There are still two games to go in U.S. Open Cup, but coach Bob Bradley knows the possibility of silverware in LAFC’s first season is well within reach. After a 3-2 victory over the Portland Timbers at Banc of California Stadium on Wednesday, Bradley’s team finds itself in the semifinals, where it will face Houston.
“At some point we’re going to have to figure out where to put some trophies,” Bradley said.
An early diving save by Tyler Miller may have seemed reminiscent of Sunday’s 0-0 draw between the teams, but fans soon saw a flood of five goals in 20 minutes.
The first came in the 33rd minute when Carlos Vela crossed the ball toward Marco Urena. Portland’s David Guzman got to the ball before the LAFC forward, but his header went straight into his own net.
LAFC doubled the lead five minutes later after goalkeeper Jeff Attinella tipped a cross straight into Walker Zimmerman’s path in front of goal. When Zimmerman failed to make substantial contact the chance appeared to be wasted, but the ball bounced straight to Vela, who fired low into the corner of the goal.
The Timbers scored their first goal during first-half stoppage time. Guzman’s free kick flew past every player except Julio Cascante at the far post, who had enough time to nod the ball past Tyler Miller.
In the sixth minute of the second half, another LAFC shot attempt became an assist. This time Jordan Harvey’s volley looked set to bounce wide, but Urena was in position at the far post to flick the ball in for his first LAFC goal.
“I’m really happy because I’ve been waiting a long time,” Urena said. “It means so much to me and the guys, I don’t have words to explain.”
The 3-1 lead lasted barely a minute. Almost straight from kickoff, Dairon Asprilla beat three defenders and sent the ball across the box, where Vytautas Andriuskevicius scored inside of Miller’s near post.
Late goals from Adama Diomande and Diego Rossi were both ruled offside, but LAFC held on for the win.