(East Los Angeles, CA) July 27, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: After the quick road trip up to the Far Northwest and Portland, Oregon, earlier in the week, it was yet another Saturday night home game and the Black & Gold were looking to be their obliging selves for their great and always appreciative fan-base and reward them with a “W” against the British Columbia, Canada-based, Vancouver White Caps FC. It’s always a resounding good time when new fans get a chance to watch our city’s MLS soccer team give their fans a great and memorable home game filled with lots of excitement and passion at the Banc of California Stadium.
However, this time the opponent, while currently down in the bottom of the Western Conference standings in 12th place, came into this match with a point to prove to their fan-base in Vancouver, that they were capable of winning and/or tying a match on the road. Let’s see how that played out in our match recap.
(Pre-Match Festivities): The chosen guest “Falconer” for this match was Pro Boxer, Ryan Garcia, undefeated at (21-0), and who is currently under contract with Golden Boy Boxing. He looked serious and ready for the unnatural task he was gong to perform under the guidance of “Olly’s” trainer and handler, Ken Miknuk. Olly is a female Red Naped Shaheen Falcon.
(1st Half): At the 25th and 35th minutes the White Caps landed scores by Déiber Caicedo and Cristian Dájome. Here’s a quick narrative of both scores. First, the Caps were in spread formation then went into a right flank attack pattern, as Dájome sent a “crosser” to the middle within the box, looking for help. LAFC goalie, Tomás Romero and defender, Kim Moon-Hwan collided in their attempt to stop and/or deflect the sphere. Unfortunately, it was deflected off the stomach of Romero as Moon-Hwan rolled to the turf. Luckily for the Caps, Caicedo was right on the spot for the deflection that rolled just to the right of the netting for his easy tap-in, (1-0) Caps. Then, 13:00 minutes later, the Caps scored again on a brilliantly timed “header” after the 30 yard crossing “free-kick” from Cristian Gutierrez. This time, it was Dájome who leaped up high over everyone else in the pack to head it in unguarded, now it was (2-0), White Caps.
A nice assist from Eduard Atuesta to Carlos Vela answered the call for the Black & Gold to score its first goal at the 40th minute just before the first period expired. It was yet another “thing of beauty” as Vela showed his killer-instinct attack skills by booting home the goal with his right foot. After the apparent goal, there was a hush in the crowd because the Referee needed to check with the VAR for an “off-sides” infraction. After a few minutes, the goal was confirmed and the crowd let out an enormous roar of approval. With that accomplishment, the first half then finished up with the score reading, Vancouver White Caps FC 2 LAFC 1.
(HALFTIME SCORE): Vancouver 2 LAFC 1
(2nd Half): Coach Bradley certainly must have used halftime to give his “we’ve got to get going, men!” speech. It apparently paid off with a “quick-strike” offense to start the half. The engines were now warmed up and ready to roll. However, no goals were recorded even though there was a free kick awarded to the Black & Gold. Back and forth it went again. This time, at the 63rd minute, a scoring opportunity occurred when Captain Carlos Vela had a good look on goal but had his attempt blocked. Being persistent, although trailing in the match, paid off for LAFC at the 75th minute, when José Cífuentes scored on a beautifully placed “crosser” dual-assist from Diego Palacios and Francisco Ginella. Cífuentes picked it up in full striking motion and blasted it in to even the score with his 5th goal of the campaign. Jubilantly, Grupo 3252 and the home crowd stood up in grateful appreciation at the Black & Gold for tying up the match. Their hopes, at least for a draw and the point, were realized with the final match score.
To watch the match highlights, click here.
(Of Significance): A big scare was given to LAFC when at the 84th minute it appeared that Dájome had scored his second goal of the match, but the flag immediately was raised negating the goal on an “offsides” call. That was followed shortly thereafter, at the 88th minute, when El Capitán Vela was fouled and awarded a “free kick” try for score, but was unsuccessful. After that valiant attempt by both squads to score the winning goal, the teams simply played out the clock, as the result by then was a foregone conclusion. The Stadium scoreboard clock wound down to its required end, thus ending the evened match at (2-2).
(FINAL SCORE): LAFC 2 VANCOUVER 2
(NEXT UP): Minnesota United, Wednesday, July 28th, at Banc of California Stadium. Kick-off is set for 7:30 pm. How To Watch: MLS LIVE on ESPN+, Bally Sports SoCal, & Estrella TV. Listen on Radio: 1110 ESPN, ESPN App & 980 AM La Mera Mera