It was homecoming at Banc of California Stadium with LAFC facing the Vancouver Whitecaps which meant the return of former LAFC player Tristan Blackmon.
The 25 year old defender had been on the LAFC roster since their inaugural season, however, this past offseason was picked off the expansion draft by Charlotte FC before being traded to Vancouver.
Within 12 minutes into the match Blackmon made his presence known by scoring on a rebound from a free-kick that hit the post. Goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau and his backline lost Blackmon and there was nothing to be done, giving the Whitecaps a 1-0 lead.
After the goal, LAFC asserted itself and provided relentless pressure in the Whitecaps’ end of the pitch.
The black and gold were then rewarded in the 27th minute when Ryan Hollingshead put his head on a Carlos Vela corner kick to tie the score. It was Hollingshead’s first goal for the club.
In the 38th minute, Mahala Okopu did dynamic work down the wing, squeezing between two Whitecap defenders and finding Vela in the box. Vela’s initial shot was saved but he then put in the rebound to score his 4th goal of the MLS season.
LAFC went into halftime up 2-1 but came out for the second half seeking for more.
Despite several chances, LAFC was struggling to put the game away until Hollingshead entered the conversation once again. In the 70th minute, a Vela corner kick was deflected twice by the Whitecaps, and Hollingshead put his foot into a volley sending a low shot into the net for his second goal of the season.
It was the first time in Hollingshead MLS career that he scores two goals in one game, giving LAFC a 3-1 victory and placing them atop the Western conference with 10 points.
After the game, Hollingshead the Man of the Match was quick to remind the media that despite being a defender he can also score goals. “It’s a good feeling scoring a brace…I do sneak some goals in there.”
In his postgame assessment coach Steve Cherundolo highlighted the team’s improved play, stating: “It was a better performance than last week. We produced more quality chances.”
LAFC now takes their season on the road, as they look to remain unbeaten.