Triston Blackmon started off the Week 4 MLS nightcap by scoring against his former team, but Ryan Hollingshead answered with his first goal in Black and Gold, then Carlos Vela got himself on the scoresheet and Hollingshead struck again, en route to a Los Angeles Football Club 3-1 win over Vancouver Whitecaps FC at Banc of California Stadium on Sunday night.
The Whitecaps strode out to the early lead on a set piece, with Lucas Cavallini striking the post and Blackmon cleaning up the rebound — and opting not to celebrate in front of the 3252 following the goal. But LAFC matched defender goal with defender goal; Hollingshead connected his head on a Vela-delivered corner in the 27th minute to even the score. And then, on a play starting with a throw-in deep in Vancouver's end of the field, Kwadwo Opoku worked hard to get through the 'Caps defense and get the ball to Vela. The LAFC talisman was thwarted on his first attempt at goal but nailed the follow-through to put the hosts up 2-1.
- 12' — VAN — Tristan Blackmon
- 27' — LAFC — Ryan Hollingshead
- 38' — LAFC — Carlos Vela
- 70' — LAFC — Ryan Hollingshead
- THE BIG PICTURE: Life’s good for new LAFC head coach Steve Cherundolo four matches into his debut season. This first installment of the “Crepeau Cup” not only highlighted the array of offensive weapons LAFC can deploy, but also showed how good Crepeau is and how much better LAFC might be with a keeper of his caliber for a full season. While MLS seasons are long and sometimes weird, the Black and Gold have the look of a team that will be contending in the postseason. The ‘Caps, meanwhile, don’t seem to have the mojo they rode to the playoffs once Vanni Sartini took charge late last season, and though Ryan Gauld and Brian White weren’t available for this one, the funk they’re in so far in 2022 seems to run deeper than just that.
- MOMENT OF THE MATCH: If you’ve watched MLS the last few seasons, you know Hollingshead is a defender-plus, possessing an ability to get upfield and score, and especially adept on set pieces. His first goal with his new team showcased that, and also served to remind everyone that Vela’s pretty good at delivering corner kicks as well.
- MAN OF THE MATCH: There’s no denying Hollingshead these honors, though Vela definitely made a case for himself with a goal and an assist, and Opoku’s marauding runs made for great entertainment.
- LAFC: Saturday, April 2 at Orlando City SC | 4:30 pm (MLS LIVE on ESPN+, KCOP 13, Estrella TV)