LAFC recorded their third straight loss as they fell 2-0 to the Portland Timbers on Saturday night. The victory for the Timbers lifted them to within one point of the playoffs line, while LAFC remain tied with Real Salt Lake for third place in the Western Conference thanks to their laudable performance in the first three months of the season. LAFC has lost 11 of its last 20 matches (all comps).
Eleven is also the number of attempted shots they registered, yet only two were on target, and those both came after 60 minutes of efforts. “I think it’s clear to see right now we are in a negative moment. As far as things are in the offensive end, they’re really difficult for us, hard to come by,” Steve Cherundolo stated afterwards.
Portland’s Larrys Mabiala scored for the home team in the 28th minute after a number of misplays from John McCarthy led to a header. In the second half, after dispossessing LAFC, Claudio Bravo dribbled a ball near the penalty spot easily making it past McCarthy in the 53rd minute.
While LAFC controlled most of the match in terms of possession, their offensive struggles continued. Rather than blaming the latest defeat on their missing international players (Dénis Bouanga, Cristian Olivera, Denil Maldonado, Stipe Biuk and Christian Torres) or the lack of Ryan Hollingshead and Giorgio Chiellini who were both out with injury, Cherundolo simply stated the facts. “Every mistake we make are being punished and our chances are half chances. We’re just in that moment. We’re in a rut right now as far as finishing our chances.” The loss was their fourth in their last five matches.
LAFC’s next match is against their fiercest rival, LA Galaxy, who they lost to twice in their three previous matches this year. Matches against Western Conference leaders St. Louis and Philadelphia Union follow shortly after. With just seven matches remaining, LAFC may soon find themselves in a dogfight for a top spot in the playoffs. Cherundolo had these words for his players after the match – “The only way out of this is to put our head down and work hard, to review our mistakes and to try to improve.”