After four long months, LAFC finally kicked off the MLS Is Back Tournament Monday against the Houston Dynamo at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Florida.
While it was a joyful moment to see the return of the sport, LAFC got off to a rough start. Houston’s Memo Rodríguez opened up the scoring in the ninth minute cruising past the defense untouched before firing off a shot to the post, giving the Dynamos an early 1-0 lead.
— Houston Dynamo (@HoustonDynamo) July 14, 2020
It didn’t take long for Bob Bradley’s team to strike back as Diego Rossi’s cross over in front of the goal to Wright Philips tied up the game 1-1. Things then took a turn for the worst as LAFC’s defense looked lost and made more mistakes which ultimately lead to two more goals (30′ Memo Rodríguez, 45’+6′ Alberth Elis) from Houston to end the half at 3-1.
The 2019 MLS Supporters Shield Champions were looking at a 2 goal deficit to start the second half and almost immediately cut it to one but their attempt was snuffed out. However, the club finally drew the score to within one as Diego Rossi launched a shot from the right side of the box in the 63rd minute. Just 6 minutes later the young Uruguayan forward, Brian Rodríguez, chose the perfect time to score his first-ever MLS goal to complete the comeback for the Black and Gold. And boy did he make it look easy.
— LAFC (@LAFC) July 14, 2020
While it was a tale of two halves for the club, their second-half comeback accompanied by the dominant ball control showed that even without the presence of star forward Carlos Vela, LAFC still poses a threat offensively. Brian Rodríguez took a big step forward to try and fill the shoes Vela left behind and Rossi continued his level of production. LA will have a few areas to clean up before their next match if they want to advance out of the group stage. They had a little help as Galaxy fell to the Portland Timber 2-1.
Portland now leads Group F with 3 points, LAFC and Houston are tied with one apiece, and Galaxy sits alone in the standings with no points. LAFC is set to face off against their LA rivals Saturday, July 18th with hopes of climbing the group rankings while also leaving Galaxy in the dust.