LAFC remains unbeaten at home
The Los Angeles Football Club played the New York City Football Club to a draw on Sunday, bringing LAFC’s record at home to 2-0-2 and their season record to 6-2-3. Los Angeles remains unbeaten at home.
The Los Angeles crowd at the new Banc of California Stadium saw Carlos Vela score his first goal at home in the second half at the 66th minute of play. Sebastien Ibeagha made an own goal for LAFC in the first half that tied the game.
Head coach Bob Bradley liked the way his team played over all, but once again LAFC got off to a slow start. “I didn’t think we were very sharp in the first half. I thought our response after we went down on the penalty was good. We got the one-one but I didn’t think, in terms of our movement and our passing at the center of the field, I didn’t think we were sharp. But then in the second half, I thought we raised our level and I thought we put a tremendous amount of influence on the press and we kept going and we got to 2-1 and I felt like 3-1 was coming any second. So, I was very pleased with the push to win the game. We still had moments where we have advantages and maybe we’re not sharp enough, or where certain plays where we turn over and the next thing you know, we’re racing like crazy to put out a fire and that’s not something that I’m so happy about. I thought it was a very good game, certainly a very good game in terms of football and the way both teams went after it.”
LAFC defender Walker Zimmerman spoke about the goal he assisted Carlos Vela on, saying, “The plan was, I think I saw a little bit of a mismatch going to the second post — typically I run a bit closer to the middle and I think I saw an opportunity and Carlos [Vela] and I made some pretty good eye contact and thought we were on the same page, and he hit a great ball and was able to get a good hit on it and hit it back toward the goal. [I was] fortunate to get the deflection to go in, but that’s what you’re supposed to do in those situations — is make sure you put it back on target, so it was a good play.”
Vela was excited to score for the home crowd. “It was good. Scoring goals is always a good feeling for me and more when it’s the first with my fans, so it’s a special goal and I hope after this goal, I score many, many goals in this stadium.”
He added, “I think they played a really good game. They pressed us really well. We didn’t have time and space to play like we normally play. But in the second half, of course, they are more tired, they left us space to play, and I think it was a good game. Both teams played and we tried to win until the last minute. I think this was a good game for the fans. We have to keep working because we showed that we can play against one of the best teams in the league and this is the way to beat the other teams.”
The Mexico National Team might add Vela to its roster. The forward said, “Yes, I think scoring goals and playing every weekend, or in this case, every game, the possibilities of being selected to the squad continue to get better. We have to see what the team is missing. I think it will be fine. In the end, we can argue about it and it’ll be impossible to agree. We need to support the decision that is made and support those who are chosen.”
NYCFC head coach Patrick Viera told the media he was happy to head back to the Big Apple with a point. “It’s a really good stadium, a really good football (soccer) stadium. It was unbelievable. What I love about the stadium is the feel – the feel to play and to allow the fans to see a good game of football. They’re the type of games fans deserve to see. I think it is one of the best teams we’ve played so far in this league. They possess the quality and the pace and the ability to create. I am really happy going back to New York with the point — it’s a really good sign.”
LAFC’s next game will be on the road, May 19, in Portland, OR, against the Timbers FC.
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The Banc of California Stadium has been selected as a host venue for the 2019 CONCACAF Gold Cup. Fans can get access to tickets for the events at the stadium before tickets go on sale by visiting THIS SITE.
Photos by Claudia Gestro
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