In the midst of a very busy week for LAFC in terms of front office workings and incoming transfers, the team had a match to play today. The black and gold played host to top Eastern Conference side, New York Red Bulls. With the excitement growing around the team, this was a great opportunity to secure three points, cement your position at the top of the league, and continue to make a statement about the intentions for this season.
Earlier in the week it was reported that the team had signed Welsh International and global superstar, forward Gareth Bale, as well as putting pen to paper on a new Carlos Vela deal. While neither has been officially confirmed by the club, Bale confirmed the move in a tweet yesterday, while Carlos Vela confirmed he had signed an extension — keeping him in LA until 2023 — shortly before the start of this match.
On to the match itself, because it was a great one. From opening kickoff both teams were all gas no brakes, going for it all to find the opening goal. Neither side was able to find that goal before the first half ended, but it was an exciting 45 nonetheless. LAFC were playing a bit differently than many of us were accustomed to, with the slow methodical build-up put aside for more long balls out the back to forwards and wings in attack as they tried to put one over on the opposing defense.
It took a while, but the first goal finally came in the 68th minute. Much to the pleasure of the LA faithful who endured a hot summer Sunday to watch the team, it was Chicho Arango off the bench to put the team ahead in the second half.
That seemed to wake up the black and goal, as just minutes later they doubled their lead. Diego Palacios found himself open in the box, with the ball, and put on a nice move to fake out the defender, and slotted it in the corner for the goal. It was two minutes of classic LAFC footy, with them sowing just how dangerous they can be in any given stretch.
The win is the second in three matches for LAFC, with a draw sandwiched in the middle of this short unbeaten run. The rest is short with another match midweek, when they host FC Dallas in a battle of top five teams in the Western Conference. Today was very much a celebratory day, with fans excited about the recent moves, the team feeling good about its position, and of course, securing the three points in a win at home. Even megastar forward and French International, Kylian Mbappe, decided to spend some of his free time taking in the mythological atmosphere that has become The Banc. All in all, it was a great Sunday out for the black and gold. The start of what many hope is a run that will end with the team hoisting the MLS Cup come Fall.
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