(East Los Angeles, CA) June 25, 2021 [From The Editor’s Desk]: The Summer of 2021 signified the return of the best possible match environment for futbol at the luxurious and now “full capacity” Banc of California Stadium as the LAFC took on FC Dallas. The day was very warm but the evening more inviting to bring the family out of the house to watch an exciting and entertaining Major League Soccer (MLS) soccer match. While there is still some concern about the COVID variants in other parts of the country, we, in Los Angeles, are leading the way to re-acclimate ourselves to “Live” sporting environments all over our City and County of Los Angeles & Beyond.
(Match Recap): After the match’s initial four consecutive minutes of probing, passing and setting up, against their opponents, the Black & Gold found their Captain, #10/Carlos Vela, right where he was supposed to be, just a step or two ahead of traffic, while hunting for gold treasure from within the box. Positioned now in front of the goal he took a great lead pass that threaded the needle, from teammate, Eduard Atuesta. Vela then blasted it in with his left foot from about 10 yards out as it curved sharply from left to right. Instantly, it was (1-0) LAFC. This marked the Captain’s first goal of the season.
After that goal, both teams were having at it for the next 20 minutes, but to no clear advantage either way. LAFC was awarded a free kick at the 20th minute but Vela just barely missed it when his attempt hit the goal post and ricocheted away. A couple of more shots on goal were tried by the Black & Gold but they went awry. All in all, Dallas goalkeeper, Jimmy Maurer did his job commendably despite all of the shots on goal by LAFC.
(Of Significance): Without a doubt, the support, passion, and fan enthusiasm displayed by the fantastic Grupo 3252 is easily worth the price of admission to an LAFC match. It’s tireless, endless, but motivating to all fans in attendance. And, to many a sports enthusiasts surprise, El Grupo has been given one of the best and privileged pre-match activities of any fan participant—they are called upon to lead the crowd in the singing of our National Anthem.
To watch the match highlights, click here.
As dusk turned to nightfall, the next crowd entertainment activity began when the entire stadium turned on their smart phone flashlights and began to wave them in rhythm from left to right. An amazing sight.
But, back to the match. In extra stoppage time in the first half, LAFC was threatening to score but missed on a straight-away shot from 35 yards out when the sphere hooked left and the FC Dallas goal-keeper blocked it. Vela then took another shot from the left side but missed. With that, time expired.
(HALFTIME SCORE): LAFC 1 FC Dallas 0
(2nd Half): It was more of the same until the 69th minute when all of a sudden, Vela was dribbling the ball on the left side of the goal and then with a well-focused and finely lasered pass, he found #7/Latif Blessing alone directly in front of the goal and he scored cleanly. And like his Captain and teammate, it was also his first goal of the season. There was a bit of hesitancy to celebrate immediately because the play went under Video Assistant Referee (VAR) review. The result was positive for LAFC and it then doubled their lead, (2-0), giving the Club that extra insurance cushion. Upon the Referee’s approval, the crowd screamed and roared in its satisfaction of his gesture.
(Of Significance): Vela was substituted for in the 76th minute. Noteworthy was the performance of the young and energetic South Korean, Defender/#33/Moon-Hwan Kim who played the entire match with his relentless pursuits of going after, securing, and controlling the sphere. His efforts did not go unrecognized as he was selected to address El Group 3252, the customary ritual for each home post-game ritual. He went to face them with megaphone in hand and acknowledge them, but possibly felt a little shy, most likely due to his language constraints. He was given the “A” for Effort!
(FINAL SCORE): LAFC 2 FC Dallas 0 Attendance: 22,510
With that, the celebration of a much-needed and big home win, worth 3 valuable points, continued on with the Club’s Forever Faithful fans as they left the beautiful confines of the Banc of California Stadium. The team will not return home until July 17th when they take on Salt Lake.
(Next Up): Kansas City, 6/26, Saturday, at 2:30 PM/PT. Match can be viewed on ESPN & ESPN Deportes. For radio broadcasts, tune in to 710 AM ESPN, ESPN App, and 980 AM La Mera Mera.