It was back to winning ways for LAFC at Banc of California Stadium in midweek.
Eduard Atuesta and Mark-Anthony Kaye provided the goals. Tyler Miller and the defense kept things tidy at the back. And LAFC earned three points with a 2-0 victory over Minnesota United.
Here are the five takeaways from the match:
The Loons Batten Down The Hatches Early
A little over five minutes into this match, Diego Rossi hit the woodwork. Then Darwin Quintero hits the post on the other end less than a minute later. And for a second there, it looked like we might have a wide-open match. But from there, things went a little more to script.
With nearly all of Minnesota's strikers out injured, Adrian Heath's side dropped deep in favor of a counterattacking posture and attempted to keep their lines as tight as possible.
For the first 30 minutes of the match, things were all going to plan. United really made things difficult through the middle, and the result was LAFC playing primarily around the periphery. While LAFC's finishing was once again not at its best, United did a pretty good job of getting bodies in front of LAFC early in the match.
Outside To Inside
LAFC's best moments on the night came from movements from outside to inside.
With Minnesota clogging the middle, LAFC made use of its width in the right situations. Both goals were the results of early balls wide followed by a rums towards the heart of the United defense.
While LAFC likes to find width in the attacking third, what we're use to seeing is runs from wide and balls being played from central areas. In previous matches, it was usually the work of Marco Ureña opening those channels. Without the center forward to stretch defenses, LAFC have had to find new ways to play.
Seeing the Black & Gold solutions on the fly was an encouraging sign. Bob Bradley preaches a set of ideas to his Club, but always says from there it's up to them to sort it out on the field. Breaking down a resolute United team was another building block to the good for this season.
Atuesta And Kaye Open Their Accounts
Eduard Atuesta and Mark-Anthony Kaye notched their first goals for the Club just six minutes apart.
Both goals were the result of smart runs from the two central midfielders. In Atuesta's case, he found the soft spot at the top of the Minnesota defense. A smooth half turn later, the Colombian caressed his finished into the side netting.
Kaye followed Atuesta's lead with a smart play of his own. Checking up his run to stay onside after Carlos Vela's cross was deflected, Kaye was rewarded with golden opportunity just 10 yards from goal. He buried it without hesitation.
Another Shutout For Miller
Here's a stat for you. Tyler Miller has four shutouts in the first nine matches of the season. That is more shutouts than Miller had starts in two seasons in Seattle.
He had a heart-stopping moment late in the first half when Miguel Ibarra rounded him, but Walker Zimmerman was there to cover with a goal line clearance. Other than that, another solid performance for the LAFC goalkeeper.
LA Shows Up On A Wednesday
Good luck getting an LA crowd out to most events on a Wednesday. Not the case with LAFC.
It took a little time - rush hour traffic is still a nightmare - but Banc of California Stadium was packed for the midweek match. And they went home with the reward of three points.