After Los Angeles FC’s U.S. Open dreams came down crashing on Wednesday after they lost to Portland Timbers recently on July 10, they headed to Texas to play Houston Dynamo, in the hope of bagging 3 useful points.
It was mostly the B team that played in that game as majority of the main players were rested. On the other hand, for Dynamo it was a chance to play well and win some points to stay in the Western Conference play-off race. LAFC couldn’t have started in a worse manner as they conceded a goal in just the third minute after the kick-off. Thereafter, they were consistently put under the pressure right up to the halftime, a few minutes before which Adama Diomande scored a goal and tied the score at 1-1. A sort of resurgence happened thereafter, enabling LAFC to score their 14th win of the season.
Miller bounces back
No one witnessed a better resurgence than Tyler Miller, who put on a stellar performance after his earlier mistake that led to the Dynamo’s only goal in the match. He made a handful of big saves in the remaining part of the match and played a key role in helping LAFC win. Miller will need to continue proving his position in the team, as the door is still open for Pablo Sisniega. As of now, he needn’t worry a lot about losing his starting place, but he’ll need to avoid moments like the first few minutes of this match.
Diomande rescues the team
Diomande gave his best performance for the LAFC just when his team needed it the most. The striker scored two goals that lifted up the team from the verge of loss to a comprehensive victory. Both goals were set up pretty brilliantly by Lee Nguyen. The Norwegian striker definitely improved his chances of making it regularly to their starting XI after he had to sit out in the Timbers game last week. He and Ramirez have been exchanging places all through the season, with some success.
Open Cup disappointment put behind
While it was pretty evident that it will not be the best day at office for LAFC after a few minutes into the match, as they were clearly looking dejected after making an exit from the Open Cup, and their dreams of making it a treble crashing down, they bounced back fairly well in the second half and earned 3 useful points for themselves. Now they have their eyes set on the Friday’s major encounter against LA Galaxy, touted as the biggest derby match of the MLS season. If we look at the best MLS odds from reputed bookmakers, LAFC are currently going at 5/2 to win the MLS Cup, while LA Galaxy are going at 12/1.
Much to look forward to
It’s important for LAFC to not dwell too much on their Open Cup exit at this point, as it can impact their performance in the remaining games of the season. Regardless of how disappointing it would feel to miss another Open Cup final, their coach Bob Bradley would agree that there is ample to look forward to still. The MLS cup and the Supporters Shield are still within the reach of the club.