On Friday, May 24th, LAFC hosted the Montreal Impact at Banc of California Stadium. Montreal, who sat in third place as of match time (currently sitting in fourth), has been a fairly strong team thus far into the season, a worthy opponent for an LAFC team that seems to steamroll their competition.
LAFC started the scoring early. In the 7th minute, what seemed like a routine pass back to the Montreal goalkeeper turned into a nightmare when instead of cutting the ball back out of danger, opted to try and kick the ball upfield right into a looming Christian Ramirez who got a fortunate ricochet straight into the goal to put LAFC up 1-0.
In the 28th minute, Eduard Atuesta, who has been a staple of LAFC’s midfield this season, found Carlos Vela in space at the top of the Montreal box with a pinpoint pass. Even better than the pass however, was Vela’s first touch, which allowed him to carry the ball in stride and pass the ball past the Montreal goalkeeper to put the Black and Gold up 2-0.
LAFC added to their tally yet again in the 32nd minute with a true team goal. Vela found Rossi streaking down the wing and found Latif Blessing, who was matching him step by step in the box for a tap in to put LAFC up 3-0 in the first half for Latif’s first goal of the season.
But they didn’t stop there.
Just 10 minutes into the second half, the Black and Gold scored yet again, this time on a set piece from a perfectly timed header from Tristan Blackmon in the 55th minute to put LAFC up 4-0.
Though LAFC’s offense has been rolling as of late, the Black and Gold’s defense has always been suspect, especially later in the game giving up late goals.
Maxi Urruti, who terrorized LAFC during his time with FC Dallas, caused all kinds of problems as Montreal’s outlet. In the 70th minute, Urruti crossed a dangerous ball into the box that hit Tyler Miller and subsequently went off the leg of LAFC defender, Eddie Segura and into the goal to put Montreal on the board for the first time of the night.
Then, in the 83rd minute Montreal’s confidence paid off yet again when Anthony Jackson-Hamel was brought down by Walker Zimmerman, making a dangerous run in the box. Montreal was awarded the penalty and the game was 4-2 in the blink of an eye.
Overall, LAFC played a dominant match with another special performance from leading MVP candidate Carlos Vela, who has 15 goals in 15 matches. They are now a full eight points ahead of second place and show no signs of slowing down, the only perceivable weakness seems to be the habit of conceding sloppy late goals. If the team can tidy themselves up at the back for a full 90 minutes, they will be practically unstoppable with their potent offense.
The Black and Gold play the Portland Timbers next on June 1, and are back home against Vancouver on July 6.