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Black and Gold View: It’s impressive, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves

LAFC’s start to the season has been headline-worthy, but a pumping of the brakes may be in order.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Los Angeles FC
Los Angeles FC forward Carlos Vela (10) attempts a shot while FC Cinncinati defenseman Kendall Waston (2) defends during the first half at Banc of California Stadium.
Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday’s win over FC Cincinnati has further propelled Los Angeles Football Club into the top ranks of Major League Soccer.

Furthermore, Carlos Vela is just laying the foundation to what could be an impressive run at the league’s Most Valuable Player honors.

And, while the hype has been the strong start to the season for both LAFC and its captain, we might need to take a step back a bit before we all jump on the MLS Cup championship bus we all have in our minds rolling through downtown Los Angeles.

Let me preface by saying that we can’t really scoff at the start because it is, after all, impressive. Winning six of the first seven matches and drawing the other one is something only Seattle Sounders FC can come close to saying – Seattle has five wins and a draw in its first six matches.

But, we have to be wary of suggesting the Black-and-Gold are world-beaters just yet.

The competition

It has been a mix of competition thus far for LAFC, but most of it has been down.

In fact, just one of LAFC’s first seven opponents presently have a winning record – D.C. United at 4-1-2. The combined record of all of LAFC’s opponents is 11-20-14.

So, it hasn’t been the strongest of competition early on.

MLS: FC Cincinnati at Los Angeles FC Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

The goals

While LAFC has blasted home 21 goals this season, their opponents haven’t exacted the same kind of offensive prowess.

Just two – Sporting Kansas City and D.C. United – have positive goal differentials this season. Two of those opponents – Portland Timbers and San Jose Earthquakes -- have a double-digit negative goal differential at minus-11 and minus-10, respectively.

So, again, not the strongest competition in the league.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The placement

Of LAFC’s first seven opponents this season, only one is currently in the top six of their division – D.C. United is leading the Western Conference.

Portland is 12th in the West and New York City FC is 11th in the East. Sporting Kansas City is seventh in the West while FC Cincinnati is seventh in the East.

Let us not forget about Real Salt Lake – eighth in the West – and San Jose – ninth in the West.

Competition.

MLS: Los Angeles FC at D.C. United Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The long road

Keep in mind, we are just seven games into a grueling MLS season.

That means there is a lot of football left to be played.

LAFC had a similarly strong start to their freshman campaign a season ago and finished in the top four in the Western Conference. However, that wasn’t without some midseason struggling.

It is fair to suggest that LAFC’s run will come to an end. To suggest a team can go through the MLS regular season unscathed is shortsighted at best.

These seasons are long enough that just about every team has peaks and valleys. LAFC cannot be expected to be any different.

That all said, we should all just strap in for the ride and prepare ourselves for when the valley ultimately comes.

For now, however, let’s relish in the success the Black and Gold are having early in the season.

Sha-la-la-la-la-la-la, LAFC.


M.A. Clark writes the Black and Gold View for angelsonparade.com. If you have a comment, question or topic you would like him to consider, place it in the comment section below!