LAFC rallies in second half to earn its third draw in preseason

Carlos Vela, talking last month to reporters at training camp, scored a second-half goal for the Los Angeles Football Club against Vancouver on Sunday.
(Reed Saxon / Associated Press )

The Los Angeles Football Club has several issues to address ahead of its inaugural MLS game in two weeks. But resilience isn’t one of them.

For the second time in three preseason games, LAFC came from behind to earn a draw, this time playing the Vancouver Whitecaps to a 4-4 tie at UCLA on Sunday.

“You’ve got to fight hard for the next goal. And have confidence that you fight to the end,” LAFC coach Bob Bradley said. “So we saw a lot of positives.”


LAFC trailed 3-1 at the half but rallied behind a score from Latif Blessing, Carlos Vela’s second goal of the afternoon and a Vancouver own goal to remain unbeaten — and winless — with three draws in as many games.

Vela’s performance was the biggest highlight for LAFC with the Mexican national team player’s two goals — one in each half — getting him on the scoresheet for the first time with his new club. He also sparked an attack that finished the afternoon with 11 shots on goal.

But with center back Laurent Ciman and winger Omar Gaber sidelined because of injuries, the LAFC defense struggled mightily in transition and Vancouver teammates Anthony Blondell and Yordy Reyna took advantage, each scoring twice and combining for three assists.

LAFC is uncertain whether either Ciman (right knee) or Gaber (left adductor strain) will be ready for the team’s March 4 regular-season opener.

Follow Kevin Baxter on Twitter @kbaxter11