Los Angeles, Calif. — After a midweek postponement, LAFC played host to West Coast rivals, Seattle Sounders Sunday evening. The match was another opportunity for LAFC to win their second straight game. While a match against the Sounders is tough enough, LAFC came into the match missing several key players, out on international duty.
LAFC Win Second Straight, Quiet Sounders at Home
Things turned unfortunate immediately for the home side. Injuries to both Mark-Anthony Kaye and Andy Najar forced LAFC into two subs before the 15 minute mark. However, unlike earlier this season, the black and gold didn’t hand their heads, and pushed on. A perfect free kick taken by Eduard Atuesta found the head of Danny Musovski, who gave LAFC the lead in the 15th minute. From there, the match hit a stalemate.
While Los Angeles did well to defend in the final third, the story of the half for Seattle were missed opportunities. The Sounders finished the half with eight shots, seven off-target. Several of those shots, were from inside the box. The first half came to a close with a one goal lead for LAFC, but not much separated the two sides.
The second half featured a lot more action from both sides. LAFC were able to double their lead in the 65th minute, when Francisco Ginella fired a rocket from just outside the box. The second goal proved critical, as Seattle’s Nicolas Lodeiro pulled one back for the Sounders in the 77th minute. However, there would be no comeback, with LAFC slamming the door shut with a second Musovski goal in the 84th minute. This was arguably LAFC’s most impressive win of the season. Not just because they beat the first place Seattle Sounders, but because of the circumstances surrounding the victory.
"We had a couple of really clear chances to come in at halftime at 1-1. Kelvin maybe could have scored on Nico's free kick in the 9th minute. We had some of those transition moments early in the first half." — Brian Schmetzer, #Sounders. #SEAvLAFC | #MLS
— 𝗥𝗮𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗲𝗹 𝗞𝗿𝗶𝗴𝗲𝗿 (@RachaelKriger) October 12, 2020
Huge Win, Big Losses
A match against Seattle has always been, and appears will always be, a physical affair. Last night finished with a total of 29 fouls given, and four red cards, with it being an even split between the two teams. However, it was LAFC who suffered the worst as they now have two more players to add to the injury list. Mark-Anthony Kaye suffered a serious ankle injury, after a clean tackle, in the fifth minute of the match.
After limping off the pitch, Kaye had to be carried off into the locker room. Head coach Bob Bradley gave a brief update on Kaye post-match, saying “first word is that the X-Ray was negative. It appears to be a bad sprain. We’ll see how bad.”
Kaye’s replacement, Andy Najar, would only last twenty minutes, as he too was forced to leave the match early. Suffering an apparent hamstring injury. It is unclear how serious this injury is until Najar receives the MRI results. While injuries are a part of sports, LAFC have dealt with injuries to key players, all season long.
Another Tough Win
“Great mentality to win a game where, there’s so many things that just seem to be going against us,” Bradley said post-match. Much like their 3-1 win over Real Salt Lake, LAFC were able to win and score multiple goals, while not having their best night. In addition to the early injuries, Los Angeles had another match where the sharpness was lacking. Finishing with less possession, less passes, and only five shots on goal, the black and gold made the most of their limited chances. While the goals may not have products of stunning build-ups or perfect passing, they were a product of something greater. Determination, awareness, and not dwelling on the negative.
Caution: Moose Nearby
With Carlos Vela still out with injury. While Rodriguez and Rossi are out on International duty, it has been Danny Musovski who has made the most of his opportunity. While he may not be considered a super sub just yet, Danny has made the most his minutes. Having come close to multiple goal games several times this year, Musovski has shown this type of match was never beyond him. The return on Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi is much anticipated. However, seeing Musovski perform this well on a night the team wasn’t their best, should give fans some confidence.
When the going gets tough…
— LAFC (@LAFC) October 12, 2020
For the first time all season, LAFC have won two straight matches. Make no mistake, this was a massive win. Not only does it continue to cement the team’s place in the postseason, but it puts them in position to continue to improve their seeding. Only six points out of first, and everything ahead of them, Los Angeles are still in a lot of ways, controllers of their own destiny. Next up they travel to face a Vancouver side looking for some get back after the 6-0 rout they suffered last time out. Last night was proof this team is still very talented, and still very much a threat to win it all.