March 16, 2019 / 6:22 PM / 3 months ago

NYCFC looks for answers vs. red-hot LAFC

Los Angeles FC made an impressive MLS debut last season when it boasted one of the league’s most productive offenses.

Mar 3, 2019; Los Angeles, CA, USA; LAFC players pose for a team photo before the game against the Sporting KC at Banc of California Stadium. LAFC defeated SKC 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After finishing second in the MLS with 68 goals last season, LAFC is off to a strong start two weeks in.

LAFC will attempt to keep the offense rolling Sunday afternoon when it visits NYCFC, which is coming off two frustrating draws.

LAFC’s six goals entering the third week of the week are tied with the Seattle Sounders and Minnesota United for the league lead. Forward Adama Diomande is among 11 players with two goals and fellow forward Carlos Vela is among six players with two assists entering this week.

Both players figured prominently last Sunday when LAFC scored three times after halftime in a 4-1 home win over Portland. Diomande scored in the 65th minute while Vela had two assists and scored in the 68th minute.

“I think we’re just all bought in,” forward Christian Ramirez said. “We’re just growing from what we had last year and we’re continuing to believe in the style of soccer that (coach) Bob (Bradley) wants us to play and that we’re capable of playing.”

NYCFC is winless through two games for the second time in its five-year history after a frustrating 0-0 draw with DC United last Sunday in its home opener. The one point NYCFC picked up occurred after it opened the season by allowing two goals in the second half and settling for a 2-2 draw at Orlando City in the season opener on March 3.

Last week, NYCFC could not score despite totaling 21 shots and controlling possession for 63 percent of the match.

“We have to make build up, we have to improve when we have the ball. In my opinion, we play much better when we keep the ball and pass the ball,” NYCFC coach Dome Torrent said. “I like to take possession of the ball but with the mentality to score. When you pass the ball in the right moment - you have to attack. That’s for me, the best way to play soccer.”

NYCFC has 34 shots through its first two games with 12 by newcomer Alexandru Mitrita.

Sunday will be the second meeting between the clubs. In a 2-2 tie in Los Angeles on May 13, Vela gave LAFC a one-goal lead in the 65th minute but Ismael Tajouri-Shradi came off the bench and scored the tying goal in the 75th minute.

—Field Level Media

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