Goals by Carlos Vela and Zlatan Ibrahimovic wasn’t necessarily the only action on the pitch for El Trafico III, but it was what mattered as Los Angeles Football Club drew 1-1 with LA Galaxy Friday night.
Here are our five takeaways from the second draw in three matches between the two clubs.
Distracted or out
Like I said, Vela and Ibra weren’t the only action Friday night as defender and LAFC captain Laurent Ciman was noticeably absent from the match.
Later, ESPN’s Taylor Twellman said that Ciman was out of the lineup because LAFC head coach Bob Bradley felt that Ciman wasn’t focused enough to even be included in the 18-man roster.
Whether it is because Ciman has been offered or if he has other things on his plate, this is one of those situations that can spiral a team out of control and needs to be resolved quickly.
It’s really no secret that I have no love lost for Ibrahimovic.
Never really been a fan and because he plays for Carson, I have even less reason to.
Despite getting the first goal — albeit on a VAR review — of the night, Ibra was contained for most of the match, which is something other teams in MLS have yet to figure out how to do.
HT: 1-0 LA Galaxy.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) August 25, 2018
Who else but Zlatan Ibrahimovic?! pic.twitter.com/XenpPDoBbu
There was a second attempt by Zlatan, and Walker Zimmerman failed to reduce the space.
But, that was just about all we heard from the former Swedish international the rest of the night.
I know from experience that those who are perceived to be goalscorers feel it is their job to take penalties.
Regardless of whether I agree or not, Vela showed incredible poise in his game-tying penalty in the 51st minute.
Considering the pressure and everyone thinking he was going to his left with the shot, but rather went up the middle is pretty ballsy of Vela.
Yeah, I am good with ballsy.
In the second half, LAFC had so many chances to take control of this match, but they just couldn’t finish.
Huge chance for #LAFC is wasted. Feilhaber was slipped in by Atuesta, but he failed to take it around Bingham. The veteran midfielder really should've just taken the simple shot and finished that.#LAvLAFC #LAGalaxy #ElTrafico #MLS pic.twitter.com/XrIMU5ETGi— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) August 25, 2018
Quality combination play by Horta and Rossi to carve out the last chance, but no one made the right run as the cross flashed in front of goal. #LAFC the more threatening side late on, but failed to capitalize to beat #LAGalaxy.#LAvLAFC #ElTrafico #MLS #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/6DvLNX6Gcg— Jason Foster (@JogaBonito_USA) August 25, 2018
But, alas, nothing came of them. That is a big problem. Finishing has been a consistent issue for this squad over the last few months.
I really can’t put a finger on it, but these kinds of things can cost LAFC points or positioning down the road.
A point is a point is a point
Yeah, I know it isn’t a win, but it wasn’t a loss.
As a result, LAFC moved up to second in the West while the Galaxy continue to languish in fifth.
The season certainly is far from over, but this position is a lot better than I think a lot of people figured LAFC would be in at this point of the season.
What do you think? Post your comment below!