LAFC took the show on the road and came back with three points. Thanks to a 2-0 win over Inter Miami FC the black and gold sit atop the MLS Western Conference standings.
Goals from Kwadwo Opoku and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi provided the winning margin. LAFC weathered a grinding game that saw Inter Miami down to 10 men right before halftime.
Despite the win, coach Steve Cherundolo was not satisfied with his team’s performance. Cherundolo stated, “We were not happy with the way we were passing. We were not happy with the way we were controlling the game…it was a sloppy performance by both teams.”
Cherundolo did note a positive that was evident in this game, “the depth is key for us…drawing on players today…bringing in Ismael Tajouri-Shradi late is a game-changer for us. He changed the dynamic of the game.”
Perhaps Cherundolo’s dissatisfaction with the team came from the fact that despite Inter Miami being down 10 men in the second half LAFC was not dominant on the ball.
LAFC struggled to keep possession of the ball only holding on to it 52.9% of the time, and despite leading Inter Miami in passing percentage overall ( 80.9) in the final third of the pitch it was Inter Miami who connected better (65.8% to 65.5%).
Cherundolo attributed it to sloppy passes and poor first touches from his players. Regardless LAFC did contribute in the back despite having to incorporate new players into the starting 11.
Defensively LAFC has given up just one goal in their first three games to start the 2022 MLS season and on Saturday they kept their second clean sheet of the year.
As Cherundolo noted LAFC relied on their squad depth for goals as well, Opoku started up front and scored on the cusp of halftime putting LAFC on the board first in the 45th minute.
Tajouri-Shradi came off the bench with 20 minutes left in the game and then he put it away scoring his first goal with LAFC in the 82nd minute. With the game over, LAFC returns home with the three points ready to take on the Vancouver Whitecaps next.
No doubt Cherundolo will be looking for a better effort in front of the home supporters and will be looking for a more complete performance from the team.