Carlos Vela continued to show why he’s an early favorite in the MLS MVP race, as Los Angeles Football Club again found three points in downing expansion side FC Cincinnati, 2-0, on Saturday evening.
The Western Conference and Supporters’ Shield leaders found their breakthrough in the 32nd minute, as Mark-Anthony Kaye flicked home a corner kick from Vela. The Mexican international then added some insurance late in second-half stoppage time, sealing the result with a right-footed finish.
The scoreline could have been far worse if not for some first-half heroics from FC Cincinnati – twice to deny Diego Rossi. The first came from goalkeeper Spencer Richey, who robbed the Uruguayan in the 2nd minute. Then center back Nick Hagglund cleared a deflected rush by the forward off the line in the 5th minute.
Quality chances were few and far between for Cincy, but this was no onslaught from LAFC either. The Black and Gold had outscored their last two opponents by a combined 9-0 scoreline.
32′ – LAFC – Mark-Anthony Kaye | WATCH
90′ + 4 – LAFC – Carlos Vela | WATCH
THE BIG PICTURE: The scoreline wasn’t lopsided this go-around, but LAFC stuck to their winning ways to earn three points for the fourth straight match. The result was even more impressive considering Lee Nguyen, Adama Diomande and Andre Horta all missed out through injury. As for Cincy, they learned a tough road lesson early into their MLS tenure. Still, Alan Koch’s team has few reasons to mope after this result.
MOMENT OF THE MATCH: There’s perhaps no worse time to allow a goal than the final minutes of a half, and LAFC nearly did exactly that. However, Tyler Miller went full stretch to deny a curler from Darren Mattocks. If the shot went in, it would have been 1-1 at halftime and a vastly different complexion coming out of the dressing room.
MAN OF THE MATCH: Would there really have been someone else? Carlos Vela had a goal and an assist, giving him five goals and three assists across LAFC’s last three games. Simply put, the Designated Player is on fire right now. What a signing he’s been for the Western Conference side.
LAFC: Wednesday, April 17 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC (10 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, TSN 1/3 in Canada)
CIN: Friday, April 19 vs. Real Salt Lake (7 pm ET | MLS LIVE on ESPN+ in US, on DAZN in Canada)