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Not Quite a Roll, but LAFC Gaining Momentum with 3-1 Win Over Vancouver

Updated: Mar 28, 2022

Amidst the hesitant predictions and wildly different takes about LAFC's fourth year in the MLS, the Black and Gold may just be giving their fans something to get attached to: the hope of a consistent, high-quality season. Under the new leadership of Steve Cherundolo and fortified with much-needed roster depth, LAFC earned the top slot in the West Conference with a 3-1 win over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sun., March 20, at the Banc of California Stadium.

The visitors drew first blood in the 12th minute with a quickly taken free kick, headed on frame by Lucas Cavallini and finished off by none other than former LAFC defender Tristan Blackmon (who, notably, restrained himself from celebrating in front of the 3252).

Not to be outdone, LAFC responded with their own set-piece-finished-by-an-outside-back when Ryan Hollingshead headed in a corner from Carlos Vela in the 27th minute. This was Hollingshead's first goal for the club since he was acquired from FC Dallas in February. Vela made it 2-1 for the home team with a twice-stricken shot, crossed in by Mahala Opoku who managed to beat three Whitecaps defenders en route to goal.

With the game now thoroughly in LAFC's corner, they maintained the lion's share of possession, posting more than double the amount of shots than their opponents and controlling the tempo of the match with composed link-up play through the midfield. In the second half, Hollingshead sent the crowd once again into a frenzy with another goal (and his first career brace) striking a powerful shot into the bottom corner.

Hollingshead, 30, is known for his attacking capabilities and in 2019 was the highest-scoring defender in the MLS. He was acquired by LAFC earlier this year via a trade with FC Dallas for defender Marco Farfan, 23. LAFC's other recent additions in Maxime Crepeau, Kellyn Acosta, and Ismael Tajouri-Shradi, as well as the return of Vela and Opoku from injury, have all seemed to pay off so far as the Black and Gold remain undefeated.

Next up, LAFC go on the road to play Orlando City on Sat., April 2, at 4:30 p.m., while the Whitecaps host Sporting KC at home, also on April 2, at 5 p.m.

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