Seattle, Washington — After an emotional week bringing attention to the injustices still plaguing the country, LAFC finally got another chance at victory. The last time LAFC took the pitch, was their disappointing 2-0 loss to the LA Galaxy in their return to The Banc.
LAFC Stunned in Loss to Seattle Sounders
LAFC looked the better side early, keeping the ball in Seattle’s half, creating several chances in the first ten minutes. However, the Sounders, specifically Raúl Ruidíaz, only needed a glance to seize the lead. A deflection off LAFC defender Tristan Blackmon, led to a Ruidiaz rocket from 35-yards out, in the 12th minute. LAFC continued to control possession, finishing the half with 55%, but couldn’t find the equalizer before the break.
The second-half, typically reserved for Los Angeles to make a push, was Seattle’s early. The 48th minute saw Jordan Morris make an incredible run, blowing past two defenders. An aggressive Kenneth Vermeer missed the tackle, giving Morris an empty net for the Sounder’s second of the night.
However, he wasn’t done. Just one minute later, Morris found space during a one-two that led to an easy chance, netting the third for Seattle.
Diego Rossi got on the end of a great Cifuentes cross, putting LAFC on the board with one goal in the 60th minute. However, it would not spark a classic comeback, as LAFC would fall to Seattle 3-1, in one of the more disappointing losses of the season.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 31, 2020
Takeaways from LAFC vs. Seattle
The defense has been the source of contention since 2020 kicked off. With many lamenting how lackluster the back has played throughout the year, while others, until tonight, had held on to the notion of possession in the middle being the problem area. However, it was the back five defenders — as well as goalkeeper Vermeer — who struggled the most tonight. Whether disconnect, or lack of communication, this grouping at the back just doesn’t seem to trust one another enough to play the style LAFC need in order to win.
Vela the MVP, but Atuesta is Most Valuable
The once unpopular opinion once held here of Atuesta being the most important player in the squad, seems to no longer be unpopular. Tonight showed once again how scattered LAFC appear in the midfield without their maestro. While they did well to maintain and control possession tonight, aside from the early chances, LAFC never truly felt threatening.
There was no constant pressure of build-ups. Passes, while complete, were still a bit stale, and the fluidity that once permeated the midfield is gone. Prior to the match Head Coach Bob Bradley mentioned Atuesta has yet to return to full training, meaning he will likely be out another few weeks.
History, Even in Defeat
If there is one thing this team does it’s continuing to make history. The 77th minute saw three subs come on for LAFC, one of which being Homegrown 16-year-old forward Christian Torres. His MLS debut tonight means he becomes the first Homegrown player in LAFC to appear in an MLS match. Torres came up through the Academy, so his appearance is a glimpse at the bright future being built within Los Angeles.
— LAFC (@LAFC) August 31, 2020
There is no one easy fix for the problems surrounding LAFC at the moment. Most of which, are mental. This team, in addition to the poor results, has just looked unfamiliar. Gone is the golden swagger that this team always played with. That sense that even on the worst of days, they can still come out on top.
Currently in seventh place, things aren’t looking too great for the black and gold. They now look ahead to San Jose, hoping to bounce back and gather some momentum heading into the final push of Phase One.