Los Angeles Football Club hadn’t experienced a win in nearly a month, and on Wednesday, they found the magic to pick up three points once again, after beating Real Salt Lake 2-0 at home. With three points in hand, here are five takeaways from the win:
Christian Ramirez is off and running with LAFC
It was always a mystery why Christian Ramirez didn’t get more consistent playing time with Minnesota United. He has great movement, he can hold up the ball, and is a very good finisher. He put those on display tonight with two goals in the first half to open up his account with the club. Despite all of LAFC’s attacking talent, expect the man known as Superman to get a good run here down the stretch with the club.
Lee Nguyen has really settled into the midfield
The beginning of the year was not looking good for Lee Nguyen. After his initial requests for a trade from the New England Revolution were rebuffed, Nguyen was frozen out of the team by coach Brad Friedel, and did not make any appearances this year for the Revs. Just when it seemed like Nguyen would be stuck in purgatory this year, he was traded to LAFC. It took him some time to settle in, but Nguyen is now a key contributor in the midfield, and he and Benny Feilhaber are the engine of this team.
Unfinished chances again for LAFC
If you don’t have a stout defense, the best one can be a good offense. And LAFC do have a good offense, a very good one when all things are clicking. But they have a tendency to miss some chances, and they did so again in this game, especially in the second half. Give credit to RSL goalie Andrew Putna, who came in for an injured Nick Rimando and made some big saves to keep the scoreline manageable.
The Defense bends a little but doesn’t break in the second half
Much has been made of LAFC’s inconsistency at the back, and their inability to hold a lead. This game played out the way many others had, LAFC jumps out hot, and gets ahead of their opponents. Then the game slows down, LAFC miss a few chances they should make, and then the other team grows into the game and gets back into the game. There was a spell in the 2nd half where RSL were controlling the play, and had a couple good chances. But unlike other games, LAFC’s defense held, and with a couple nice saves by Tyler Miller, they got the win and the clean sheet.
The West remains wide open
LAFC had hit their first slump of the season, and thankfully this victory breaks that winless streak. This is a weird year in the Western Conference, no team has stood out as the best team for all that long, and all the playoff teams are bunched in together. LAFC are only 3 points off the top spot in the West, and if they can get back to their best with a favorable schedule down the stretch, they should absolutely challenge for the top spot in the West.
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