(East Los Angeles, CA) [From The Editor’s Desk]: The 2022 summer heatwave continued here in the City and all of Southern Cali as the temperature began to drop into the mid-80s after suffering through numerous days of 90+ degree readings.
With that said, and in tandem with our weather, we now feature the “hottest” team in the MLS at this point of the season, our very own LAFC/Black & Gold. As the entire MLS and other international leagues beyond keep their eyes riveted on how the team’s recently added manpower, and new chemistry from “world-class” players, Giorgio Chiellini and Gareth Bale have been able to smoothly coalesce with the veteran Black & Gold players. We all are now eyewitnesses to that dynamic and momentum-building success.
[Pre-Match]: The traditional Falcon’s Flight routine with Ken Miknuk and star of the show, “Olly” the Falcon, provided the chance for all fans to acknowledge the presence of the L.A. Dodgers Spanish-language Hall of Fame Broadcaster, Jaime Jarrín, as he did the honors of Guest Falconer.
[Next Up]: San José Earthquakes. Saturday, August 29tth at 7:30 PM. To watch go to: MLS LIVE on ESPN+, KCOP 13, Estrella 62. To listen go to 710 AM ESPN, ESPN LA App, KFWB 980 La Mera Mera
[To view the match video highlights, click here].
[1st Half]: The opening half displayed very good rhythm and intensity, but no “eye-catching” or sustained frontal attacks on goal. There was lots of other activities taking place such as crossers, tackles, fast break-outs, and all of the ways that the fans could appreciate great soccer/fútbol. And, although the visitors came into the match with one of the poorest records in the MLS, LAFC did not interpret them to be in that classification. Both squads earned the respect from each other as the match basically played out to a scoreless first period.
[Half-Time Score]: LAFC 0 DC United 0
[2nd Half]: The match’s turning point came at the 59th minute mark when a second Yellow card was issued to #15/Steve Birnbaum resulting in his immediate ejection from the match. This quickly turned the tables and LAFC immediately took advantage of their one man extra on the pitch, as Manager, Steve Cherundolo re-tooled and re-loaded his attack strategy to score the first goal the match.
It came shortly thereafter at minute (67:00) on a beautiful (3-on-2) match-up in the open field, LAFC put on a clinic in scoring from the right flank with that advantage. It happened this way…after taking a great lead pass from Carlos Vela, Cristian “Chicho” Arango briefly nestled it into control and then booted a great crosser towards the netting, and there waiting for it, undefended, was #22/Kwadwo “Mahala” Opoku who nailed it in with a left-footed laser shot. Grupo 3252 was rewarded close-up and personal with what became the winning goal.
Noteworthy to highlight in this second period were the Grupo 3252, the North Enders, and most of the crowd, turning on their cell phone flashlights and waving them in unison and in concert with the chanting during the close and intense match. The high energy exerted amid the waving of huge Flags and Banners was also a big boost to the Club. Non-stop support of the team was the order of the night!
The score held up for the final 20 minutes of the match, with LAFC taking their defense up a notch to prevent any scoring from the short-handed DC United (10). For the entire match, LAFC goalkeeper, Maxime Crepeau, came up with three tremendous and critical saves to keep the visitors off the scoreboard. In all fairness, Crepeau’s counterpart, David Ochoa, played a great match well and was very busy for nearly the entire 90 + 3 minutes of stoppage time.
[Full-Time Score]: LAFC 1 DC United 0 [Attendance]: 21,100
[“Man of the Match”]: #2 /Franco Escobar
LAFC is now (11-1-2) at home this season for (35) of the club’s MLS-best (57) points. LAFC’s 35 points at home are more than (19) other teams have in all games this season.
In the post-match festivities, as a tribute paid back to their fans, the Black & Gold made their customary “Tour of the Pitch” to salute and wave to their adoring and supportive Fans.