(East Los Angeles, CA) May 25, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Black & Gold returned home to its very comfortable confines and then went to work on their opponent, the Colorado Rapids, in the MLS’s Week #6. And now, with the COVID-19 Awareness “Yellow Tier” in effect for L.A. County and many other points beyond, the Club and its ownership couldn’t be happier since this all means proportionately increasing the number of fans that will be allowed to attend all home matches “in-person” pending the status of their vaccinations or test results.
(Pre-Game Festivities): Of Significance— So, the stage was set for the team to receive the 10,483 fans who made them feel more than welcomed-back home. With the beautiful Banc of California Stadium abuzz with pre-match excitement and adrenalin starting to flow, the happy, appreciative, and ever-increasing vaccinated and tested crowd (now up to 50%), settled in for the opening act. Needless to say, it was yet another sensational exhibition by renowned handler, Ken “The Falconer” Miknuk, as they performed their customary stadium Falcon Fly Over, Fly Through, & Return. All in all, just an absolute gigantic hit with the crowd!!
Finally, add the always percussive, rhythmic, chanting singing, and faithful Grupo 3252, to the pre-match mix of activities as they sang the national anthem. It was a perfect environment for the team’s first night home match, as well as playing for the first time on local My 13, KCOP-TV, The full media environment in the Press Box was very vibrant as its doors were opened once again to the credentialed outlets who cover the team.
(Match Summary): (1st Half): Having Carlos Vela in the starting line-up was essential and crucial as he took to the pitch much to the great delight of the crowd. The first score of the match came on a very well-designed diagonal attack from the left side when Corey Baird slipped a timely, and leading-ball to Diego Rossi at the 14th minute of play. Then, in perfect stride, Rossi was credited with his first goal of the match, on a tremendous right footed grounder past the sliding and reaching Rapids’ goalie, William Yarbrough.
Lightning would strike once more, when at the 34th minute, Rossi lighted up the scoreboard with another goal. It was another thing of beauty as he received a great assist from Captain, Carlos Vela, while he was patrolling his area until the timing was perfect for another attack. He aimed his shot perfectly as he hammered it into the net left-footed, giving the Black & Gold a comfortable (2-0) lead going into the locker room at half-time.
To view the match highlights, click here.
(2nd Half): The Rapids, knowing that being down by two goals at any half, they were in a tough, uphill fight. That mindset paid off quickly, as Michael Barrios got them on the scoreboard in the 49th minute with a well-scripted power-play. After another 10 minutes play, Captain, Carlos Vela, was substituted at the 59th minute as Head Coach Bob Bradley most likely stayed with his decision on giving Vela, some good, but limited minutes, as he plays himself back into opening-day shape. At the 73rd minute, Latif Blessing and Kim Moon-Hwan, Republic of South Korea, were summoned from off the bench and into the fray, as their fresh legs and defensive skills provided a competitive finishing drive down the final stretch of the match. This was enough to preserve the well-earned team victory.
(Match Stat-Line): Time of Possession, LAFC 57.5%; Shots, (17-10), LAFC; Shots on Goal, (5-3), LAFC; Blocked Shots, (5-1), LAFC; & Corner Kicks, (7-2), LAFC. Other than allowing the Rapids a solo goal, these dominant areas of the game all favored the Black & Gold. With the victory, LAFC (2-2-1-8 points), remains undefeated at home and is now currently in 9th place.
(FINAL SCORE): LAFC 2 Colorado Rapids 1
(Next Up): New York City FC (NYCFC), Saturday, May 29th, @ 2:00 PM (PT). Media coverage will be provided by UniMás and will be broadcast nationally in Spanish. It will also be carried on US TV by TUDN. US “Live Streaming” can be found on Twitter (English audio). Fans can also follow the match by tuning into the radio on 1110 AM ESPN, 980 AM “La Mera Mera,” & ESPN App.