LAFC lose 2-0 at Minnesota and fall to 10th in West

Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
LAFC fell to 10th place in the Western Conference with a 2-0 loss to Minnesota on Matchday 4 of the MLS Season. They have not scored a goal in their last three matches while they search for a solution to their leadership vacuum.

Identity crisis has struck the once formidable Black and Gold, who lost their second road match of the season in a 2-0 rout at Allianz Stadium in St. Paul, Minnesota. The 2024 season is just four matches deep, yet the 2022 MLS Cup champions are rudderless, scoring only 2 goals in those opening matches, sinking to 10th place in the Western Conference.

“Individually we can all improve, as well as a collective,” head coach Steve Cherundolo replied afterwards. The LAFC boat stayed afloat till the 16th minute when Minnesota’s Robin Lod secured the first goal of the night off a set piece. The leak continued throughout, with the home side outplaying LAFC in possession, run of play and passing accuracy. Minnesota then secured a second goal in the 88th minute as Bongokuhle Hlongwane notched a clean shot into the middle of the net from the center of the box. The statement clean sheet victory was Manchester United assistant coach Eric Ramsay’s debut as  MNUFC’s new manager, and marked an end to Minnesota’s 7-match winless streak versus LAFC.

The Loons successfully kept last year’s MVP Denís Bouanga to a limited 50 touches and held him to just 3 off-target shots while his teammates Mateusz Bogusz and Cristian Olivera each had 1 on-target shot. Once again, Eduard Atuesta, who marked the occasion with his 100th appearance for LAFC, had the team’s highest passing percentage (86%) and most touches on the ball for the night (91).  Bouanga, who received a hefty raise and contract extension just a week ago, has yet to score a goal this season. LAFC have now gone three matches without registering a goal. The search for a new team identity continues on without their former captain Carlos Vela whose ghost still lingers as a shadow looming larger and larger with every flat performance.

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