(East Los Angeles, CA) May 31, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Memorial Day holiday weekend on Saturday morning 5/29, was a bit overcast, but by the time it was “Match-Time,” at 2:00 pm, the climate had changed a bit for the better, and with the arrival of our good-weather friend, Mr. Sun/Sr. Sol, the half-filled Banc of California Stadium with its 10,700 fans, was rocking and rolling in delight that the Black & Gold were in great shape and in battle-ready form to give them all an outstanding performance. From the pre-game Falcon Flight to Grupo 3252’s pulsating call to action, it was “Go-Time.”
NYCFC came into the match with the exact same record as LAFC (2-2-2/8 pts). And, in addition, they were currently in 8th place in the ruggedly, competitive MLS Eastern Conference.
To view match highlights, click here.
(Match Summary): The first 15 minutes was basically a “give and take” situation. Not much offense, but a lot of defense. At the 30 minute time-slot, the teams were still exchanging harmless sweeps from one side of the pitch to the other, similar to watching your windshield wipers moving at medium speed on a fairly rainy day. The Time of Posession slightly favored LAFC. At the 31st minute, there was a “no-call” when Captain Carlos Vela was dribbling the ball in the open field and was then overtaken by the defender, Alexander Callen, from behind. The Referee, Kevin Stott, ruled “legal play,” even though Vela was driven hard to the turf. Stott simply moved the game forward. After that, there wasn’t much more to rave about for either squad, and the first half ended in a scoreless tie.
(2nd Half): Coming out onto the sun-drenched and beautifully inviting pitch, and in energetic fashion, LAFC found a way to break the NYCFC defense down, and entrance them while devising a scoring opportunity. The play was initiated by a strong dribble to the right of the goal by Mark-Anthony Kaye, who then sent a crosser in front of the netting as an guarded Corey Baird met it to the right of the NYCFC goalie, Sean Johnson, from 5 yards out and simply blasted it into the net, (1-0) LAFC. The goal came at the 56th minute of the match.
NYCFC then took advantage of failed Black & Gold clearance from deep inside their territory and lost the sphere to NYCFC’s Anton Tinnerholm, who then found his teammate, mid-fielder, Jesus Medina, open for a shot. He then promptly curled it into the far upper left back of the goal, just out of the reach of LAFC’s goalie, Pablo Sisniega. The match was now tied at (1-1). The goal was scored at the 70th minute mark.
At the 72nd minute Coach Bradley started to sub his players. Entering for LAFC was Latif Blessing for Jose Cifuentes. That was followed a minute later by Raheem Edwards for Corey Baird. The final change came when Coach Bob Bradley inserted Danny Musovski into the match for Eduard Atuesta at the 87th minute.Unfortunately, their appearances were not enough to make a significant difference in swinging the much-needed momentum back to the Club,
Some match drama occurred at the 86th minute when mid-fielder, Nicolas Acevedo, was issued his second yellow card, resulting in his disqualification from the last few minutes of the contest. LAFC then had the opportunity to vigorously attack with the one man shortage, but could not accomplish it in the little time remaining. However, and to the contrary, NYCFC made the most of it and were rewarded with the “go-ahead” and ultimate winning goal by Forward, Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, who tapped it in after receiving a perfectly timed “header” assist from Alfredo Moralez, on a corner kick at the 90th minute. That play secured the (2-1) road win for NYCFC as well as collecting those 3 coveted points.
(Final Score): NYCFC 2 LAFC 1
(World Cup & Copa America Updates): There will be a suspension of all MLS matches for the following a two-week break due to the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers and Copa America. Three LAFC players are currently on international duty for the 2022 World Cup Qualifiers: 1) Mark Anthony-Kaye – Canada (Canada vs. Aruba/June 11 & Canada vs. Suriname/June 8); Diego Palacios – Ecuador (Ecuador vs. Brazil/June 4 & Ecuador vs. Peru/June 8); Kim Moon-Hwan – South Korea (South Korea vs. Turkmenistan/June 5, South Korea vs. Sri Lanka/June 9, and South Korea vs. Lebanon/June 12).
(Next Match): The Houston Dynamo are coming into Banc of California Stadium on Saturday, June 19th, for an evening match. Kick-off is set for 8:00 pm. Full attendance will be offered to all fans wishing to attend this match.