With three goals and three assists, Diego Rossi has been involved in all six of his LAFC’s goals this season. On Tuesday, he was named the MLS Player of the Week. It’s been only two matches, but to say the 20-year-old’s learning curve in MLS has been rendered flat might be an understatement.
As Rossi continues to introduce himself to MLS defenders and the world on the pitch, we wanted to get a better barometer of the forward’s skills from some of the players that know him best. So we asked the LAFC defenders – and one goalkeeper – that go up against him day in and day out at training: What’s one word to describe Diego Rossi? And why?
Walker Zimmerman: Explosive
“What makes Diego a special player is his ability to make daring and darting runs. As soon as we get people on the ball, facing the goal we are attacking, he immediately makes these incredibly explosive runs behind the line. And that sets him up for a bunch of his goals that he’s scored already. Then obviously, his first touch on those goals and his finishing touch has been there. So he’s had a great start to 2018.”
Jordan Harvey: Clinical
“Because his finishing is well beyond his years. A 20-year-old being able to finish like that is a quality that not many people possess, at least that I’ve seen around the league. And then also clinical in and around the box. His movements are great. His movement off the ball is again stuff that you see with guys well into their 20s. He’s got a soccer mind, and he is very intelligent with and without the ball. So clinical would be the word to describe him for me.
Tristan Blackmon: Dangerous
“He’s quick, he’s deceptive. If you take your eye off of him, he’s going to get behind you. If you give him too much space in front of you, he’s going to take you 1v1, and he’s not scared of anyone. So I’m pretty sure that dangerous is the best word to describe him.”
Dejan Jakovic: Tricky
“Tricky because he’s good with the ball at his feet, as in a lot of the times you feel like he you can reach the ball but he’ll cut back or try to meg you. He gets some of them off. Obviously, against me, I’m a little more cautious. But just a very rapid player. When he’s running at you, there’s not much you can do other than maybe get in his way and try to slow him down.”
Steven Beitashour: Quick
“Why quick? Have you seen him run!? He’s quick with the ball. He’s quick without the ball. He punishes people with even a half yard of space. He’s very difficult to mark.”
Tyler Miller: Cheeky
“He’s a player that you may not notice him or he’s not the flashiest of players, but then he can show up in a moment and really change the game.”