(East Los Angeles, CA) July 4, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: An MLS “Road Win” is a highly valued accomplishment by each of its (27) Clubs. No doubt about it! With that time-tested statement, the Black & Gold from Los Angeles, CA. played with a newly created synergy and regained energy that will hopefully become the hallmark description of how they are now evolving as a team to contend with for the rest of the season….a complete, full-strength team both on defense and offense.
Some new faces have been inserted into the Black & Gold’s starting line-up by Head Coach, Bob Bradley, and they are paying dividends and drawing highly complementary reviews from MLS’s soccer-futbol experts and analysts. With that, we bring you defender, #32 Marco Farfan, defender, #33 Moon-Hwan Kim and goalkeeper #30 Tomás Romero. Add in the first full 90 minute match of the year played by El Capitán, #10 Carlos Vela and you have the core of the changes in the team’s recent play. And in the locally televised match on My13 KCOP, that resulted in the (1-0) victory over Real Salt Lake (RSL), the thousands of LAFC fans, needless to say, were greatly satisfied while enjoying the very professional Pre, Half-time, and Post-Match studio anchoring by 20 year veteran, Mark Rogondino, the high quality “play-by-play” call of Max Bretos, and the “Max +1” guest on this match, Angela Hucles-Mangano, 2 x Olympic Gold Medalist, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team, who delivered her timely and descriptive color commentary. Rounding out the broadcast team was Katia Castorena, who was assigned as the match’s sideline reporter.
(Match Recap): Boosted by the large El Grupo 3252 attendance in the Sandy, UT, Rio Tinto Stadium, it was evident that LAFC felt somewhat at home since the Real Salt Lake crowd displayed a similar game tone and feeling in the support of their team. It was certainly a rare and panoramic scene in the home stadium to see a section of their stands filled with their opponents’ faithful and raptured fan support.
(1st Half): Not much for either team to brag about. Basically, the teams were on probing “sortie” missions and could not mount any consistent, exploitive attacks and/or shots on goal. The score was tied at (0-0) at the half. Other than a “free kick” by Vela at the 18th minute, that nearly made the scoring mark by hitting the top right cross-bar and then caromming away, there was not much to talk about for the Black & Gold on offense. Meanwhile, the defense was well-dug in and very alert to thwart many RSL attacks on goal.
To watch the match highlights, click here.
(2nd Half); At the 67th minute, right after Coach Bradley subbed him in for Mark Anthony-Kaye, midfielder, #11/José Cifuentes came through “big time” with a clear shot on goal after Vela rolled a “what did I just see? “backfoot-reverse pass” to his wingman, Eddie Segura, who was positioned on the right flank. Segura then had the presence of mind to look dead-ahead at the fast-approaching Cifuentes, who found the sphere perfectly in stride and then blasted it in from directly in front of the goal, for his third score of the season. As a hard-earned team reward, it was (1-0) LAFC. The goal came at the 69th minute of the match.
In a second match highlight for Segura, with barely a couple of minutes running off the game-clock, he became the “man of the moment” on defense when he quickly scrambled back to his goal, on a shot taken on the right flank by RSL forward, Rubio Rubin. Goalkeeper, Romero, making his third straight start, leaped straight up with both arms fully extended, and deflected it slightly with his hands, enough to slow the speed and trajectory of the ball. This gave the flying Segura exactly enough time to miraculously “squib” kick, bicycle style at that, the ball away before it had crossed over the goal, which would have tied score. With that Superman-accomplished feat by Segura, it was fittingly “game, set, and match” to LAFC on that play. Real Salt Lake could never mount an effective scoring strategy in the time remaining.
To view the Post-Match interview with Goalkeeper, Tomás Romero, click here.
(FINAL SCORE): LAFC 1 Real Salt Lake 0 Attendance: 18,253
(Of Significance): With their first road win of the season, LAFC jumped sharply from 12th place into 5th place, and moved their record to (4-4-3=15 points), but more importantly it was their complete thankfulness for the win and the huge three points that were earned for their efforts.
(Next Up): Austin FC (3-5-4=13 points) 10th place – On Wednesday, July 7th, Kick-off at 6:00 PM/PT. Watch on: MLS LIVE on ESPN+, KBVO, Bally Sports SoCal, & Estrella TV.