Los Angeles FC may not have MLS MVP Carlos Vela for the MLS is Back Tournament, but the reigning Supporters’ Shield winners showed on Monday why they are still the tournament favorites even without the best player in the league.
Diego Rossi continued his torrid tournament, scoring two more goals as LAFC ran all over the Seattle Sounders, posting a 4-1 victory in their Round of 16 clash in Orlando.
LAFC will now face Orlando City in the quarterfinals on Friday.
A series of Seattle defensive blunders delivered some golden chances for an LAFC side that was already dominating the proceedings even without the favors from the Sounders back-line.
Xavier Arreaga endured a particularly terrible night, and set the tone for a forgettable night when he committed a 13th-minute penalty foul on Diego Rossi, who converted the subsequent penalty kick.
Latif Blessing made the score 2-0 in the 40th minute when he sent a curling shot at goal that Shane O’Neill redirected with his shoulder past Stefan Frei.
LAFC dominated play in the second half, and came close to adding a third goal on multiple occasions, narrowly missing on a handful of chances.
The Sounders showed some life in the 75th minute when second-half substitute Will Bruin slotted home a perfect Joevin Jones cross.
Raul Ruidiaz had a chance to power home an equalizer just four minutes later, but LAFC goalkeeper Kenneth Vermeer made a big save to maintain LAFC’s lead.
LAFC pulled away in the final 10 minutes, courtesy of a pair of poor mistakes by Sounders defenders. First, Arreaga botched a clearance attempt, serving up a golden chance that Rossi converted easily to make the score 3-1. Then it was Gustav Svensson committing an uncharacteristic error that set up Brian Rodriguez with an easy chance to make the final score 4-1.
Man of the Match
Diego Rossi. The tournament’s scoring leader notched two goals, including the penalty kick he helped draw. He finished with a match-high three shots, and two key passes.
Moment of the Match
Kenneth Vermeer’s big save to deny Raul Ruidiaz a potential equalizer was huge, and helped inspire LAFC to finish out in strong fashion.
Match to Forget
Xavier Arreaga. The Ecuadorian central defender had a shocker, first surrendering a penalty with a bad early challenge, then completely botching a clearance attempt to effectively put the match out of reach.