LOS ANGELES, CALIF. (May 25, 2019) – While extending their unbeaten run to seven, LAFC once again put on a display of dominance. In what was the last home match for a month, Los Angeles put on a show against visiting Montreal Impact. From the start it was all LAFC, as Christian Ramirez opened scoring in the seventh minute.
Colombian, Eduard Atuesta, continues to quietly be one of the better players in the squad. He tallied assist number six, sending through an incredible through ball to MVP favorite, Carlos Vela, who finished for goal fifteen on the season. The half came to a close, but not before Latif Blessing scored his first of the season, in the 31st minute.
LAFC put four past Impact, unbeaten through seven
The second half was similar to the first. However, Montreal did begin to find their rhythm and create more chances. Finding space on several counter attacks, they started to ask the questions. Defender, Tristan Blackmon, made his second start of the season, and in the 55th minute, he got his first goal. A corner kick put in by Carlos Vela, found the head of a leaping Blackmon, giving LAFC their fourth and final goal.
However, the hard work for Montreal did not go without reward. In the 70th minute, LAFC defender, Eddie Segura, was unable to control a bouncing ball in the box, leading to an unfortunate own goal. After erasing the clean sheet, Montreal added one more in the 84th minute, by way of a Saphit Taider penalty conversion.
Tristan Blackmon made only his second start of the 2019 campaign. After having an incredible pre-season with the club, he was sent out on loan to USL side, Phoenix Rising. Given the consistency with which the same starting 11 play, you could be forgiven for forgetting just how deep this squad is.
Blackmon will likely continue to see his playtime increase in the coming months. Along with El-Munir, and a handful of youngsters, Blackmon adds talent and depth to an already league best defense.
The 20-year-old Colombian has had one of the best seasons within the club. With Carlos Vela garnering much deserved MVP consideration, and a defense that has grown into league dominating, his name tends to go unnoticed.
However, Atuesta not only has one goal to go with his six assists, but has averaged an 87% pass success rate throughout the season. His ability to create space for others, his vision to pick out perfect passes, he truly does pull the strings.
Top of the Mountain
With this latest win, LAFC extend their lead out West to eight points. They continue to lead the league in almost all offensive categories, and continue to lead the league in defense. In addition, their captain, Carlos Vela, continues to play at MVP standards. However, with a couple teams behind having several games in hand, this three match road trip will prove to be yet another test for the league leaders.
The Look Ahead
Not only do the LAFC have the aforementioned three match road trip, but in the middle of that they also have the Gold Cup break. The long layoff in the middle of such an incredible run is always risky. Not just the possibility of injury, but the probability of losing momentum and having to regain some form of chemistry once back together.
However, LAFC have proven through each obstacle that they have the talent, and mind set to overcome. Their next match will be on the first of June, as they travel to face the Portland Timbers. With this match relatively close, there could be a heavy 3252 sighting, always giving LAFC a boost.