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photos by Juan Vargas

In what could be a preview of the 2019 MLS Cup final, Atlanta United FC (11-8-3, 36 pts) paid a visit to the leaders of the western conference, Los Angeles Football Club (14-3-4, 46 pts).

At first glance, during the first few minutes it seemed like it could have been another disastrous result for the home team, nevertheless the persistence of the midfield in finding its forwards, Los Angeles was able to leave Banc of California with a 4-3 victory.

Los Angeles found the back of the net four times before half. Although it came close,

they were able to keep Atlanta at three goals before the end of stoppage time. Diomande, Rossi, Atuesta, and leading MLS goal scorer Carlos Vela each adding a goal for their team.

Besides Vela’s penalty kick, each of the other goals came from midfield movement towards the right of the box, leading into crosses into the penalty area. Before the closing seconds of the first half, Josef Martinez of Atlanta chips an open shot to bring Atlanta to a goal count of two.

In the 50th minute, Justin Meran of Atlanta drives down the left side of the box hoping to

find a teammate with a goal. Instead, Eddie Segura of L.A. interrupts the cross with an own goal. With 40 minutes left in the game, a momentum change seemed to be inevitable for the home team.

Possession in the second half was at 50% split for both teams, despite the fact that it

seemed like the game was slipping away from Los Angeles, luck was on their side, and they were able to avoid a disappointing result. The visiting teams goals were allowed due to loss of concentration by the Los Angeles defense. And the home team’s goals came with good

awareness between the midfield and strikers.

photos by Juan Vargas

Coach Bradley stated in the post game interview; “A very good win, ridiculous in the first

half to start slowly, no concentration and give up a goal right away, and then after fifteen

minutes really got things going well. Got the 4-1, and at the end of the half we finished the same way we started the half, which was crazy.”

LAFC remains the only undefeated MLS team at home (9-0-1), besides their home loss

against Portland Timbers in the U.S. Open Cup on July 10, 2019. This felt like a motivational, must win game for the Los Angeles, after coming off the loss to their cross town rivals, LA Galaxy this past Friday in Carson. LAFC now has an ALL-Star break and are back in New England against the Revolution on August 3rd, 2019.

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