Arango, Palacios help LAFC defeat Red Bulls 2-0

Casseres Jr battling Cifuentes for possession
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Goals from Cristian Arango and Diego Palacios gave LAFC a 2-0 win over the Red Bulls. They’re the first team in MLS to 10 wins this season. It was tight and even first half, but the home side broke through with two goals in two minutes. LAFC are now four points above everyone else in the Supporters Shield race, while the Red Bulls have now lost three straight road games.

Goals from Cristian Arango, Diego Palacios help LAFC become 1st MLS team to 10 wins

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Steve Cherundolo makes a few changes to the side that drew 1-1 at the Seattle Sounders. Franco Escobar is in right back, he gets the nod over Ryan Hollingshead. Brian Rodriguez and Carlos Vela are restored to the attack, Daniel Musovski and Cristian Arango are on the bench. The rest of the team remains unchanged.

After beating NYCFC in the Open Cup, Gerhard Struber has had to roll the dice with his lineup. No Aaron Long, no Luquinhas and no Jason Pendant as they are in health and safety protocols. It has prompted a two-striker formation with Patryk Klimala and Tom Barlow up top, Omir Fernandez supports them in attack. Tom Edwards plays as a makeshift center-back.

LAFC lineup (4-3-3): Maxime Crepeau; Diego Palacios, Sebastien Ibeagha, Jesus Murillo, Franco Escobar; Jose Cifuentes, Ilie Sanchez, Latif Blessing; Kwadwo Opoku, (C) Carlos Vela, Brian Rodríguez

LAFC subs: John McCarthy, Doneil Henry, Mamadou Fall, Ryan Hollingshead, Kellyn Acosta, Francisco Ginnela, Daniel Trejo, Cristian Arango, Daniel Musovski

Red Bulls lineup (3-4-3): Carlos Coronel; John Tolkin, (C) Sean Nealis, Tom Edwards; Lewis Morgan, Cristian Casseres Jr, Frankie Amaya, Dylan Nealis; Omir Fernandez, Tom Barlow, Patryk Klimala

New York subs: Ryan Meara, Cameron Harper, Steven Sserwadda, Dru Yearwood, Serge Ngoma, Zach Ryan

First Half: A tight and level stalemate

The Red Bulls started out the stronger of the two teams in the early going. A nicely-worked corner kick routine in the second minute led to a Lewis Morgan shot but went way over the bar. LAFC put out a starting lineup with much pace going forward, but were unable to use that speed in the first half. New York got into good spots and worked the ball nicely, but were sorely missing Luquinhas’ clinical and technical quality to finish.

Despite not having Aaron Long, the Red Bulls were able to stifle the prolific LAFC attack. However, the home side did have moments, one such was a Franco Escobar shot that was parried away by Coronel. The Brazilian didn’t have much to do in the first half, the Escobar chance was the only shot on target for LAFC. New York outshot the hosts 7-5, while LAFC had a 59%-41% possession advantage. A clean first half, only one yellow card but a notable one. Dylan Nealis was booked, and will miss the next game against Atlanta due to yellow card accumulation.

Cristian Casseres Jr was the standout player of the first half. He led all players with five tackles won, while also getting five ball recoveries, two clearances, two successful dribbles and a block in 37 touches.

Second Half: Goals from Arango, Palacios give LAFC the victory

Dru Yearwood entered the game for Omir Fernandez to start the second half. A pair of Opoku chances nearly went in, but not before Coronel stopped them both. But eventually, the LAFC pressure paid off. It would be the substitute, Cristian Arango who was through alone on goal off a great pass by Vela to slide the opening goal past Coronel. In the 68th minute, it’s the Colombian’s fifth goal of the season.

Just two minutes later, Brian Rodriguez found himself free with the ball and squared one for Diego Palacios who calmly put LAFC two goals in front. The first goal of the season for the 22-year-old Ecuadorian. Zach Ryan replaced Tom Barlow.

Not much action followed, the game would finish 2-0 to LAFC.

Three Takeaways from LAFC vs New York Red Bulls

LAFC are the team to beat in Major League Soccer. There can be no more doubt that the Black and Gold should be feared by many in the league. They’re now four points above everyone in the Supporters Shield race, and the first team to 10 wins. Now that they’ve signed both Gareth Bale and Giorgio Chiellini, they’re leading the clubhouse as far as betting favorites goes. It’s all going right for LAFC.

The Red Bulls fought hard but ultimately didn’t have enough. No Aaron Long or Luquinhas really hurt the team. After a solid opening first half, the team just couldn’t grab further momentum to even score a goal. They’ve now lost three straight road games after their historic start on the road. On the bright side, the Red Bulls remain top-4 in the East and have won their last three home games in all competitions. But this one will be a disappointing tape watch.

This summer will show us a lot of both teams. Given the business that LAFC have so far completed, now we just have to see how the new stars perform. They’re already good enough to sustain their current league-leading form. But now, comparisons will be made to the 2019 Supporters Shield winning team. It’s a fun development to watch. As for the Red Bulls, they had a six-man bench for this game. It clearly highlights the summer dealings that must be done in order for the team to stay competitive. Their best starting XI is good, but there are clear holes that must be filled.