Two days after LAFC got knocked out of the US Open Cup, they came away victorious on the road with a 3-1 win over the Houston Dynamo.
LAFC continue to put distance between themselves and the next team in the table. After this latest MLS victory, they now sit on 46 points and have a 12 point gap at the top of the conference standings.
LAFC make nine changes to the lineup
With the quick turnaround, Bob Bradley knew he was going to have to make changes to his starting lineup. He did just that, as nine players rotated into the lineup for this match.
Rodolfo Zelaya, Adama Diomande, and Joshua Perez lined up in attack for LAFC. Meanwhile, Lee Nguyen and Peter-Lee Vassell, back from Gold Cup action, slotted into midfield. In defense, Mohamed El Monir, Tristan Blackmon, and Dejan Jakovic entered the fray. Finally, Tyler Miller, who also returned from USMNT duty, returned to the starting goalkeeper role.
The captain Carlos Vela did not play in this match after taking a slight knock to his knee during the US Open Cup match against the Portland Timbers. And with only a day off in between matches, Bradley wanted to take no risks with his MVP candidate.
Houston found their footing quickly in the opening minutes, scoring in the third minute through Romell Quioto. He created a little bit of space for himself inside the box after getting LAFC defenders to bite with the ball at his feet. Quioto then fired a left-footed attempt past a helpless Miller to give the Dynamo the lead.
It could have been 2-0 in favor of the home side had it not been for El Munir. Alberth Elis was clean through on goal, but the 27-year-old left back made a tackle to keep things at 1-0.
Dio scores twice
The visiting team finally found a way through moments before the first half came to an end. Lee Nguyen floated a ball over the top of the defense towards the far post. Waiting for the delivery there was Diomande, who leaped over the Dynamo defense to level the match at one.
The two combined once more four minutes after the start of the second half. Joshua Perez made a darting run down the left flank, racing towards the byline. He played a pass back towards the middle of the box. Diomande could not control the initial cross, but it fell straight at Nguyen. The veteran midfielder returned it to Dio, who slotted his shot past Joe Willis.
Tyler Miller came up with another big stop with less than ten minutes to go. He reacted well and dove low to get his hands on a header that preserved LAFC’s lead for good.
Diego Rossi wrapped up the three points for LAFC in the 88th minute. He was darting left inside the area before chipping the third goal up and over the Dynamo goalkeeper.
LAFC will get a much-needed break leading up to their rivalry match with the LA Galaxy. Kickoff for this match, at the Dignity Health Sports Park, is scheduled for 7:30 PM PST.