LAFC defeated by Whitecaps, 3-2

In spite of a loss to Vancouver, LAFC retain a top position in the West. Goals from Denís Bouanga and Carlos Vela helped numb the sting of conceding three goals.

LOS ANGELES — LAFC conceded three goals at home on Pride Night, and ultimately lost their second match of the week along with an uncontested first place in the Western Conference table, as they struggled to hold off the Vancouver Whitecaps who won 3-2, snapping a 15-game streak of winless matches on the road. It was the first time since the 2022 MLS Cup Final against Philadelphia Union, that the Black and Gold gave away three goals to a visiting team. “We gave up three goals at home, that’s not acceptable if we want to win a game,” Daniel Crisostomo bluntly stated in his post-match opening remarks.

Vancouver struck early and throughout the first half retained control of the match. Just two minutes into the action, Ranko Veselinović gave his side a fast goal from a corner kick with a glancing header straight into the back of the net. Twenty minutes later yet another header did the hosts in as Brian White doubled the Whitecaps’ lead. But LAFC snuck in a last-ditch effort before the end of the first half. Just as one shot was blocked, a goal-starved Denís Bouanga who hadn’t scored in MLS since mid-May, found the rebound was perfectly position for him to follow-up on and cut LAFC’s deficit in half.

The second half brought more back and forth action with LAFC pressing for an equalizer. But once again the Whitecaps were able to get past the home side’s defenses, when Ryan Gauld, who already had two assists that night, notched a goal of his own in the 63rd minute. LAFC kept fighting back until their captain scored off a centering pass off a Mateusz Bogutz assist five minutes later. It was Carlos Vela’s sixth goal of the season. Unfortunately, it was also LAFC’s last goal of the night. The win was Vancouver’s first-ever win at LAFC. In discussing areas of improvement prior to the match, Giorgio Chiellini admitted that there’s plenty room for improvement. “We are missing too many key passes in a special moment. Maybe one meter behind, one moment later. This is something we have to continue to improve.” Once again, the spectre of sloppy errors came back to haunt LAFC. “We made one too many errors,” head coach Steve Cherundolo bluntly said in his post-game remarks.

Now tied at 32 points at the top of the conference with St. Louis, LAFC’s relentless schedule pauses allowing for six days to train and learn (something which Cherundolo has repeatedly said is impossible to do with a match every 3-4 days) until they head to Texas for their next match against FC Dallas.