The Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) had to regroup quickly after a mid-week hammering against their crosstown rivals the LA Galaxy. LAFC had their U.S. Open Cup tournaments ended in a 3-1 loss but had to regroup to face their Northern California rival the San Jose Earthquakes.
LAFC would be without the services of their captain, Carlos Vela who sat out the game due to a quad injury that he picked up in the game against the Galaxy. Vela’s absence meant a change in tactics with Cristian Arango and Brian Rodriguez up top in a 3-5-2 formation.
The Black and Gold opened their scoresheet in the seventh minute when defender Ryan Hollingshead was brought down in the Earthquakes box by Jan Gregus, setting up Arango to step into the penalty spot and getting pass SJ keeper James Marcinkowski resulting in an early 1-0 lead.
LAFC continued to put the pressure and once again, it was Hollingshead making plays. In the 13th minute he received a pass from Brian Rodriguez inside the box and the defender slotted a low shot past Marcinkowski to put them up 2-0.
It looked like LAFC was going to push the Earthquakes off the pitch, but the bottom fell out on the defense and the Earthquakes quickly took control.
In the 16th minute Jeremey Ebobisse got San Jose back in the game by scoring a goal from the center of the box, the LAFC defense lost him and resulted in the perfect pass from Jamiro Monteiro to score from up close.
LAFC continued to put pressure on the Earthquakes but terrible defense on a corner knotted up the game.
In the 31st minute, Ebobisse was left unmarked on a corner and put his left foot on a cross from the corner beating Maxime Crepeau to tie the score at 2-2.
Despite having more opportunities which including a Hollingshead shot at a wide-open net (which he missed), LAFC could not regain the lead.
Rodriguez had already knotted an assist, but it was at the second half in the 48th minute when he ran down the left-wing, received a pass from Jose Cifuentes about six yards in the box, and scored putting LAFC up 3-2.
In his first start since April 9th due to a hamstring injury, Rodriguez contributed a goal and assist for just the second time in his LAFC career and deserved the Man of the Match designation.
There would be no more scoring in the half for either team. LAFC continued to maintain pressure putting four shots on goal in the second half, the defense clamped down refusing to allow a shot from the Earthquakes, and with the one goal, the final margin remained 3-2 for another LAFC win.
In his postgame comments coach, Steve Cherundolo praised his team’s resilience: “We had a great response as a group…I thought the reaction was excellent a very mature response in the second half.”
With the game won LAFC will now take a three-week international break and take time to regroup and refocus as they continue their MLS campaign.