The unbeaten run continues. After a quick trip to Florida, LAFC were back home and looking to continue their unbeaten start to the season against the Vancouver Whitecaps. This one was a bit of a family reunion, as LAFC GK Max Crépeau was hosting his old squad, while Vancouver defender Tristan Blackmon was a visitor at the stadium he once called home. Knowing all too well how difficult it is to win at The Banc, Blackmon and his Whitecaps were unable to overcome a white-hot LAFC squad who came away with a 3-1 win, three points, and remain unbeaten to start the 2022 campaign.
Part of our History.— LAFC (@LAFC) March 21, 2022
Welcome back to the Banc, @tristannb3. #LAFC pic.twitter.com/ygESgSAOEd
It was the returning defender, Tristan Blackmon, who scored the first goal of the night. A free kick that was perfectly placed, but headed into the post, fell to Blackmon who didn't hesitate to drive a knife through the heart of his old squad. The goal gave his new side the early lead, and reminded the black and gold what they let go.
Tristan Blackmon against his former club!— Major League Soccer (@MLS) March 21, 2022
The defender is quickest to react to the rebound and give #VWFC the lead in LA. pic.twitter.com/bXV8iEQqin
The defenders were showing the forwards how it’s done early on in this match. Carlos Vela put in a perfect ball on his corner kick, and found the leaping Ryan Hollingshead. The defender got his head on it with power, equalizing it for the black and gold. The goal was his first for LAFC.
Vela Hollingshead #LAFCvVAN 1-1 pic.twitter.com/9I9UBGbcoO— LAFC (@LAFC) March 21, 2022
Never one to be outdone, the king of LAFC, Carlos Vela, was able to find the back of the net for the first time since the season opener to give LAFC the lead late in the first half. After some gorgeous creativity from Mahala Opoku, Vela was able to stick with it as the ball ricocheted around, eventually finding his left foot for the final strike to get it over the line.
The pass.— LAFC (@LAFC) March 21, 2022
Perfection. @Mahala_jnr @11carlosV pic.twitter.com/hq8duZkvfX
LAFC would take the 2-1 lead into the halftime break. The team dominated the first half, despite giving up the early goal. They finished the first 45 with 62% possession, eight shots with five on target, to Vancouver’s three shots with two on target.
It was a lot of the same in the second half, minus the early goal for the opposition. Defender Ryan Hollingshead really enjoyed that first goal. So much so, he did it again in the 70th minute. This time though, it was a deflection that bounced around the box, found his foot, and he fired a laser to put it past the keeper, giving LAFC the two-goal lead.
MAMA THERE GOES THAT MAN AGAIN!!! @rmhollingshead WITH A LASER. pic.twitter.com/RYizTP49iL— LAFC (@LAFC) March 21, 2022
Three goals were enough for the three points at home. The win not only keeps the unbeaten run alive through four matches — with three wins and one draw — but it also keeps the black and gold sitting pretty atop the Western Conference standings. Sure, it’s early, but with all that transpired within LAFC this off-season, it’s a pleasant surprise to see the team doing so well right out the gates. With the International Break coming next week, the team will have extra time to recover and prepare for their trip back to Florida, where they visit Orlando City SC, April 2nd.