LAFC’s first-choice forward line was reunited and it paid immediate dividends, with Diego Rossi nearly unstoppable in the opening 45, his brace making the difference in the game.
Carlos Vela returned to the starting XI, taking his place alongside Rossi and Corey Baird on the forward line. Diego Palacios also returned, starting at left back.
LAFC pushed right at the kickoff, and nearly had a good look inside of 30 seconds, Rossi’s header right in front of goal off a Tristan Blackmon flick-on sailing over the goal.
The home side got the lead in the 15th minute, as a great buildup on the team led to a nice dribble from Corey Baird, before he fed Rossi, who had just enough on the shot to beat Rapids GK William Yarbrough.
They nearly got a second off a corner kick in the 20th minute, but the Rapids did just enough to keep LAFC from testing Yarbrough directly.
Michael Barrios had an attempt on 30 minutes, with his tap-in attempt going just on the wrong side of the goal to keep Colorado off the board.
Rossi got his second goal of the night in the 33rd minute, Vela getting a simple diagonal feed on the ground to Rossi making the run up in the box, the Uruguayan making no mistake once again.
All in all, it was a strong first half for LAFC, who needed an emphatic performance and were off to a great start through 45 minutes.
Barrios got his goal in the 50th minute, however. The Rapids winger received a ball over the top and split the late LAFC defenders, then finished under Pablo Sisniega’s legs.
Danny Musovski was LAFC’s first sub of the night, replacing Vela in the 60th minute, likely a planned sub for the star. Two more changes came at the 75th minute, with Latif Blessing replacing Jose Cifuentes and Kim Moon-hwan entering for Baird. Marco Farfan was LAFC’s final sub, replacing Palacios in the 88th minute.
I think LAFC found more purchase on the game in the final 20 minutes or so. The Rapids did give them a real test after Barrios’ goal, as they pushed to tie up the game, but LAFC gained possession back and got more momentum as they looked for the late insurance goal to seal the result.
All in all it wasn’t a perfect performance but it was light years better than what we’ve seen this season. If they managed this and kept the Rapids off the board all night, I think it would be pretty close to top-notch, but the concession didn’t end up costing LAFC in the end, which is good. I think Vela looked solid and he had an assist, but Rossi really got to run and he needed a game like that, too. Plus, the defense and midfield and Sisniega played their parts and it looked like a trademark LAFC game, in a good way.
LAFC get another home game in a week, when they host New York City FC at The Banc. NYCFC have been rather inconsistent but they can be dangerous, so LAFC certainly can’t rest on their laurels. Should be an intriguing clash.
What do you think? Leave a comment below.