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LAFC claim victory as they put four past Portland Timbers

Los Angeles FC look like the team to beat in Major League Soccer after two convincing wins. Tonight's contest against Portland saw four LA goals go past Jeff Attinella.
Carlos Vela LAFC

Los Angeles, Calif. (March 10, 2019) —  The second match of the season provided the Los Angeles Football Club with another opportunity to put on a show for the home fans. In fashion, they wasted little time doing so.

From the kickoff, LAFC looked poise to score as they found open attacking space along the wings. Portland Timbers keeper Jeff Attinella had a huge save in the 14th minute, only to have it negated by an ensuing corner kick. On the play, Carlos Vela put in a beautiful curler that found Mark-Anthony Kaye for the opening goal.

LAFC claim victory as they put four past Portland Timbers

Portland wouldn’t be out of it for long. Timbers forward Jeremy Ebibosse got his head on the end of a free kick to give the Timbers an equalizing goal. The first half ended with even more action as defender Jordan Harvey found himself up the pitch and just outside the box. He found himself in position enough to swing in a beautiful cross. Christian Ramirez got a toe on it to make it 2-1 heading into halftime.

The second half started much like the first for LAFC as they immediately returned to finding and creating space in the final third. The third goal eventually came in the 65th minute as Carlos Vela put in a wonderful ball into the box for super substitute, Adama Diomande. The goal was his second in two matches.

The attack for Los Angeles put on an incredible performance that ended in a 4-1 route of Portland.

Three Takeaways

The Attack

The 2019 version of LAFC is a high-powered force to be reckoned with. With a majority of the 2018 squad returning, the biggest takeaway early on this season is the growth of chemistry within the team. This attack finds space early and often. Combine that with a “never say die” mentality and this strike force will be one to fear. Expect many more matches like tonight’s contest.

Triumphant Return

Mark-Anthony Kaye saw his 2018 campaign cut short with an ankle injury. Although he made is official return last week against Sporting KC, it was tonight he truly returned. Improving on a performance the player himself deemed not good enough, Kaye was everywhere tonight. He even lent a hand on defense when Latif Blessing subbed in for Steven Beitashour. His highlight was netting the opening goal in the match. The crowd burst with emotion as the midfielder found the back of the net with a flicking header. Kaye had an incredible match. Many are hoping this is the start of a great run of form.

The Defense

If there was one sore spot with this team last season, it was the defense. Too often this side saw a lead, or draw, slip through their grasp with poor effort on the defensive end late in games. That problem — at least so far — seems to have been addressed. Throughout preseason the talk was the improvement among defenders — especially center back — with Walker Zimmerman, Eddie Segura, Danilo Silva and Tristan Blackmon all showing they deserve the start.

In the end it was the Zimmerman/Segura partnership that got the nod. The chemistry between these two is evident. There were times when Segura was able to put a stop to the opposing attack. He is still young, so leaving room for mistakes will be needed. However, early on, this definitely looks to be a partnership that could last.

What’s Next?

LAFC has gotten off to a dream start to the season.

They have two wins from two matches, flexed their mental strength with a late game winner in match one and they have shown their attacking prowess with a 4-1 route tonight. A trip to the “Big Apple” awaits LAFC. They will face New York City FC, who drew with D.C. United earlier.

I fully expect LAFC to continue to gather momentum and come into this match looking for multiple goals. It has become clear, at least for now, that LAFC are the team to beat in Major League Soccer.

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