portland from finding the equalizer.

In the 20th minute, Eduard Atuesta – who has been a formidable player – was quick to block Diego Valeri in a crowded box; sending the ball to Blessing – who ran it down to the opposite end and was blocked.

Blessing would later find Tristian Blackmon from the sideline with a through ball. The Las Vegas native wasted little time to pass it to Rossi for his first assist – who then tucked it away in the right corner of the net to double the score in the 34th minute.

The Timbers immediately cut the lead in half off the rebound right after the restart. Miller saved the first attempt but then Cristhian Paredes opened up the home side’s goal account with the header.

Blessing, who has been dangerous in the midfield lately, was quick to answer Paredes by scoring the third and final goal of the night for LAFC in the 54th minute off a perfect run from Jordan Harvey.

In a six-minute stretch, Miller made two critical saves to deny both Brian Fernandez and Valeri to preserve the two-goal lead.

However, Miller’s efforts did not last long as Fernandez pulled one back in the 84th minute with a bicycle kick to up the score 3-2.

The drama spilled into stoppage time quickly as there were no signs of either team slowing down. Prior to the extra eight minutes given, Vela kept getting chopped down from behind. But alas, the Timbers received little to no punishment from referee Robert Sibiga. And second-half substitution Adama Diomande became the new subject of conversation during the dramatic final moments. He and Timbers’ Fernandez both received a caution following a brawl that broke out between the two.

With tensions high, the match ended in a 3-2 win keeping LAFC’s winning streak alive and cushioning their lead atop of the western conference even more with 37 points.

Before resuming regular MLS action, LAFC will travel to Rino Tinto Stadium to face Real Salt Lake on June 11 in the fourth round of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup.

Photo credit: @LAFC

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LAFC extends home winning streak in 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

After splitting points with Dallas last weekend, the Los Angeles Football Club turned the early lead into an impressive 4-2 win over the Montreal Impact at the Banc of California Stadium on Friday night. With goals from four different players, LA enjoyed their first three-goal first-half lead since April 6th.

The roster was back at full strength with one slight change. Eduard Atuesta returned to the middle and Tristian Blackmon started at left back in place of Steven Beitashour – who is out due to injury.

LAFC did not waste any time, when Christian Ramirez forced an error on Evan Bush, getting the early lead in the 7th minute. Bush tried to clear the ball near the penalty spot, but Ramirez stepped right in front in time to deflect the ball into the back of an open net. It was Ramirez’s third goal of the season and his first in his last six matches.

The early goal would be the first of three goals in the opening half as it started a ripple effect. Carlos Vela carried a through ball from Atuesta toward the goal and slotted it past Bush for his 15th goal of the year – surpassing his 2018 record of 14 goals.

Then less than three minutes later, Vela found Diego Rossi on the left post, who reached Latif Blessing in front of the goal with the assist; Blessing backheeled the pass in for his first goal of the year.

Multiple early false alarms followed after the restart including an attempt from Ramirez and a potential goal from Vela that was later called offsides. Hungry for more goals, in the 55th minute, the Mexican captain connected with Blackmon on a corner kick; the right back’s header in front of the energized 3252 grew the lead to 4-0. It was Blackmon’s second start and first MLS career goal of the season.

However, after a thrilling start, it became clear LAFC was starting to get a little comfortable with the lead about midway into the latter part of the second half – giving the Impact the chance to force mistakes.

Eddie Segura was in the wrong place at the wrong time as Montreal’s Maximiliano Urruti pressured the home side with a shot from outside the box in the 70th minute. Initially, Tyler Miller saved the shot. But it deflected off the center back’s knee rolling into an open net – resulting in an own goal and putting the visitors on the board.

Fourteen minutes later, Walker Zimmerman received a caution for a tackle on Anthony Jackson-Hamel, and Villarreal awarded Montreal the penalty. And Saphir Taider stepped up and converted the penalty by inches – cutting LAFC’s lead in half.

The final chance fell to Diego Rossi in the 87th minute to put the icing on top. But his right-footed shot went wide of the post by a few inches. And finally, Tyler Miller‘s last-minute save to deny Hamel’s volley helped the team extend their winning streak in a 4-2 win.

Next up, LAFC will return on the road as they visit the Portland Timbers in their newly renovated stadium on Saturday, June 1.

Photo credit: @LAFC

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Match Preview: LAFC vs. Montreal Impact

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club continues to cross teams off their revenge list. And FC Dallas was the latest victim.

The two clubs squared off in back-to-back matches with LAFC claiming revenge first as they handed Dallas their first loss in the series in a 2-0 win at the Banc of California Stadium. However, a few days later, the black-and-gold wrapped up another series by splitting points at Toyota Stadium.

Now the club will turn its focus onto another opponent coming in from the North, the Montreal Impact.

LAFC will host the Impact for the first time for their second meeting. The first time these clubs met was in Montreal on April 21, 2018, in which the black-and-gold claimed all three points in a 5-3 win.

Graphics courtesy of the MLS app

The Impact currently holds a 4-4-2 record on the road, while LAFC remains undefeated at home (6-0-1).

Players to look for:

Carlos Vela is not human. There, I said it.

The Mexican captain scored a single goal in both matches of the Dallas series – adding to his already rising MLS career goal account. And he is one goal away from surpassing his previous 2018 total of 14 goals.

Andre Horta and Lee Nguyen made their long-awaited return to the pitch as late substitutions on May 16. A few days later, the duo appeared in the starting lineup for Sunday’s match along with Mohamed El-Munir.

And of course, I like to take a quick moment to recognize two players who’ve reached new career milestones this week:

  • Walker Zimmerman has now played 10,000 minutes in MLS.
  • Steven Beitashour became the first defender in MLS history with 35+ assists and 20,000+ minutes played.

One player out on injury:

Bradley again will nearly have a full roster to choose from with only Steven Beitashour out due to a left hamstring strain, an injury he picked up in the last match against FC Dallas. Alejandro Guido is listed as questionable.

Projected LAFC Starting XI

(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Walker Zimmerman, Josh Perez; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez, Carlos Vela.

Piatti returns:

The Impact welcomed back Ignacio Piatti, after a two-month injury in a scoreless draw against the New England Revolution last weekend.

However, similar to the return of Horta and Nguyen, Piatti appeared as a second-half sub when he entered for Mathieu Choinière in the 66th minute. So I wouldn’t rule out a starting position but given Friday’s contest will be his second game back – he could start on the bench.

Montreal Impact’s Roster:

Montreal has three players out that could impact them:

Defender Clement Bayiha and midfielder Omar Browne are out due to injury.

Samuel Piette will also miss the match because of yellow card accumulation. Piette received his fifth caution in the last match against the New England Revolution snapping his club record of 51 consecutive starts. His disappearance in the midfield could give the home side an advantage.

Projected Montreal Impact Starting XI

(4-3-3): Evan Bush; Zachary Brault-Guillard, Zakaria Diallo, Jukka Raitala, Daniel Lovitz; Shamit Shome, Michael Azira, Saphir Taider; Orji Okwonkwo, Maxi Urruti, Mathieu Choinière.

What is your match prediction?

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The Kings of the West: LAFC bounces back in 3-0 win over Columbus Crew

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club returned to its winning ways in a 3-0 win over the Columbus Crew at MAPFRE stadium on Saturday. Mark-Anthony Kaye, Adama Diomande and Carlos Vela scored all three winning goals of the night.

With a full roster available, there were no changes in the lineup. Tristian Blackmon was among the players who returned to the bench. In what was arguably a must-win situation for the Crew, I’m not sure if the pressure from LAFC but the home side made a lot of mistakes. And the Black-and-Gold was able to capitalize on those easy opportunities.

LAFC had two solid chances to open the scoring with Kaye and Diego Rossi after the whistle blew. Kaye tried to sneak one in past Joe Bendik, unfortunately, his low shot whizzed past the post. In the 31st minute, Rossi hit a curler off of a cross from the Mexican international. But it glided just slightly over the crossbar.

However, the club earned another chance to score in the 37th minute, as Latif Blessing served the 24-year-old midfielder the ball from the top of the box and Kaye flawlessly kicked the ball home.

The Crew was in pursuit of the equalizer and nearly got their opportunity as Robinho sent a pass to Pedro Santos, who fired a rocket down the center. Fortunately, Tyler Miller was in the right place at the right time and came up huge to deny Santos in the 59th minute – earning his fifth clean sheet.

In the 74th minute, the Crew almost pull level but former LA Galaxy forward, Gyasi Zardes saw his goal called back after being called offsides.

The latter part of the half saw all the action with back-to-back goals by Diomande and Vela. First up, a crucial error and a substitution hot off the bench secured the lead for the Black-and-Gold. Josh Perez ran the ball outside the net deflecting off the post, and miscommunication between Bendik and Jonathan Mensah – gave Diomande the opening he needed to hit the rebound to double the score.

Moments later, it was the captain’s turn. It came off of Vela’s dangerous left foot into the back of the net – scoring his 12th goal of the season.

The boys rallied in the final minutes of stoppage time to secure the 3-0 victory and remain atop of the Western Conference standings.

The club will return to LA with all three points and gear up for another two-game series with FC Dallas. LAFC will host them on Thursday, May 16 and then travel to Dallas for the second leg just three days later.

Photo credit: Columbus Crew

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LAFC Weekly Roundup: Carlos Vela, Match Preview, Gold Links

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Columbus, here we come!

Coming off back-to-back draws, LAFC will look to return to its winning form as they travel to MAPFRE stadium to face the Columbus Crew this Saturday, May 11.

LAFC is currently leading the all-time series with one win on June 23 in a 2-0 victory at the Banc of California stadium. However, the Black-and-Gold fell to the Crew during the preseason. Saturday marks the third meeting between the clubs

*Image provided by the MLS’ app

Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta, and Latif Blessing remain a dangerous trio in the midfield. Eddie Segura and Walker Zimmerman are becoming a stronger pair every match. The two center backs may not be able to speak the same language. But they allow the universal language of football to speak for them. And the with a roster back to full health, the club will hopefully utilize every opportunity.

Especially after the Crew defeated the New England Revolution on Wednesday in a 5-0 win – following a five-game losing streak and will likely enter this weekend’s match as a must-win situation.

What are your match predictions?

Back at full health

The roster seems to be back at full health with only defender Danilo Silva and midfielders Alejandro Guido and Javi Pérez listed as questionable.

Head Coach Bob Bradley has nearly a full team to choose from as there are no players out for tomorrow’s competition.

Adama Diomande and Andre Horta appeared in the eighteen last week coming off of long injuries. Dio entered the match in the 75th minute for Steven Beitashour – whom also returned to the starting XI due to injury.

With another two-game series within days of each other on the horizon – I am expecting a little rotation in the roster, if not on the bench for Columbus.

Projected LAFC Starting XI

(4-3-3): Tyler Miller; Jordan Harvey, Eddie Segura, Walker Zimmerman, Steven Beitashour; Eduard Atuesta, Mark-Anthony Kaye, Latif Blessing; Diego Rossi, Christian Ramirez, Carlos Vela.

Carlos Vela earns back-to-back MLS Player of the Month honors

There is really no stopping the Mexican International captain at this point.

On Tuesday, Carlos Vela was voted the MLS Player of the Month for the month of April of the 2019 MLS season. Along with back-to-back MLS honors – Vela is dominating the league in three categories: goals (11), shots (60), and shots on goal (24).

According to LAFC’s Digital Manager, Vince La Rosa: Vela becomes just the seventh-ever player to earn the honors in consecutive months after earning Player of the Month accolades in the first month of the 2019 campaign.

The club’s captain finished April with five goals and two assists over five contests, helping the Black-and-Gold earn a 3-1-1 record. His 16 combined goals and assists are also the most by any player in the opening 10 games of a season in MLS history.

Gold Links

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LAFC hops over Seattle Sounders in 4-1 win

Official Sporting KC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Following a mid-week disaster on the road in Vancouver, the Los Angeles Football Club came back in the biggest way possible by handing the Seattle Sounders their first season loss in a 4-1 victory on Sunday at the Banc of California Stadium.

Donning the new vibrant navy blue Parley jerseys for Earth Day weekend, LAFC was unstoppable from start to finish. They held 58% possession, used space to keep the ball in the center of the pitch – creating dangerous plays in the visitor’s box. Additionally, the match saw the return of Lee Nguyen, who missed the last three matches due to an injury; he entered as a substitution for Steven Beitashour in the 89th minute.

Carlos Vela has been on fire this season and last night was no different, as the forward snagged the early lead in the 12th minute for the black-and-gold. The Mexican captain would go on to score his 10th goal of the season in the 55th minute answering Harry Shipp’s goal – which got Seattle on the board, four minutes prior. Last season he recorded 14 goals total and is well on his way to breaking that record. But he wasn’t the only one having a good night.

Mark-Anthony Kaye and Eduard Atuesta had a dominant performance, with both in the heart of midfield. The duo ran the show with a combined one goal and four assists. They were, as MLS’ Jonathan Sigal described, “tempo-setters, disruptive forces, creators and finishers.” With the addition of Latif Blessing, the trio provided LAFC the control it needed.

Of course, we need to talk about Christian Ramirez. His goal might not win Goal of the Week, but what a beautiful play it was. He back-heeled centrally to Kaye, who then sent a through ball straight through the back line and Ramirez curled it home from close range. What is even more admirable, is that not even 10 minutes after making the goal, Ramirez rushed back to the home side’s net to help prevent a dangerous opportunity from Seattle.

Even though Shipp managed to slip past Tyler Miller in the 51st minute, the 26-year-old keeper came up huge twice to preserve LAFC’s undefeated at home streak.

The remainder of the match saw LAFC try to add a fifth goal to the total but Stefan Frei denied Peter-Lee Vassell from a close range – ending the match 4-1.

LAFC won round one of the ‘Best in the West’ battle, remaining atop the Western Conference. The club will travel to Seattle, where the Sounders are undefeated at Century Link Stadium for round two next Sunday.

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Carlos Vela: Is he the next rising King of MLS?

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

Despite dropping their first match of 2019 on the road Wednesday to the Vancouver Whitecaps, the Los Angeles Football Club has been dominating the league this season, thus far. And at the helm, is Captain Carlos Vela.

The 30-year-old forward has recorded eight goals and five assists with his eighth being in last weekend’s match against FC Cincinnati. Vela has also logged his first hat-trick in San Jose, California on March 30 in a 5-0 win.

LAFC may not be the King of the North anymore, but is Vela still the best in LA?

Let me explain.

Vela practically owns Team of the Week, having appeared in it for three consecutive weeks and is currently leading the league in four categories: (8) goals, (5) assists, (46) shots, and, (17) shots on goal and ranks third in the Audi Player Index Ratings. In addition to being voted the MLS Player of the Month for March of the 2019 MLS season.

Before joining the black-and-gold in 2018, Vela was already a well-decorated player. He is best known for his role on the Mexican National Team and for having stints with Arsenal and Real Sociedad. While with Arsenal he was loaned out to multiple clubs (Celta de Vigo, Salamanca, Osasuna, etc.) due to work permit restrictions that prevented from playing in England. But in 2008, Vela was granted a work permit and would go on to score eleven goals for the EPL team. In 2012, Carlos was officially transferred to Real Sociedad; recording 73 goals over a five-year span.

Vela was LAFC’s first-ever designated player signing from La Liga club Real Sociedad on August 11, 2017. In the agreement, he remained with his former club until January 1, 2018.

The club continues to break records this season. After setting the bar high during their inaugural season, the black-and-gold are still looking to push boundaries. This year alone, with six wins and a draw through seven games, “only 2012 Sporting Kansas City and 1996 LA Galaxy have done better,” each winning all of their seven opening matches.

Naturally, being placed at the top of everyone’s radar doesn’t come without a bit of controversy. Herculez Gomez and Sebastian Salazar of the Two on Tri podcast discussed if Vela is just “coasting” in MLS. They argue the Mexican International has not been performing at his best.

While some may agree with their sentiments: ‘do I think he’s coasting?’ Eh, somewhat. After comparing the past teams he’s played for, the forward does seem to pick and choose his moments. But Vela has taken on the captain role seriously and improved greatly since 2018.

Vela has yet to address the accusations. However, during a press conference last week the captain stated: he wants to be the best in MLS. And he’s off to a great start.

Of course, it is still early in the season to declare Vela the 2019 MVP; but as long as Carlos continues to develop throughout the course of this season – he can surely make 2019 his year.

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LAFC Shakes Up San Jose In 5-0 Win

Official LAFC Reporter

By Araceli Villanueva // @Aracelv1

The Los Angeles Football Club continued their undefeated run in a 5-0 win over the San Jose Earthquakes at Avaya Stadium on Saturday – the largest win in club history.

As fans shook the stadium (literally!), LAFC wasted little time gaining possession as the midfield devastated San Jose’s approach. The trio: Mark-Anthony Kaye, Eduard Atuesta, and Latif Blessing, were all well in sync leading the way.

In the eight minute, Daniel Vargas’ error would leave an open net for the Mexican captain as he casually walked in a goal to open the scoring account for the visitors.

Former Quakes, Steven Beitashour and Diego Rossi, also added a goal of their own, respectively. Rossi nearly got the early lead in the fifth minute; after forcing a turnover he found himself 1-on-1 with the goal but his shot was saved.

Although San Jose won in terms of possession at 52.1%, LAFC was sharp in retrieving the ball after losing it. The Earthquakes did manage to break through LAFC’s defense twice but saw both opportunities saved by Tyler Miller – who earned his first clean sheet of the season.

Carlos Vela. Let’s take a quick moment to appreciate this captain. Vela, who continues to lead the league has scored some special goals during his tenure with LAFC, but his hat trick proved to be his best. It was his 20th since his arrival in the MLS, and sixth this season.

After bagging his second goal just before the half, it wouldn’t take long for the Mexican International to curl home his first hat trick in the 66th minute.

LAFC remains on the road as they travel to Audi Field to face Wayne Rooney and company on Saturday, April 6.

Photo credit: LAFC

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