Carlos Vela overwhelmed Portland’s defense with a hattrick of assists and a goal of his own. (Photo: Robert Torrence)

It seems the boys in Black and Gold have found a rhythm early on in the season.  This past Sunday, March 10, LAFC hosted the Portland Timbers at Banc of California Stadium. Portland, while not as strong as they were a few years ago, are still considered a formidable opponent in Major League Soccer, with their frontman Diego Valeri as the Timbers main attacking outlet and threat.

But, it was LAFC’s creative talisman Carlos Vela that stole the show in this occasion with an impressive outing, racking up three assists and one goal, having a hand in all four goals scored in the game for LAFC.

LAFC scored early on in the 14th minute, when LAFC midfielder Mark-Anthony Kaye converted a Carlos Vela corner kick into a goal with a beautiful glancing header past the Timbers keeper.

Just 15 minutes later, in the 29th minute, the Timbers won a free kick in a dangerous area on the right-wing. Timbers midfielder Diego Valeri crossed a pinpoint ball into the area where it was found by his teammate Jeremy Ebobisse, who headed the ball ferociously past Tyler Miller to tie the game at one-all.

Things grew worrisome for LAFC as Portland began to grow into the game after the tying goal. LAFC defender Steven Beitashour had to replace by Latif Blessing in the 32nd minute of the game due to injury, effecting LAFC game plan tactically.

Like last week however, LAFC only seemed to rise to the occasion and began to play some very attractive soccer.

Right before the half, Carlos Vela weaved his way toward the top of the Timbers box, taking on four defenders at once, before laying it off to Jordan Harvey, who was waiting on the wing. Harvey then crossed the ball low, with pace, finding a sliding Christian Ramirez, trickling the ball in for the 2-1 lead.

In the 63rd minute, LAFC brought on their super sub Adama Diomande for Christian Ramirez. It only took two minutes for Diomande to find the back of the net and find himself on the scoresheet after another Carlos Vela assist to put the Black and Gold up 3-1.

However, they weren’t done yet.

In the 68th minute, Carlos Vela received the ball at the edge of the box on the right wing. Vela then cut inside on his favored left foot, and curled the ball to perfection, nestling it past the Timbers Keeper to make it 4-1 in favor of LAFC.

There would be no other goals scored in the match, however the Timbers’ Diego Chara recieved a second yellow card and then red in the 72nd minute for a questionable foul on LAFC forward Diego Rossi, not that the outcome of the game would have fared much differently.

LAFC play New York City FC, who are strong but winless so far this season with two draws, next week in New York.