Can anyone in the MLS Western Conference stop Los Angeles FC from talking off with the title this season? That must be the question on everyone’s lips as coach Bob Bradley’s side took their lead at the top of the table to an incredible nine points with their latest win. And if LAFC are to be stopped, one thing is for sure — Mexican hitman Carlos Vela has to be stopped first.
The former Arsenal striker scored twice to help his side chalk up a record-breaking 6-1 walloping of Vancouver to propel Bradley’s men to a surely unassailable position at the summit with LA Galaxy trailing in second. Although, the early action didn’t follow the plan for the home side and the visitors took the lead — not that it did them much good, seemingly getting their backs up given the eventual score line.
Bradley said there was lots to like about the barn-storming triumph and explained:
“There was a misunderstanding early but the response was awesome. Vancouver is an organised team defensively so that takes a lot of different things to break them down. I have these pictures of what really good teams look like and I’m pleased when we play that way — tempo, timing, ball movement, creating advantages.”
Meanwhile, Vela is winning his own personal battle with another goal-scorer of some repute, a certain Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The Swede bagged a couple as LA Galaxy put Toronto to the sword with a 2-0 victory but he trails Vela in the race for the much-coveted MLS Golden Boot award. With a creditable 19 goals on the campaign, Vela is currently six goals ahead of Ibrahimovic.
In the Eastern Conference, meanwhile, Wayne Rooney once again grabbed the headlines although this time it was for seeing a red card ruled out as opposed to scoring a wonder goal like he did last week when his goal from in his own half earned DC United three points from the win over Orlando City.
This week, Rooney could consider himself fortunate after seeing red from referee Nima Saghafi for a crude tackle on FC Dallas ace Michael Barrios only for VAR to overturn the decision. Rooney’s side eventually suffered a 2-0 reverse meaning they are now four points behind table-toppers Philadelphia Union.
Leaders Philadelphia had Kacper Przybylko to thank for his last-minute goal to earn his side a point from a 2-2 draw with Orlando City. The front-runners seem to have forgotten the script and were trailing until the late, late show. It had all seemed routine for the home side when Marco Fabian scored after four minutes. But the visitors struck back and goals from Dom Dwyer and Santiago Patino in the second-half looked to have provided a win — but they were denied at the death.