(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: After playing in the mandatory U.S. Open Tournament and the Scotiabank Concacaf Champions League (CCL) Finals, the Black & Gold were very glad to return to its very welcoming Major League Soccer (MLS) stage in early June with their (7-1-4 = 25 points) record. Keeping in mind that they were certainly hoping to get back to its very winning ways while maintaining a strong 3rd place in the Western Conference standings, trailing the expansion team, the St. Louis CITY SC in 1st place, then followed by the Seattle Sounders.
The Black & Gold’s opponent on this day was the Atlanta United FC who came into BMO Stadium with a record of (6-4-6 =24 points and a 3rd place standing in the Eastern Conference. This was a good match-up between two squads that appeared very equal, at least on paper, so it was to the pitch they had to go and let the players decide the outcome.
[REFEREE]: Jeff Jacobsen ; [1st HALF]: It was a slow but measured start between two squads that appeared to match up well in many aspects of their skills, abilities, and of course, their overall records to date. The start-up tempo of the match for LAFC was dictated in large part by Grupo 3252 and the drum corps with their relentless, but driving force of energy that equalled a synergy for their beloved team. But, there would be no lightning strikes for goals for either side in this period. In contrast, there were lots of opportunities that never fully developed and regrettably fell through the cracks for the Black & Gold. Give gigantic credit to Atlanta’s goalkeeper, #1/Brad Guzan who stayed as busy as a bee to use the phrase for the first (45:00) minutes.
[PHOTO GALLERY CREDIT]: Frankli Robles, East L.A. Sports Scene Productions
[MATCH HIGHLIGHTS]: Click here and then Highlights link.
[HALF-TIME SCORE]: LAFC 0 ATLANTA UNITED 0
[2nd HALF]: The match struggled on in the same tempo but at minute (55:00), the offensive attacks by LAFC on the Atlanta goalkeeper, Guzan were calculated and appeared to be precise, but to the sold-out crowd’s dismay and after three healthy and successive tries, up and through the 65th minute, the Black & Gold were stopped cold and their shots were blocked each time, resulting obviously in denials of scores.
However, the match’s biggest drama unfolded at minute (70:00) with a Yellow card being issued toAtlanta’s Defender, #22/Juan José Purata, resulting in a direct PK for LAFC. With the crowd rising to its feet, up stepped #10/Carlos “El Capitán” Vela to take the attempt. However, to the crowd’s dismay, the attempt was blocked. But, after an appeal from Manager, Steve Cherundolo, Referee, Jeff Jacobsen went to the VAR. And upon further review, he ordered a replay because Guzan was caught moving before Vela’s kick. Now that the goalie had re-set, so did Vela. But to the crowd’s next disappointment, he sailed the ball high over the netting and into the stands. And so the match moved on as did the hopes of the crowd in light of the tremendous opportunity at a chance to win with one of the most automatic strikers in the MLS taking the attempt.
Thus, at the end of regulation, the Referee indicated that the “stoppage” time was (9:00) minutes, more than enough time to win the match and earn 3 points, rather than walk away with a draw that added only 1 point to your scoring totals, but it would be to no avail for either squad as “Father Time” ended up as the true decider of the contest.
[FULL-TIME SCORE]: LAFC 0 ATLANTA UNITED FC 0 [ATTENDANCE]: 22,010
[PAINT THE PICTURE]: Here’s the match’s MAIN stat sheet that favored LAFC in the multiple categories of Shots, Shots on target, and Corner Kicks. They also led in Fouls. But unfortunately not in the most important one—-the scoring category.
[OF SIGNIFICANCE]: In recapping what we witnessed in this first-time of viewing a visiting team, we observed a lack of any consistent scoring rhythms, but not equal opportunities. It turned out as we predicted, a draw in every sense of the word. At least the one point earned due to the tie was appreciated by each team. And onward go the teams to their next opponent on the schedule. LAFC had to go on the road to Houston, TX on Saturday, 6/10 for the first of the same team “back-to-back” encounters with the Dynamos. The will come to L.A. and BMO Stadium on Wednesday, 6/14.
[MATCH UPDATE]: The Black & Gold traveled to face the Houston Dynamo and were shut-out in the first of their “back-to-back” matches by a score of (4-0) this past Saturday 6.10.23. Our posting for this match is forthcoming shortly. Thanks for your kind patience.