On September 22, third-place LAFC faced off against the San Jose Earthquakes, sitting in last place in the West. With only four games left in the regular season, and the playoffs right around the corner, each match is a must win with the standings so tight.
San Jose had the first big chance of the match between the two teams. In the 20th minute, San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski received a pass from the right wing but was unable to get a good touch. The ball bounced fortunately towards San Jose midfielder Jackson Yueill who attempted the shot on the volley but could not get enough power on the shot to trouble LAFC keeper Tyler Miller.
Minutes later, LAFC responded with the scare with an opportunity of their own. LAFC forward Adama Diomande, who had been recovering from an adductor strain injury for the past several weeks, was causing problems for defenses again. In the 22nd minute, Diomande was making a streaking run through the San Jose midfield with Latif Blessing ad Carlos Vela each making supporting runs on the left and right. With a softly weighted pass, Diomande posed the ball perfectly towards Vela on the right, unfortunately Vela was unable to make strong contact and the ball fell safely into the arms of the San Jose keeper as Vela went for the curler.
In the 41st minute, LAFC would finally see their breakthrough. A corner from Carlos Vela whipped into the box with pace found Walker Zimmerman with a glancing header onto frame and the ball found the top corner of the net putting the Black and Gold up 1-0.
Carlos Vela nearly added another before the half in the 44th minute with a long-ranged effort that was ultimately parried away for the corner by San Jose’s keeper.
In the second half, San Jose almost tied it up in the 54th minute when San Jose’s Jackson Yueill had another shot from inside the 18-yard box saved by Tyler Miller.
In the 57th minute, LAFC forward Marco Urena, dispossessed the ball from the San Jose’s Guram Kashia and passed the ball dangerously into the path of Carlos Vela inside the box, but Vela was unable to capitalize with some brave goalkeeping from the San Jose keeper JT Marcinkowski.
LAFC put the final dagger in the heart of San Jose in the 68th minute of play. On yet again another corner from Carlos Vela, the ball glanced ever so slightly off the head of Walker Zimmerman and into the goal for the brace.
Zimmerman, who recently decided not to renew his contract with LAFC made a statement on Saturday with this performance. Zimmerman, 25, is most likely eying a more prominent role on the United States Men’s National Team and a desire to look to Europe for his club play.