LAFC drew 1-1 with Toronto FC to extend their winless streak to five games. Here’s what we thought stood out about this game.
LAFC’s misfiring continues, as they had a chance for multiple goals in this game but missed a number of good chances.
Diego Rossi scored on a great move but drifted offside on his run. Brian Rodriguez was in on goal but snuffed the chance. Latif Blessing missed a few chances. Mark-Anthony Kaye had a header he put over the bar.
Things don’t look sharp for this team in the final third, and it has showed on the scoresheet.
The goal that eventually did come was a penalty kick, which was well won, but was not a goal scored in open play.
During this slump the defense has more or less been fine. The offense has not, and that’s something that needs to be fixed.
Toronto attacks LAFC’s midfield
One of the few strategies that can work against LAFC, if you are talented and committed enough, is to go after the midfield.
Toronto did that in this game, pressuring the midfielders tight and not letting them dictate the game as they normally do.
Kaye in particular had a rough stretch and was not able to impose himself on the game.
The Galaxy in their win earlier in this season won the game in much the same way, by swamping the midfield. Well that, and Zlatan.
Being combative in the midfield is something teams think they can do against LAFC now, and it’s something the team needs to watch out for as the playoffs draw near.
LAFC has three regular season games left, home against Houston, away to Minnesota, and home to Colorado.
None of those games will be easy. Minnesota is surging in the west, and Colorado and Houston are fighting for playoff spots. With only three games left, having lost to two of those teams already this year, LAFC will want to figure out their issues before the knockout games begin.
Return of Ciman
Laurent Ciman, first captain in LAFC’s history, made his return to Banc of California Stadium for the first time tonight.
He went from LAFC near the end of last season to Dijon in Ligue 1. Despite signing a 2-year deal there, he left the team just four months into that contract by mutual consent. Ciman then ended up at Toronto FC in the offseason.
This was Ciman’s first game back at Banc of California stadium since he left, and Ciman came on as a second-half sub.
Laurent Ciman just walked over to the LAFC bench before the match and greeted every single player and staff with a hug and handshake. Good stuff.— Benjamin (@lafcbenjamin) September 22, 2019
Ciman did not have much impact on the game itself, but it was nice to see the former player at the Banc again. Ciman made a lot of memories at LAFC, despite not being there for even one full season.
Carlos Vela scored a penalty in stoppage time to rescue a point for LAFC against Toronto.
The goal was his 29th of the season, a remarkable number for any season. That leaves Vela just two goals behind Josef Martinez’s single-season MLS record of 31 goals in a season.
LAFC’s offense has not been stellar lately, but with three games to go, you would expect Vela to at least tie the record, if not surpass it.
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