BLACK & GOLD ENDGAME
LAFC 2, New England Revolution 2
April 3, 2021
LAFC used a late goal in the 90th minute from 2020 MLS Golden Boot Winner Diego Rossi to tie the New England Revolution 2-2 in a preseason match at Banc of California Stadium.
GREAT START UP TOP
For the first 45 minutes in their preseason match vs. the New England Revolution, LAFC looked dominant at times, creating numerous chances and forcing Revs goalkeeper Matt Turner to make at least full diving stops to keep the Black & Gold off the scoreboard.
Corey Baird started at forward with Carlos Vela and Diego Rossi, and the trio was dangerous, with all three nearly getting on the scoreboard.
“I thought it was a solid first half, we created some good chances,” LAFC head coach Bob Bradley said. “Matt Turner made some great saves for them.”
With the 2019 and 2020 MLS Golden Boot winners on the field at the same time, Baird – the 2018 MLS Rookie of the Year – is just looking to fit in and seamlessly move into LAFC’s offensive ideas.
“It felt good,” Baird said. “We are a work in progress. I am still learning [Vela and Rossi’s] tendencies and where they want the ball and they are leaning the runs I am making, but I think it is coming along. In preseason, there is a little more fatigue in the legs and maybe the ideas are there but the execution isn’t quite there yet, but we are learning.”
After a struggle of a first half, the Revolution were able to change things around quickly in the first 10 minutes of the second half, as Gustavo Bou scored just a minute after halftime and then Adam Buksa finished off a cross to give the Revs a 2-0 lead immediately in the second stanza.
“We had a terrible start,” Bradley said. “It was highly disappointing, but I thought the response when we went down was good. It was important to see guys get 60, 70, 90 minutes in the game, so that is progress. The overall sharpness and some of the details were not where we want them but we have a couple more weeks to move those along.”
Tristan Blackmon started the match on the right side of defense, and was also disappointed in the rough opening of the second half for LAFC.
“It was a poor start, no excuses,” Blackmon said. “They pushed harder than us for the first 10 minutes of the second half. We weren’t prepared mentally for that, and clearly they punished us. We know we need to be ready once that whistle blows, so no excuses. We need to be focused and those are mental lapses that can’t happen.”
After making some substitutions in the 60th minute, LAFC eased back in the game with Eduard Atuesta scoring in the 64th minute and then Diego Rossi finishing off a Pancho Ginella cross in the 90th minute to even the score.
Bradley was pleased with the play of Ginella and Danny Musovski off the bench.
“Danny Musovski gave us a good 30 minutes,” Bradley said. “And Pancho Ginella really picked up the tempo and helped us respond to being down.”
IN THE NET
Pablo Sisniega started in goal for LAFC vs. the Revs, giving way late in the game to Kenneth Vermeer.
Last season, Sisniega made 15 MLS starts, while Vermeer closed out the year in goal during the Black & Gold’s run to the Concacaf Champions League Final.
So far for 2021, Bradley is not sure who will be the primary keeper when the season kicks off on April 17.
“We will need to see where we are when we get into the season,” Bradley said. “We don’t have a definite answer right now. We will see how they respond when we get into games and see who seems ready to take the next step forward.”
MOON ON THE MEND
LAFC signed Korean international defender Kim Moon-Hwan on Jan. 11. The 25-year-old joined the Black & Gold after a successful stint in the top league in Korea, while also emerging as a rising star on the well-respected South Korean National team.
Moon made his LAFC debut vs New England on Saturday in the preseason, playing 30 minutes as he continues to move into game form as he continues to recover from a lingering, not serious knee injury that he carried with him when he came to L.A.
“It was a good 30 minutes for Moon,” Bradley said. “He has not been able to be in full training from the beginning of preseason. He arrived with a minor knee issue, and we have had to bring him along slowly. So that is where we are at this point, we were happy that he played 30 minutes and he will continue to keep working.”