LAFC back to their early-season high scoring ways
LAFC started off the season with a bang, combining late stoppage time winners with games where they just demolished teams. In the last few games, it’s not like they struggled per se, but they drew games they maybe should have won, or they only scored one or two goals a game. This game was vintage LAFC, as they had three goals before halftime, and the game was essentially over by the half. The lineup was back to full strength, minus Steven Beitashour, and the attackers in particular were firing on all cylinders. This is a good sign, especially heading into the summer stretch of the season.
LAFC’s counterpress wreaked havoc on Montreal in the first half
One of the big factors that lead to this impressive performance was LAFC’s counterpress. For those that don’t know, counterpressing is when the attacking team loses the ball, they push hard right away to win the ball back from the defending team, the idea being you want to win the ball back in dangerous attacking areas, before the defensive time has had time clear the ball or gather possession. Pep Guardiola’s Barcelona teams were best known for their possession, but one of the unsung parts of their success was how often they won the ball back immediately after turning the ball over. You saw this time and time again for LAFC, and it lead directly to the first goal, Christian Ramirez blocking Evan Bush’s clearance attempt straight into the net. If a defending team is not able to even get the ball out of their half, it usually leads to good things for the attacking team.
Midfield continues to perform
The part of the team that has had the most personnel changes this season has probably been the midfield. And yet it continues to perform. The midfield was a big part of the aformentioned counter press, and just creating chances in general. Eduard Atuesta has continued his stellar play, and he set up the second goal, playing a beautiful through ball to Carlos Vela, who made no mistake to finish the chance off. The attacking players on this team are the cream of the crop, but when the midfield is playing at a top level too, it makes this team almost impossible to beat.
Tristan Blackmon gets his first goal for the club
Steven Beitashour was still out injured for this match, and rather than having Latif Blessing fill in again at right back, Bob Bradley opted to give Tristan Blackmon a rare start at right back. Blackmon filled in well, and capped the performance off with his first ever goal for the club, scoring off of a header on a corner kick. Defensive depth is not in huge supply on this team, and its nice when the bench players fill in well when called upon. Congrats for Tristan for scoring his first goal for the club!
Vela scores again, now has 15 goals in 15 games
It’s almost becoming routine, but Carlos Vela had another complete performance in this game. He had a goal, two assists, and a few other plays that could have been assists but were not converted. Vela now has 15 goals in 15 games for LAFC, and has been in blistering form all season. We already saw one goal scoring record go down this year, when Chris Wondolowski surpassed Landon Donovan’s mark for all-time goal scorer in MLS. Could we see another record, could we see Carlos Vela get the single season goal scoring record of 31 goals, which was set only last year by Josef Martinez? I wouldn’t put much past Carlos Vela at this point.
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