There is always a level of the unknown when a team takes to the pitch for the first time in a new season.
It was likely no different Thursday night when Los Angeles Football Club took on Japanese side Vissel Kobe at Banc of California Stadium.
However, while it wasn’t always clean football, LAFC seemed to put its best foot forward in a 4-1 win over the visitors. Here’s a look at five takeaways from Thursday’s exhibition win:
The Vela statement
Amid transfer rumors, Carlos Vela showed exactly why he will be a staple for LAFC this season.
Just as the Black-and-Gold were looking through a breakthrough, Vela came up big in the first half:
While he didn’t play in the second half, the only thing that should be read into that is the fact that he had already put in good work in the first 45 minutes.
Even the new guy gets into the action
While Vela sat out the second half, LAFC was not without options on offense.
Interestingly enough, it came at the feet of unsigned draft pick Kevin Mendoza.
Mendoza had a stellar strike in the final minutes of the match, shortly after entering.
Could expect good things from the former Liberty University player.
He wasn’t the only new guy
Another new addition for LAFC, Peter-Lee Vassell, made a contribution to the effort by way of a great pass in that found Dejan Jakovic in the 72nd minute.
It was a well-placed ball, and Vassell now has an assist and a goal in two preseason games.
What about the fans?
Yeah, it was only an exhibition match, but the LAFC faithful treated it like it was a regular-season contest.
Love to see that kind of passion, even in the preseason.
Still some questions
But, it is early.
No, Adame Diomande didn’t play that much (injury? Planned short shift?) and the midfield combination of Andre Horta, Lee Nguyen and Lee Atuesta seemed a bit out of sorts in the first half.
But, seeing players like Tristan Blackmon and Shaft Brewer get on the pitch and get quality minutes was something.
What do you think? Leave a comment below!