LOS ANGELES — This one was over seven minutes in.
Montreal Impact’s game revolves around their strong defensive tactics, which is why LAFC emphasized scoring the first goal in Friday night’s contest. An awful mistake by Impact keeper Evan Bush gifted Christian Ramirez that moment before either side could even get comfortable. From there on it was a full display of Major League Soccer’s best team rolling to a 4-2 victory, remaining undefeated at Banc of California Stadium this season.
It’s starting to become routine for Bob Bradley’s side, which saw captain Carlos Vela score his league-leading 15th goal in as many games. Another flawless through ball from Eduard Atuesta in the 28th minute set up the rout. It was the fourth time the pair has connected to score this season.
— LAFC (@LAFC) May 25, 2019
Just moments later, high pressure by defender Tristan Blackmon resulted in a set of touches between Vela and Diego Rossi, stamped by Latif Blessing’s first goal of the season.
3-0 at halftime after a dominant 45 minutes against a defense that was supposed to stifle LAFC’s complex attack.
The break definitely didn’t slow them down, as Vela opened the second half by perfectly picking out Blackmon off a set-piece corner kick, adding to the onslaught from MLS highest-scoring team.
— LAFC (@LAFC) May 25, 2019
What transpired in the last half hour was a mere bump in the road with the game well out of reach, but still a bit concerning nonetheless. A strong run into the box by Impact forward Maximiliano Urruti resulted in a deflected ball by keeper Tyler Miller, which ricocheted off newlywed Eddie Segura for an own goal in the 70th minute.
The home side had an abundance of chances but was unable to add to the tally. Walker Zimmerman was booked in the 83rd minute for bringing down Anthony Jackson-Hamel in the penalty area, leading to Montreal’s second goal of the night - Saphir Taider converting from the spot.
“We’ve had such a good way this year with not giving up goals late,” said Bradley. “We’ve had good concentration, we’ve played until the end of matches and today we didn’t”
As is the case often, the final score wasn’t indicative of the full 90 minutes. LAFC keeps rolling while putting up impressive numbers in various categories and stringing together win after win. The team’s home in the heart of Los Angeles rapidly grows as a nightmare for any opposition. It’s the style and soccer they work tirelessly to produce on and off the field. But this story, while joyous for all involved, is still being written.
“We don’t have any trophies yet,” said Bradley when asked about LAFC’s success in MLS thus far. “We feel good about the fact that we’re going in a good direction. But you can’t stop now, we’re not there yet.”
The marathon continues.
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