After a season-opening win for the fifth straight year since their inception, LAFC will face the defending Western Conference Champions Portland Timbers on Sunday night at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC will be looking to stop the Timbers’ three-game win streak against them.
While LAFC won their first game 3-0 thanks to a Carlos Vela hat trick, the Timbers had to come from behind at home against the New England Revolution to salvage a 2-2 draw.
Week One Heroes:
For LAFC, it was Carlos Vela, who only needed 50 minutes to bag his hat-trick. As a result, Vela was named MLS Player of the Week. Special consideration should also be given to the collective effort on defense, which allowed just one shot on goal and blocked 5 other attempts.
For the Timbers, Yimmi Chara proved the hero. His bicycle kick 78th-minute goal salvaged the tie and he was named to the MLS All-Star Team of the Week. He also assisted on the first Timbers goal the third time the midfielder has had a goal and an assist in a game for the Timbers.
What to Look for:
The big question for LAFC will be who else will score for the Black and Gold? Vela won’t be able to score a hat trick every game, with Diego Rossi permanently gone to Turkey who will step up and help Vela carry the scoring load.
Perhaps it’s time Brian Rodriguez carried his weight. In 37 games started, the Uruguayan only scored 6 goals despite playing in a forward position his entire LAFC career. Against a rival like the Timbers, a goal would kickstart his season.
LAFC 2-1 win.