June 25, 2022

Los Angeles FC is back to dominate the league. Now coached by legendary men’s national team player Steve Cherundolo, the club have more than two points per start and now have a defence. One of four teams with a double-digit goal differential so far in 2022, LAFC is coming to Seattle to try and stave off a team that could challenge them for the Western Conference title, if the Sounders can play as well. they have done since winning Concacaf. Champions League.

The Seattle Sounders are without Ra煤l Ruid铆az, who will miss at least the next two games. This may put a damper on the attacking options available to Brian Schmetzer, who can now only rely on his two 2020 MVP candidates and the three unscathed ’21 All Stars – this team is still loaded with talent even without Jo茫o Paolo, Ra煤l and Yeimar.

A win would not move Seattle up the standings, but would give them an MLS winning record.

As a reminder, there is a Seattle Mariners double-header and a Reign game tonight. The SoDo/Pioneer Square area will be packed. Take public transit if you can.

For Angels on Parade, Alicia answers three questions.


SaH: You just wrote about it at Angels on Parade, but what’s going on with Carlos Vela? He’s no match for his MVP-caliber performances, but he’s still pretty important if LAFC wants to make a Shield and/or Cup run, right?

PDO: Vela has been pretty solid this season. He had six league goals and three assists in 13 games, and also suffered minor injuries on and off. He can still win games on his own, basically. But the big thing is that his contract is set to expire in a few weeks, which is really weird and what I talked about this week. Will he ever regain his 2019 form? No. Is he still vital for LAFC and a potential top player for a contender in MLS? Absolutely. Reputable experts have repeatedly told us that a deal is imminent, and it’s been said for months at this point. In the meantime, no news. If Vela leaves mid-season, it will be pretty much unprecedented under these circumstances, and barring an immediate Vela-like replacement, it would drastically reduce LAFC’s title hopes. Hopefully this turns out to be much ado about nothing and a deal is struck in the end, but it’s a very strange scenario with no certainty at the moment.

SaH: Second in shots taken per game, lowest shots defended in the league – Is LAFC now a total package rather than a run-and-gun team?

PDO: They have definitely improved their defense this season and that has helped them tremendously. Maxime Crepeau could follow Stefan Frei’s trajectory of “getting pumped for the goal of a Canadian team but playing well under the circumstances to move on to a contender and looking even better with a superior supporting cast” in his career, but LAFC’s investment in experience in the offseason has paid off with improved depth and a higher quality XI.

At the same time, the attack is still quite solid. I think LAFC can survive without Vela on the field for 90 minutes these days, but he’s still the gamebreaker and without him the margins get thinner. Steve Cherundolo hasn’t really changed much in attacking style, which means the team didn’t need to adapt much in that regard when he replaced Bob Bradley. But Bradley’s style has sometimes proven to be a liability in terms of defensive approach, and Cherundolo has balanced things better and that’s a big factor in their strong start to the season.

SaH: Were S谩nchez or Acosta the biggest acquisition of the offseason?

PDO: I think the flashiest player in a position that isn’t necessarily meant to be flashy was Ilie Sanchez, believe it or not. He looked destroyed at the end of his tenure at Sporting Kansas City, but he looks rejuvenated right now, I guess a change of scenery was what he needed. He’s basically become the new metronome in midfield with the departure of Eduard Atuesta, and that’s a pretty key role for LAFC. At the same time, he is also strong in defense, and LAFC definitely needed him in midfield.

Meanwhile, Acosta has been more of a good soldier, occasionally filling in at the back, although he admitted he would prefer the midfielder, and quietly doing the dirty work otherwise. There’s been a lot of talk about his set piece serve, but to be honest, I don’t think he’s really shown it yet with LAFC. But as a young player and current international contender for the World Cup in the fall, he should have plenty of motivation to really be at his best in the second half of the MLS season.


Discover the Reverse and the story of Carlos Vela.

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