LAFC Overpowered in Their Visit to Austin
The Black and Gold would make a stop in Austin for their second encounter of the season. After Austin Fc came to California in May and handed LAFC a 2-1 loss, Los Angelinos were out for revenge. However, that would not be the case as they were overmatched and outclassed by Austin. Sure, LAFC continues to be the best team in MLS and have sound control of the Supporters Shield they have looked bad these past two games. After losing to San Jose and Austin there has been some worry about the club performances. Austin ran circles on LAFC and forced them to play in an uncomfortable manner. As all LAFC could do was play one long ball after another and the chemistry they usually show was not there. Another issue they faced was the suspension of Ilie Sanchez. Who has arguably been their most consistent player this year. LAFC is yet to win a game when he is off the pitch. Which could just be a coincidence but there is no doubt the team heavily relies on his services. In the end Austin played this game as if it was do or die. They showed intensity and discipline and gave LAFC a taste of their own medicine.
Who Needs to Step Up
The best thing about these remaining games is that LAFC has already qualified to the playoffs. Now is the time to experiment and see who you can count on when the going gets tough. So regardless of these final weeks the Black and Gold will be able to challenge for a MLS Cup. Against Austin we saw Jesus Murillo have a rough time when he was paired in the back with Eddie Segura. As his giveaway ultimately lead to Austin’s opening goal. We also saw that Kellyn is better as a helping piece instead of the focal point in the midfield. Latif has been the heart and soul for LAFC for quite some time now. Unfortunatley, with the big name signings he has take a step back and we saw some hesitation in some moments from him. Gareth Bale finally got his first start with LAFC and put in an ok performance, nothing that stood out. The club will have to wonder if selling Brian Rodriguez to Club America was a mistake. Vela was a no show and hardly made an impact on this game. It’s the little things that LAFC need to fix and they have 7 weeks to get it going again.
Another Match in Texas
LAFC will now shift their focus to Houston, as they will face off against the Dynamo in their third straight road trip. As Houston continues with their rebuild they find themselves at the bottom of the Western Conference with little to no hope of a quick turnaround. Making huge splash signings like Hector Herrera have not necessarily gone the way the club hoped. At least in sales its working for them. LAFC will need to get things going once again. This will be an entertaining matchup as both clubs who are headed in opposite directions are looking for a win.