A new era began on Saturday night on the road for LAFC. Earlier in the week, captain Laurent Ciman went back to Europe on a deal that sent him to Ligue 1 side Dijon FCO.
But as the old saying goes, the show must go on, and did it ever.
LAFC strolled into BMO Field and took all three points home, as Bob Bradley beat Michael Bradley and Toronto FC by a score of 4-2. For the victorious side, Carlos Vela scored twice, with Diego Rossi and Lee Nguyen netting the others.
“This was a big night for us and an important three points,” Bradley said on the importance of the match afterwards.
There was another change on the defensive side that Bradley had to make for this match. Danilo Silva was forced to leave the LA derby 30 minutes in with a leg injury. He did not recover in time and Dejan Jakovic replaced the Brazilian.
Andre Horta replaced Benny Feilhaber, while Marco Urena took Christian Ramirez’ spot in the starting lineup.
LAFC First off the Mark
The diminutive Sebastian Giovinco tried an audacious bicycle attempt near the top of the area 15 minutes into proceedings. Tyler Miller, though, grabbed the shot easily.
Six minutes later, LAFC took the lead off of a deflection. Rossi took the initial attempt from long range. The ball bounced off of Vela and it trickled towards the back of the net.
The Mexican international saw the Toronto goalkeeper, Clint Irwin, off his line and took a chance by trying a shot from 50 yards away.
Vela, who took over the armband, created a turnover in the middle of the park. His quick thinking also sprung Urena in behind the Toronto defense. The Costa Rican should have doubled the lead on 38 minutes. Irwin, however, did well enough to push the ball out with his leg for a corner kick.
Wild Second Half Leads to Four Goals
After the halftime interval, LAFC scored two quick goals to take a commanding 3-0 advantage.
Gregory van der Wiel could not bring down a ball that was hit over the top of the defense completely. His error inside the area allowed Rossi to smash a shot past the diving Irwin.
Three minutes later, Vela, who had a spectacular match, cut inside the Toronto defense. He dribbled into the box before laying off a pass to Nguyen, who buried a first-time shot off the cutback pass.
LAFC thought they were in the clear after their third goal. However, Toronto pegged one back with 16 minutes remaining through Jozy Altidore. The USMNT striker found himself behind the LAFC back line and sprinted towards goal. Miller came off his line and Altidore stepped right around him before slotting his shot into the back of the net.
Toronto’s Givoinco was inches away to bringing his side within one goal moments later. He took a chance from a ways out, hitting a curling and dipping shot. But Giovinco’s attempt smacked off the left post.
Altidore netted his second goal of the night three minutes into added time. Toronto picked the LAFC defense apart with some slick passes. The 28-year-old striker hit his shot with composure ten yards away from goal.
Not to be outdone, Vela capped off his performance with a second goal one minute later. LAFC were trying to run out the clock near the corner flag. However, they continued the attack and Vela smashed his effort off the underside of the crossbar from an acute angle.
“We know in this part of the season every game is really important,” star man Vela told media following the win.
LAFC return home for a clash next weekend against the New England Revolution. Kick off for this match at the Banc of California Stadium is set for 7:30 PM.