Los Angeles Football Club welcomed the halftime of their Major League Soccer season with a historic home defeat on Wednesday.
Three goals from Sporting Kansas City in the first 45 minutes and another after half resulted in the club’s worst loss on the pitch at Banc of California Stadium, 4-1.
Without the injured Colombian central defenders Eddie Segura and Jesus Murillo, who had anchored the LAFC’s defense for 7,836 of a possible 8,370 minutes since October 10, 2020, the Black & Gold defenders could not slow down the best offensive team in the Western Conference .
« Look, Eddie and Murillo are good players, important players, but we’ve defended well all year, » said LAFC head coach Bob Bradley. « So there are no excuses. »
After his first loss in six games in LA, SKC (10-4-3, 33 points) took control 20 minutes into the game after LAFC goalkeeper Tomas Romero made a weak challenge near the top of the box and Khiry Shelton had rolled over.
The ball went clean, leaving Mexican striker Alan Pulido alone to get the ball into the net for his seventh goal of the year.
Eight minutes later, as the defensive line struggled to find its form, SKC striker Dániel Sallói drove defender Marco Farfan towards the end line before returning the ball to his teammate Luis Martins, who sank his first goal of the season.
Sallói scored his tenth goal of the year in the 36th minute when he volleyed a Graham Zusi pass into the near post.
The guests pushed for more after the half and scored another goal in the 58th minute after Zusi rolled a pass into the box that hit the head of SKC midfielder Gadi Kinda.
« They came up to us quickly, » said Bradley. “You know, it’s also a game where they got five shots on goal in four goals. You know, it’s not a game that just comes up to us all the time, but in some key moments in the transition, they attack quickly. »
After a first half in which the LAFC (6-6-5, 23 points) failed to score, the club did not have a chance. However, the ball kept going past the Kansas City goal or a hair out of reach when flanks approached the danger zone.
LAFC striker Danny Musovski stepped on the field an hour after the game began, replacing Uruguayan designated player Brian Rodriguez, who hadn’t played a role in the MLS when he started the regular season since last November and was in the 82 Minute scored to prevent his team from being shut off.
The three-goal defeat defeated a trio with 2-0 defeats as their worst home result in the first four seasons of the LAFC. The LAFC conceded five goals twice in its 2018 expansion season, both times away.
For SKC, the overwhelming win was a revenge after losing 5-1 to LAFC at Children’s Mercy Park in 2019. SKC’s second win over LAFC in 2021 earned coach Peter Vermes his 200 draw with Seattle at the top of the conference standings.
Wednesday’s result was an outlier for the LAFC, who scored the first goal in 12 of their last 16 games and conceded the majority of their goals in the second half.
Falling back early, however, guaranteed that the LAFC would not mimic its previous two games and add to its worst record in the league with losing points from a winning position.
The LAFC, which was without a win in its last four games, has only collected five points in its last five games, four of them in L.A.
« Losing points at home is never good, » said Bradley after the club’s second loss at BCS this season and their sixth since 2018. « So if you put it all together in the first half of the season, it sure is an area that is not good. » enough. »
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With 23 goals, the LAFC’s attack turned out to be significantly less potent than previous campaigns. The LAFC’s inability to score more than two goals in a game has forced the team to rely heavily on their defense to stay in games.
Finding a way to strengthen the line of defense after Segura’s successful surgery to repair a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament on Monday will be a priority when the fifth-placed club take to the streets for the next three games.
« Three away games in a row will be tough, » said Musovski. « We played three home games in a row to get points, but we haven’t done enough. »
Bradley suggested Murillo’s Achilles tendon strain was minor, but he’s unsure of the defender’s status for the club’s Sunday game in San Jose. Bradley doesn’t expect the Colombian to miss any length of time, so he could show up in subsequent games in Atlanta or Vancouver.
LAFC won’t return to the Banc of California Stadium until after the MLS All-Star Game when it hosts the Galaxy on August 28th.
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