Los Angeles Football Club are quite clearly one of the favourites to take home the MLS Cup this year, and that much has been obvious for quite some time. From Carlos Vela all the way through to their defensive units, there are plenty of reasons to be excited about what they have to offer throughout the remainder of the season.
However, after a few shaky results, some fans and pundits were being left to wonder whether or not they were all talk. As reported by Pro Soccer USA and ESPN, it appears as if those thoughts will continue to spread after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Orlando City down in Florida.
Adrien Perez was able to get the visitors off to a really bright start by opening the scoring in the 12th minute, but just one minute later, the home side equalised through Nani. Benji Michel then edged them into the lead, and from that point on, Los Angeles really struggled to break them down again.
It took until the final quarter of an hour for Diego Rossi to pounce and give LAFC goal they’d been searching for, but they weren’t quite able to take that next step and secure all three points. Some will argue it’s one point gained as opposed to being two points dropped, but we’re not so sure we see it that way.
One thing is for sure, after a few decisions didn’t go his team’s way, Orlando City coach James O’Connor was more than happy to voice his grievances.
“When you look at the reaction to the goal, it’s testament to the players,” O’Connor said. “There was no period where you felt as if they were intimidated. I think it’s just a shame for the guys. They worked incredibly hard tonight.”
“I can’t describe it,” O’Connor said. “It’s so far past disappointment, I can’t even begin to tell you. I thought our performance was excellent. When you look at how good LAFC are, you look at how we managed the game and you look at the problems we caused them, on another night we would have won the game.”
Fighting the odds
“When the officials go back and have a look at it, I think they’ll be disappointed with their performance,” O’Connor said. “I’m gonna keep control and I’ll let [the referees] answer the question, but when you see how the guys fought, you come away with immense pride for the players and the whole football club.”
LAFC, as a club, have always been a bit quieter and more unassuming, and that’s the kind of way they like to set themselves up. They know what they’re good at and they know what they need to improve upon, and they don’t need to be dragged into the politics of slandering other teams in order to properly and accordingly get their points across.
They will already be preparing for their next game, and that’s the best thing they possibly could do at this stage of proceedings.