Following a 3-1 victory over Houston Dynamo Wednesday, Sept. 25, the Los Angeles Football Club, enjoying its second year in Major League Soccer, has won the 2019 Supporters’ Shield. The win guarantees LAFC home-field advantage throughout MLS Cup Playoffs, beginning Oct. 19.
LAFC Supports’ Shield Champions
Another Vital Goal for Rossi
Forward Diego Rossi, the scorer of LAFC’s first-ever MLS goal in March 2018, netted his 16th goal of the season. That goal ended as the game-winner that clinched LAFC the top spot. Rossi would go on to describe it as a beautiful goal that had meaning because of what it earned for the club.
“Scoring a goal is always beautiful,” Rossi said. “But even more so to give the club a cup, that makes it more beautiful and that’s why I celebrated it with my teammates. Without a doubt, it’s something really important.”
Vela Makes it 30 on the Year
For the 30th time in 2019, captain Carlos Vela was also on the score-sheet Wednesday. His converted penalty gave the hosts an early lead. That was quickly followed by a fortunate Dynamo equalizer through a Tyler Miller own goal.
With a composed flying header, Rossi would go on to put LAFC ahead in the 70th minute. Following that, MLS MVP candidate Eduard Atuesta sealed the three points and the trophy with eight minutes remaining from a delightful curling free-kick.
With two games to play, Carlos Vela’s monster season coupled with LAFC’s full-throttle style managed to earn the sophomore club top-dog status throughout the first and middle sections of the campaign. Since a draw at home to rivals Los Angeles Galaxy back in late-August, the form fizzled out. Leaving LAFC limping into the finish line.
Back To Its Finest
Wednesday, though, LAFC was back to that powerful, unbeatable force. Fighting relentlessly near the box, moving the ball around patiently at midfield without a rush and pouncing for holes between Houston defensive lines.
Winless in its previous five matches, manager Bob Bradley told reporters before the game that “winning the first [trophy] is always the hardest.”
“The idea that we can win our first trophy and see what that’s like and celebrate with our supporters, we’re excited,” Bradley said.
Room For One More
They’ll have a chance to make it two in as many months as MLS Cup playoffs are right around the corner. As the first seed, LAFC will take home-field advantage into each round of play. This will have the Banc of California Stadium faithful as an important factor in the way traveling teams set themselves up against the Supporters’ Shield champions.
Midfielder Atuesta knows the victory over Houston and taking the Supporters’ Shield was a crucial step in a process that he feels started two years ago and will continue until the win the big one.
“It’s something amazing that has happened to us for what we’ve done so far,” Atuesta said. “But we have to finalize it in the best way, and that’s by winning the Cup that everyone else wants.”
Photo’s Courtesy of: Brayan Altamirano/El Paisano Newspaper